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May Day rallies take immigration fight to the streets

From Los Angeles to New York, Chicago to Houston, hundreds of thousands of protesters in dozens of cities are marching, chanting, and in some cases engaging in civil disobedience – mostly in opposition to Arizona’s tough new law aimed at stopping illegal immigration.

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Protesters against Arizona's new immigration law hold a rally at Union Square in New York on Saturday. Hundreds of thousands of people were expected to rally across the US Saturday in protest of the new immigration law in Arizona.

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May Day rallies around the country focusing on immigration are bringing one of the most contentious political issues to the streets this weekend.

From Los Angeles to New York, Chicago to Houston, hundreds of thousands of protesters in dozens of cities are marching, chanting, and in some cases engaging in civil disobedience – mostly in opposition to Arizona’s tough new law aimed at stopping illegal immigration.

In Los Angeles, police prepared for 100,000 people in a march led by Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles.

IN PICTURES: The US/Mexico border

“I can't imagine Arizonans now reverting to German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques whereby people are required to turn one another in to the authorities on any suspicion of documentation,” Cardinal Mahony wrote on his blog recently. “Are children supposed to call 911 because one parent does not have proper papers? Are family members and neighbors now supposed to spy on one another…?”

The harshness of the rhetoric reflects the strong and widely separated positions on illegal immigration. A Gallup poll released Thursday has 51 percent of those surveyed favoring Arizona’s law, with 39 percent opposed.

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