|In response to law enforcement abuse of civil liberties in Tucson, Pan Left, working with Derechos Humanos and other community members, has brought back the Migra Patrol program, which originated several years ago to keep an eye on the Border Patrol.Renamed Migra Patrol Cop Watch (MPCW), the program has now been expanded to include monitoring police activities as well, since recent events have indicated more cooperation between Border Patrol and the Tucson Police Department. Two weeks ago, MPCW volunteers mobilized and caught on tape Tucson police calling the border patrol during a traffic stop. The video was on the internet only about one hour after it was shot, and within one week it had 60,000 views.A similar event was documented last week: Tucson police made a traffic stop and called Border Patrol on the driver and his wife. Agents drove them off to detention while the rest of the family was stranded on the side of the road, the children crying as the car was towed away. A variety of community members have reported more frequent incidents such as these in their neighborhoods since the end of July, when parts of Arizona’s controversial new immigration law, SB1070, went into effect.
Many of SB1070’s measures were blocked by a federal judge, and Tucson Police Department has claimed that their policy regarding cooperation with immigration authorities has not changed in years. Whether the recent abuses have been spurred by the parts of the law that did go into effect, or by the general anti-immigrant sentiment stirred up by the law, MPCW is determined to keep documenting civil rights infringements.
“We have noticed a severe increase since July 29th. It’s time for our community to come together and stop this type of unjust activity,” said Pan Left producer Jason Aragón, one of the participants in the Migra Patrol Cop Watch group. Watch the footage taken by MPCW by clicking the link below.