Updated: Saturday, 01 May 2010, 10:27 PM CDT
Published : Saturday, 01 May 2010, 9:35 PM CDT
AUSTIN (KXAN) - From New York to California., thousands of Americans took to the streets today protesting a controversial immigration law passed in Arizona .
Under this new legislation, police tare required to question anyone they suspect may be in the country illegally.
Some critics charged that this law targets Hispanics and is legalized racial profiling.
Police arrested several protesters in Washington, including a U.S. Congressman and Illinois democrat Luis Gutierrez was detained for blocking a sidewalk outside the White House.
He wore a t-shirt reading "arrest me, not my family."
In Austin, thousands gathered on the steps of the Capitol .
Rally organizers reminded marchers to be peaceful and make their point in a non-violent way.
South Austin resident Maria Martinez, her husband and four children heeded the warning and used the art of dance to demonstrate the need for an immigration overhaul.
"We're here," said Martinez, who took led several Aztec dances. "We are strong and we aren't going anywhere."
Thousands of others took to the Capitol's steps, held signs, chanted and protested to show solidarity in their fight against Arizona's new immigration law that many called "inhumane."
"How could I not protest against racial profiling?" said Jennifer Fuller, a marcher and UT professor. "How could I not protest against treating people horribly? People who are vulnerable."
Protestors then took the the streets and walked from the Capitol all the way to city hall chanting, "Si se puede," which translates to, "Yes we can."
Demonstrators told KXAN they hope their march will put immigration reform, which failed in 2006 and 2007, atop a national agenda dominated by health care and the economy.
"I want people to realize how wrong headed these policies are and I don't want these same kinds of policies in Texas or anyplace else in the US," Fuller added.
"We legal, but it doesn't matter if you legal or not, I mean, we need our right and use for human," said Arcali Cabalale, a marcher who attended the rally with her husband and two children.
Marchers were met with opposition from Tea party members and other conservative groups.
They also made signs and got vocal.
"I just support Jan Brewer , I support Arizonians," said Susan Harkness, an immigration opponent.
Cabalale said opposition will not detour her and she will be back next year.
Until then, she, along with her husband and children will continue to march under their own flag.
Others marchers told KXAN they hope Texas lawmakers will take a closer look at immigration and not follow in Arizona's footsteps.