Arizona immigration bill sparks protests

Anger was mounting throughout the US yesterday over a draconian law in Arizona cracking down on illegal immigration.

A police officer launched a legal challenge, the Governors of Texas and Colorado stepped into the row to oppose such a law in their own states, and activists in Chicago chanted outside an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game for a boycott.

The lawsuit from Martin Escobar, a police veteran, was one of two filed less than a week after the Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed the bill that critics say is unconstitutional and will lead to racial profiling.

The US Attorney General Eric Holder has said the federal government may challenge the law, which requires law-enforcement agencies to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are in the country illegally. Mr Escobar, a patrol officer in a Latino area of Tucson, argues police cannot confirm people's status without impeding investigations.