PHOENIX -- The showdown over Arizona's immigration law played out in court and on Phoenix's sun-splashed streets Thursday, as the state sought to reinstate key parts of the measure and angry protesters chanted that they refused to "live in fear." Dozens were arrested.
A federal judge's decision a day earlier to block the strict law's most controversial elements didn't dampen the raging immigration debate.
The judge has been threatened. Protesters rallied in cities from Los Angeles to New York. The sheriff of the state's most populous county vowed to continue targeting illegal immigrants. Lawmakers or candidates in as many as 18 states say they still want to push similar measures.
In the Tri-Cities, more than 750 people gathered Thursday night at Kennewick's St. Joseph Catholic Church for a candlelight vigil and Mass to show solidarity with Arizona residents and pray for immigration reform.
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Jazmin Santacruz of Pasco, a Tri-Cities OneAmerica committee organizer, said the blocked portions of the law remain a threat.
"We feel like they are persecuting us, like criminals," said Rodolfo Cartagena of Richland.
About 50 people attended a vigil outside the church before a healing Mass. Children held candles inside white paper cups as those gathered prayed, sang and chanted.
Some held signs that said, "Immigration Reform Now: We can't afford to wait," and "We work for America."
During the Mass, the congregation prayed for God to heal the nation, Cartagena said.
Jocelyn Ortega, 17, of Kennewick, said what Arizona does matters locally because the laws one state passes can be adopted by other states.
The states need to leave immigration law to the federal government, Santacruz said.
For the most part, immigrants aren't taking jobs away or causing problems, said Martha Chavez of Kennewick, an organizer for the committee.
"We came to work," she said. "We do jobs that other people don't want to do."
Along the U.S.-Mexico border, life continued as before, with officials sending back people who were captured while attempting to cross.
In Phoenix, hundreds of the law's opponents massed at a downtown jail, beating on the metal door and forcing sheriff's deputies to call for backup. Officers arrested at least 32 people, and dozens more were detained elsewhere throughout the day.
Activists focused their rage at Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the 78-year-old ex-federal drug agent known for his immigration sweeps.
Outside his downtown office, marchers chanted "Sheriff Joe, we are here. We will not live in fear." One was dressed in a papier-mche "Sheriff Joe" head and prison garb. Arpaio said he would continue with a Thursday sweep.
"I'm not going to be intimidated and stopped," he said. "If I have to go out and get in the car, I'll do it."
Activists armed with video cameras and aided by others listening to police scanners, roamed the county's neighborhoods saying they were ready to document any deputies harassing Hispanics.
In Tucson, between 50 and 100 people on both sides of the issue gathered at a street corner. About 200 protesters blocked a busy Los Angeles intersection, with police arresting about a dozen who were linked with plastic pipes and chains.
In New York, about 300 immigrant advocates rallied near the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan.
"It's one step closer for us, but I think the fight is still ahead," said Adelfa Lugo, a 56-year-old Mexican-born Brooklyn resident who joined the protest. "If we don't fight this in Arizona, this anti-immigrant feeling will spread across the country."
Since Wednesday's ruling, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton has received thousands of phone calls and e-mails. Some were positive, but others were "from people venting and who have expressed their displeasure in a perverted way," said David Gonzales, the U.S. Marshal for Arizona.
Gonzales said his agents are taking some of the threats to Bolton seriously. He wouldn't say how many there were or whether any threats were coming from recognized hate groups. He refused to discuss any extra security measures, which U.S. marshals routinely provide federal judges.