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Immigration Debate Reaches Wrigley Field

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Apr 29, 2010 2:40PM

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There's been a lot of talk this week about immigration reform here in Illinois as well as the controversial new Arizona law. And now the the two will intersect at, of all places, Wrigley Field. Today the Cubs will welcome the Arizona Diamondbacks to Wrigley for a four-game weekend series. So why protest baseball? It's part of a call by opponents of the bill to boycott anything and everything coming out of Arizona: products, businesses, and sports teams. Organizers also point to Republican-supporting members of the Diamondbacks' front office as a reason to protest but the team itself is trying to distance itself from any political controversy. Shaun Rachau, the Diamondbacks' vice president for communications, issued a statement saying:

"Although D-backs' Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick has donated to Republican political candidates in the past, the organization has communicated to Boycott Arizona 2010 leader Tony Herrera that Kendrick personally opposes (Senate) Bill 1070. The team also explained that Kendrick is one of nearly 75 owners of the D-backs and none of his, nor do the other owners', personal contributions reflect organizational preferences. The D-backs have never supported (Senate) Bill 1070, nor has the team ever taken a political stance or position on any legislation."

Almost 800 people have signed up on a Facebook event page for today's protest (which means, given our history with Facebook event pages, about 300 will actually show up and another 25 or 30 will come by for about 5 minutes at the very end). Organizers have also called on fans to hold up signs inside the stadium protesting the new law. In addition to today's protest, there's also the May Day march, happening this Saturday at 1 p.m., starting at Union Park and ending in Daley Plaza.