President Barack Obama has endorsed one of the more inventive efforts to protest Arizona’s new immigration law, taking note of special jerseys that the NBA’s Phoenix Suns are wearing that call the team “Los Suns.’’
“I know that a lot of you would rather be watching tonight’s game —the Spurs against `Los Suns,’ from Phoenix,’’ the president told a crowd celebrating Cinco De Mayo at the White House on Wednesday evening.
The Suns decided to wear the jerseys after Arizona’s governor signed legislation aimed at reducing illegal immigration to the state. Suns owner Robert Sarver, reflecting the anger of many Hispanic and civil rights groups, called the law “flawed’’ and said the jerseys were meant to “honor our Latino community” and American diversity.
The Arizona law makes it a crime to be present in the state without legal immigration status, and it requires police to question people suspected of being illegal immigrants about their status. Supporters say it is needed to better enforce immigration laws, but critics say it will single out Latinos for questioning on the basis of their language or skin color.
Obama had previously called the Arizona law “misguided.’’
On Wednesday, he said: “We can’t start singling out people because of who they look like, or how they talk, or how they dress. . . . . We can’t divide the American people that way. That’s not the answer.”