July 28, 2012
Natally Cruz, 24, was brought to the country without documented by her family when she was 7. All her life, she tried to live under the radar, trying to avoid contact with police or immigration officials. When Arizona passed SB 1070, a law designed to crack down on undcoumented immigrants in 2010, she started protesting more openly.
She has joined a growing number of undcoumented immigrants who have "come out" in recent years, declaring their status in hopes of drawing more attention to their situation. She said that strategy is meant to counter people such as Maricopa County (Ariz.) Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has made targeting undocumented immigrants a focal point of his term in office.
"If he sees our community scared, he has the motivation to keep doing what he's doing, to keep us in the shadows," Cruz said. "If we show him we're not scared, he kind of loses his power."