Carlos Garcia’s activism is his biggest election asset. It’s also a liability

Taylor Seely

Arizona Republic

Carlos Garcia rose to prominence in Phoenix at the start of the Senate Bill 1070 era as someone who defended communities targeted by racial profiling. He was known for leading protests against the “show me your papers law” and, occasionally, getting arrested while doing so.

In 2010, Garcia began working to oust Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County sheriff who targeted Latinos. When Arpaio lost his 2016 election, Garcia celebrated, saying, “he was taken down by the people he hunted.”

In 2012, he organized a bus ride for undocumented immigrants to the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina to rally against then-President Barack Obama’s intensifying deportation efforts.

In 2017, when an undocumented mother living in Mesa was deported, Garcia drove the woman’s kids to visit her in Mexico and helped garner national media attention. He also lambasted Phoenix police for their role in the deportation.

Today, his world looks pretty different. Rather than protesting the halls of power, he walks them as a member of the Phoenix City Council.

But some things remain the same.


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