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Arizona Outlaws Illegal Immigrants Unlawful Unrecognized Illegitimate Illegal Again Immigrants

April 26, 2010

In a measure of the absurd, Arizona has outlawed being an illegal immigrant.  Never mind that by definition the immigrants are illegal and therefore not guaranteed any legal protection under any current law beyond the right to be medically treated, but now the Arizona police can question anyone they feel might be in the state of Arizona illegally.  Illegal immigrants have made the foolish stab that their rights are being violated, to which others respond that because immigrants are in the country illegally, they are already criminals, and so begins a tiresome discussion of how many rights someone already breaking federal law is awarded.  There is no win in this type of situation.

Protesters of this law will sport the label of “job stealers” and “criminals”,

State Sen. Russell Pearce, the Mesa Republican who sponsored the legislation, said it’s “pretty disappointing” that opponents would call on the federal government to refuse to cooperate with Arizona authorities.

“It’s outrageous that these people continue to support law breakers over law keepers,” Pearce said Sunday.

Protesters, some of whom came from as far away as Texas, clustered under trees for shelter from Arizona’s searing sun and temperatures that approached 90 degrees. Police said it was peaceful and there were no clashes.

Bill Baker, 60, took time off work at a downtown Phoenix restaurant to sell umbrellas and Mexican and American flags to the largely Hispanic crowd. He said he wasn’t making much money, but he wanted to help them exercise their freedom of expression – even though he supports the law they all showed up to oppose.

“If I go to another foreign country, if I go to Mexico, I have to have papers,” Baker said. “So I don’t feel there’s anything particularly harsh about the law.”

He said he’s worried the bill will hurt the economy if many of Arizona’s estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants leave the state and stop spending money here.

“But that’s the price you have to pay to have a lawful country,” Baker said.

while Huffington Post published an article in which a 13-year old male protester called the police “pigs.”  It’s destined for violence in Arizona, but then again, that’s what local residents are afraid of approaching them.  I have wondered how long it would take before drug runners from Mexico pushed Americans far enough to push back in an ugly fashion: turns out it takes the death of one U.S. rancher at the hands of alleged drug cartel members to fuel laws allowing instant deportation.

Arizona is in a sticky situation, and being from Michigan, I can say that doing the happy dance that the local Arizona militant militia didn’t take over evicting illegals like the Michigan Militia was talking about doing should be some sort of victory, it does seem backwards to be able to have police walk down the street and force people to show their legally documented status.  On the other hand, Arizona’s law seems a cry for help in a state that Obama has left unattended in a true immigration crisis.  There is no doubt that the almost half million illegal immigrants strain the economy and the local patience with Mexico’s drug cartel influence seeping in.  With recent reports of drug cartel enforcers showing up at schools to intimidate others, it was only a matter of time before Americans responded angrily–after all, they feel there is a direct threat to their children.

Nothing pisses people off faster than intimidating children and illegal immigrants trying to do that is like setting a match to a powder keg.  Then an American rancher is shot, on his own property, by drug runners ostensibly from Mexico, and the torch has been lit.  There really is no way out of this impending firestorm; it’s inevitable.  Then, there are children being quoted as calling the local Arizona police “pigs.” :

“It’s going to change our lives,” said Emilio Almodovar, a 13-year-old American citizen from Phoenix. “We can’t walk to school any more. We can’t be in the streets anymore without the pigs thinking we’re illegal immigrants.

Could it have gone down any more stupidly from a public relations standpoint?  Commentary on the AP article quoted in Huffington Post and PhillyBurbs, above, noted the racist slur against America’s police officer.  Pemberton Proud says:

.. and how many of those protesting are illegals? They come here and have kids (who call the police pigs) and think that make them legal. Since when do illegal, non-citizens have the same rights as real US citizens? They broke the law and now want us to protect them from us. They bring their drugs to our country and get free welfare, medical care, and education for their kids. Any American who dares to cross the border of numberous countries would be shot or put in jail for 20 years. Why are we so soft on criminals? They broke the law.

Yet the blog comments are not those of mainstream media…

My first thoughts on this issue were far from being politically correct.  I wondered why illegal immigrants would protest the passage of a law when they clearly don’t follow the laws.  Then I wondered how many Arizona people had died from escalating drug violence migrating from Mexico, and I wondered how soon shoot-outs would start.  And was this part of the land that Mexico once owned?  Did border patrol agents really perform any sort of job outside of harassing those crossing the Mexican-American border legally?  None of these are really relevant to a good discussion, but then I started to see this whole absurd concept of somehow having advocacy groups grant illegal immigrants legal rights and having immigrants start “fighting for rights.”  Hello, don’t they remember American guerrilla warfare with the British, Native Americans, and then Mexico from the past?  Yeah, none of that is particularly pride-inducing history for those of us against that sort of thing, and yet we Americans partake of these freedoms as a result.

Seriously drug cartels?  Some Unasked Advice?  Capone was taken down when photos of drivebys showed dead children.  The Catholic Church was pretty much a mafia organizational structure, and it’s being taken down by crimes against children.  The middle eastern militants lost all sympathy when attacking children.  Why put yourselves on the radar by trying to physically threaten kids?  Didn’t you learn anything from old mobster movies?  I wondered how soon vigilante justice would start to take over, and it frightens me because vigilante justice is not usually an EOE.  It just gets uglier and uglier.  And why didn’t Washington step in sooner?  Now it will take years to get these laws off the books and allow plenty of questions based on a persons’ skin color for years.  Hello detention camps in good Ole USA during the “Red Scare,” and needing to see freedom papers.  And commentary on this law compares Arizona with Alabama in 1963 (to which I just might add that as a race, the Mexicans were not sold as slaves the way that African Americans were making Alabama’s policies a continuation of slavery-like tactics):

The Arizona of 2010 is the Alabama of 1963.

For those who have not read a paper or turned on the TV in the last several days, the new Arizona law requires that all police officers with a reasonable suspicion that an individual might not be in our country legally, must demand to see that person’s papers.

It also requires that each person who has immigrated carry those papers at all times or be in violation of the law themselves.

It even creates a private right of action that allows anyone, from an ordinary citizen to the Minutemen, to file suit against individual law enforcement officers who they believe are refusing to enforce the new act.

The new law makes anyone with brown skin, anyone who looks like he might be from Eastern Europe, the Irish guy who works behind the bar at a pub, anyone with an accent – frankly anyone who looks the least bit like they might be an immigrant – subject to the demand: “Papers please.”

That phrase — “papers please” – is something that the authorities asked you in the old Soviet Union or Nazi Germany. It has never been something we ever expected to hear uttered in the United States of America. It is as un-American as jack boots. Unless this law is stopped, thousands of people – many of them perfectly legal American citizens – will begin to hear it regularly in the state of Arizona.

Current law in Arizona didn’t require police to ask about citizenship, but the new law does:

Current law in Arizona and most states doesn’t require police to ask about the immigration status of those they encounter, and many police departments prohibit officers from inquiring out of fear immigrants won’t cooperate in other investigations.

The new law makes it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally. Immigrants unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the U.S. could be arrested, jailed for up to six months and fined $2,500. Other provisions allow lawsuits against government agencies that hinder enforcement of immigration laws, and the law makes it illegal to hire illegal immigrants for day labor or knowingly transport them.

Arizona officers would arrest people found to be undocumented and turn them over to federal immigration officers. Opponents said the federal government can block the law by refusing to accept them…

The Rev. Al Sharpton, speaking Sunday in New York, said that just as freedom riders battled segregation in the 1960s, he would organize “freedom walkers” to challenge the Arizona bill.

“We will go to Arizona when this bill goes into effect and walk the streets with people who refuse to give identification and force arrest,” Sharpton said.

Arizona’s border with Mexico is the nation’s busiest stretch for illegal border crossings. The state’s harsh, remote desert serves as the gateway to the U.S. for thousands of Mexicans and Central Americans.

“It divides our whole community,” said Mary Hoffmann, 54, a landscape architect in Phoenix. “If people are divided they make decisions on fear and anger.”

Brewer, who faces a tough re-election battle and growing anger in the state over illegal immigrants, said the law “protects every Arizona citizen” and the state must act because the federal government has failed. Brewer said she wouldn’t tolerate racial profiling.

The March 27 shooting death of rancher Rob Krentz on his property in southeastern Arizona brought illegal immigration and border security into greater focus in the state. Authorities believe Krentz was killed by an illegal border crosser.

When a law has to be passed to push illegal immigrants out of a state, it’s a sign of a problem Washington ignored for too long.  Resources are scarce for Americans, and since many aren’t frequenting service industries or building new houses, how will they feel immigrant labor in these fields is worthwhile?  It’s not gonna happen, just as it’s not realistic to think racial profiling isn’t going to happen.  Recent comments on a Huffington Post article about Chicago Rep Guitierrez asking people to cancel vacations to protest the law illustrate the evident divide.   Commentary by a Ladybug 1 speak forcefully to the discontent voiced by the majority of law-abiding Americans, even those with a civil rights-supporting background:

I’m sorry, but it ticks me off that some of the legal Hispanics like Guitierrez think they can threaten to withhold the Hispanic vote to keep illegals in this country. I feel sorry for the people and certainly don’t want (some not all) cops doing their Nazi racial profiling thing ( I’m African American and we know the feeling); but Legal Americans are required to have ID in many circumstances; why not them. I hate to say this but I sorta agree with the Arizona Gov. I hope they don’t mistreat the people; but something has to be done.

In a desperate bid to remain relevant, minority Latino groups are talking about how much power Latinos have in political elections, slamming McCain, stating Obama’s victory was the direct result of Latino support, saying that the Republican base is shrinking etc.  It’s a cry of the weary.  Obama’s dismal performance is bringing back Republicans in droves, and while Obama was never curried to be the Democratic brainchild, just the last “Not-George-Bush-Guy,” I don’t think Repubs are falling in numbers.

What the Democrats are missing in the Arizona equation is the power that fear can generate.  When Arizona residents feel their children are threatened, and Republican support a way to limit that fear, guess who is going to win?

With hundreds of protesters outside the state Capitol shouting that the bill would lead to civil rights abuses, Brewer said critics were “overreacting” and that she wouldn’t tolerate racial profiling.

“We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act,” Brewer said after signing the law. “But decades of inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation.”

Earlier Friday, Obama called the Arizona bill “misguided” and instructed the Justice Department to examine it to see if it’s legal. He also said the federal government must enact immigration reform at the national level — or leave the door open to “irresponsibility by others.”

“That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe,” Obama said.

I have read lots of idea-logs about this concept, how people from other states feel Arizona is off-track, Sharpton calling for specialized walks flaunting arrest, and Obama siccing the Justice Department on this (as if Obama, being the President and also a lawyer needs a back-up check to see if this is legal??), but no Democrats are witnessing the power of fear that the Republicans have harnessed:  we won’t let illegals threaten the safety of your children!

The Republican message is all about fear mongering, but here is the thing:  it works!  So why hasn’t Obama offered support for those who feel under attack from gun cartels, as opposed to just checking the legality of a law pretty much guaranteed to violate civil rights?  The whole Republican platform has been based on fear:  fear that you won’t have health care if you sue a doctor, fear that you have to go to war or terrorists will kill you, fear that you have let big business be seen as an individual or a company’s rights will be violated, fear that if you can’t carry a gun someone will shoot you, fear that if you pay taxes you are paying for those who don’t work, fear that civil rights equal less rights for yourself.  The only problem with this manifesto is that most people run scared every day, so the Republican mantra makes sense to them.  By the way, if you don’t bail out the automakers, our economy will collapse, and the banks, and the industry, and the rather non-specific terrorism  fights…  That sort of fear circle works endlessly, and neither Obama nor any other Democrats seem able to counter the fear response adequately.

Americans don’t want to help Mexico with the drug problem either:

Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s office said in a statement Saturday that “the Mexican government condemns the approval of the law” and “the criminalization of migration.” It said the law will serve as an obstacle as Mexico and Arizona try to solve the shared problems along the border.

Mona Patton, a 58-year-old real estate agent from Prescott, said she’s proud of Brewer and the Legislature for trying to protect people from violent drug cartels. “When Arizonans aren’t safe then something has to be done. We’ve got to let law enforcement handle things,” Patton said...Opponents of the law also gathered in Tucson outside the campaign headquarters of U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat who opposes the measure and said his staff has been flooded with phone calls, some from people threatening violence and shouting racial slurs.

So aside from the published political commentary by writers working from a safe have of another state, or those who push for shared risk (other Latinos), there is not much public support for sharing risk amongst the general American public.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 7, 2010 2:07 am

    AZ is a Hate State and you are already blaming the death of the rancher on a immigrante. Some one said it could be a immigrante so you all jump on it. I wonder how many crimes they have been blamed for that they didnt do. If you have no knowledge of immigrantes other than what you read you know nothing!There is no proof a immigrant did this. As a matter of fact if he was helping them they would have wanted to repay him, because most of them are honorable & humble they appreciate anything given help or otherwise their strong sense of pride requires them to try to repay people, or thank God.
    If they are scared they run. I don’t know any that came with weapons / to heavy to carry all that way. Not only that they cost a lot of money. Maybe the drug people but the normal everyday immigrant (which most are) would not waste money on a gun. Immigrants can not receive food stamps-Medicare etc. For these programs you need a real social security card. Now if they have a child that is an American citizen these children have a right as an American to use these programs.
    And to blame all the problems on immigrant is crazy there is good and bad with all people. But under the new law I can guarantee all major crimes in AZ will be blamed on the immigrants. Weather they did it or not .because that is Joes # one goal , haters . I don’t care what he says there is proof all over the place.He is a liar! Several people holding a government office in AZ is a member white supremacist, national alliance, neo-Nazis, minuteman civil defense corps, fair, and other racist organizations. Which are all hate groups! You talk about killing them and burying them. You don’t think this corrupt sheriff hasn’t already killed a lot of immigrants? Id says every chance he gets. He lets babies die and refuses medical attention. Hate makes for more hate. Concentration camp & murder. There has to be a better way. They complain about them not having papers. But when people try to help them become legal they government gets involved and ties their hands. And all you people that think your Sheirff Joe is doing a good job. Then why are violent crimes way up?violent crimes (up 69 percent overall from 2004 to 2007, with homicides up 166 percent in those three years), 911 response times, unserved arrest warrants, racist sweeps of Latino neighborhoods, and dollars paid out in budget overruns, overtime and lawsuit settlements. Joe Arpaio has 40,000 outstanding felony warrants rotting on his desk, and violent crimes have soared. Maricopa County has paid out $43 million in private lawsuits against Arpaio. That was in 2008.
    the truth is they don’t want any ethnic group of color sharing their space. Papers or no papers. But the corrupt law enforcement has also killed white people. That’s the problem with hate groups. They don’t care who they kill. Well I’ve got news for these hate, Nazi ignoramuses they are the biggest problem with the new law.No one will get fair or just treatment.Because it allow sick people who are bigger criminals than the people are trying to get rid of. The economy is changing it is hard for everyone, so find another reason to blame your problems.How about Bush he saw this coming and did nothing left it for the new president. Immigrants were here way before we were. Without them we wouldn’t have got this far. They are the backbone of this country weather you like it or not. They have always been here for thousands of years.but now the economy has changed they stole your job yea right most of us don’t have the endurance to be in the sun for 10-15 hours a day. Or the stomach to dig shit all day. most immigrant bodies are so worn down by the time they are 45 by 50 they go home to live out their lives a little easier for working here gave them the means to have some sort of house , they have raised their kids by this time , but missed being with them to make sure the had food & clothes . If we all start fighting and the hate spreads we will only be hurting ourselves.

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