Friday, April 23, 2010

Brewer to sign SB 1070

It appears that Jan Brewer has decided that it is more important to her to look good to the Republican primary electorate than to show the kind of leadership that fellow Republican Governor Charlie Crist showed last week when he vetoed a bill that was popular with his partisans because it was a bad bill.

The word is that Brewer will sign SB 1070, which makes it a crime to be an undocumented alien in Arizona and will force all local law enforcement agencies to profile and round up potential undocumented immigrants and force them to prove their citizenship.

This has of course already been going on for several years in Maricopa County (and in fact one of Brewer's opponents in the GOP primary is our good friend the Sheriff of Nottingham himself) and if what has happened there is any indication a lot of people in Arizona who happen to be Hispanic are in for a lot of trouble. Numerous Americans who happen to be Hispanic have been detained and in some cases taken to jail by Sheriff Joe's minions even though they are American citizens-- a clear case of racial profiling.

Arizona already has a reputation (well-deserved, I'm embarrassed to say) for being intolerant. One has to wonder what kind of long term damage this is likely to do to our state-- especially since tourism is supposed to be one of the few 'growth' industries in the state.


sandyh said...

What was the excuse for targeting Jews in Europe? They drove recklessly?

When Dobbs and the Minutemen went after Hispanics before the last election, Latinos came out into the streets in the millions. I see a lot larger protests in the future swelled this time by great numbers of Anglo church people. While the drug gangs will use it to recruit young people.

It's just going to make law enforcement problems worse for overworked, under-funded police forces.

So this is the GOP strategy for the Midterms? In their desperation to find any issue to run with, they have overreached. The Silent Majority doesn't like controversies or the people who create them for purely personal gain.

And I bet this will help tremendously in new voter registration among the young and minorities, as well as getting them to the polls. It will energize our progressive coalition in a way the GOP never dreamed of while more moderate Republicans declare themselves Independents.

I used to think Arizona was primarily populated by wealthy retirees. Now I know most of them are suffering from dementia.

Anonymous said...

What part of illegal alien don't you understand. ANYONE in this country illegally is breaking the law, I want to know why members of the Hispanic community are harboring the Hispanic criminals. These criminals are the ones bringing heat on the Hispanic community. There was a recent NBC interview with a woman here in Arizona that has been here for sixteen years, she owns a flower business and she is here illegally, sixteen years and she still can't speak English. I understand someone wanting a better life so badly that they cross the border to get it, but why in the world would they not at least learn and speak the language of the country they want to be part of. Has this woman been paying taxes, does she have a license, more than likely not. The people here illegally should be afraid of being found out, they are breaking the law and the people that help them are aiding and abetting criminals and should be jailed as well. This is not a racial law or issue, it is about ANYONE in this country ILLEGALLY. We have this problem because there are far too many that turn a blind eye to it and then of course there are even those that seek to make a profit from these people.

Eli Blake said...

Hey Anonymous,

First, the biggest complaint is with racial profiling. Sheriff Arpaio has arrested and detained dozens of people who it turned out were in fact U.S. citizens or legal residents. Unfortunately for them they had certain characteristics that got them scrutinized much more closely than I would be-- for example a dark skin color or a Hispanic surname. The fact that they let you go later once you can prove you are a U.S. citizen is not much consolation if your kids have watched the police handcuffing you for not doing anything wrong.

Second, there is not a separate gene pool for 'Americans' and 'illegals.' My cousin (and my family in America goes all the way back to Plymouth Rock) is married to a man from Central America. He is a legal resident but some of his family members are not. Immigration raids often do break up families, and pontificating about a blind eye won't change that fact-- and many immigrants have extended families that include everyone from U.S. citizens to people living happily in their home country and everything in between. Once you are messing with a man's family you can forget the rest of your message because you've lost him.

Third, a real good reason they don't learn English or apply for a business license or otherwise assimilate like past generations of immigrants is because they don't want to bring themselves to the attention of the authorities because there were instances in the past (especially during the Eisenhower administration's 'operation wetback' in the 1950's) in which ESL classes, citizenship classes and similar venues actually became targets of raids. Granted those were at least a generation ago but the word is still out there that enrolling in a class to learn English or comply with other laws that require you to identify yourself could be a direct path to deportation.

Third, not everyone who does not speak English is from south of the border. I grew up in New Mexico and met a number of people (mostly from northern New Mexico) who spoke no English at all, they had simply grown up speaking Spanish-- and their ancestors were living there even before Plymouth Rock or Jamestown. Here in Arizona someone who speaks only Spanish but is not illegal is more likely to be someone who was born here (in other words, a U.S. citizen, so you can't deport them) and by now we are two or even three generations into the effect of raiding English classes in the 1950's and 1960's-- we have a permanent Spanish-only speaking population.

sandyh said...

The legal problem here is that citizens born in this country are now being made potential victims helpless to defend themselves from unwarented search and seizure. It's against the Constitution.

Just because the Patriot Act was enacted to deal with domestic terrorist threats doesn't mean all our rights and protections went out the door, too. This isn't about illegals. It's about legal citizens being treated as aliens.

It wasn't right when the country treated Japanese Americans this way during a war. So it most certainly isn't right now. This law has been enacted for no other reason than to try to compensate for the disastrous results of allowing employers to import illegal workers for decades.

Throw the employers in jail who will not use the verification process. That should stem the tide while we try to get a handle on the situation which developed since Reagan's first amnesty bill was adopted and job verification was ignored.

Then set up an immigration process to deal with those who have been here for years and have native born children. They shouldn't get preferential treatment, but they can't be ignored either.

More over, we have to realize that everyone must present valid ID when they are stopped by police because of justifiable cause. But allowing authorities to intimidate law-abiding citizens is something else entirely.

The wider overview of this problem rests with the Mexican drug dealers. Their violence needs to be addressed. The Mexican government is apparently so corrupt that it will not seriously address the problem.

Our federal government must take steps to make the Mexican President and Parliament realize that we are feed up with their indifference and will take actions to protect our people.

Bringing back our Reserves and National Guard from the Middle East and stationing them along the border would be the first step. If this doesn't work, we would have every right to declaring a state of war. I would hope the Mexicans would realize what this would do to their economic stability.

We have three problems here. One is with Mexico and the drug war. The second is with employers who are still ignoring verification. And the third is with setting up an amnesty process to incorporate those illegals who are long-time residents with American born children.

The real problem here is that all these problems, like so many others in this country, have been neglected for so long and been allowed to develop into bigger problems. But passing a law that solves none of those problems, while infringing on the rights of legal citizens, is not the answer.

It's an act of shear desperation not a matter of wise governance. So let's face the music instead of allowing the Republicans to dodge the question yet again.

Put the immigration reform bill up for a vote and get our troops bacl home asap.

SolidarityAZ said...

This might help the AZ law enforcers identify who is *illegal* or not - in the spirit of Spartacus.

Anonymous said...

Eli, do you have a link to the text of the law that was actually signed? One draft I have lists an AZ license (or tribal ID) as proof of citizenship - if there is still 'resonable suspicion' other documents (birth certificates, etc. could be produced) but the drafts I find now shows AZ just turning you over to the FEDs and AZ makes no attempt to determine citizenship (or immigration status).

Eli Blake said...

Yes, right here:

Eli Blake said...

Also in order to 'address' concerns about racial profiling the legislature passed a clarification that states specfically that race can't be the sole reason for checking documentation. Of course that implies that it can be a reason, so it's still a bad bill.