Shame on Arizona

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today signed the draconian anti-immigrant bill passed by the legislature into law. (Background here.) Before the signing, President Obama criticized it:

The Arizona law, he added, threatened “to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”

The bill blatantly encourages racial and ethnic profiling. While it goes into effect in August, court challenges are expected immediately. The ACLU says the bill threatens civil rights and public safety. [More...]

"By signing this bill into law, Brewer has just authorized violating the rights of millions of people living and working here. She has just given every police agency in Arizona a mandate to harass anyone who looks or sounds foreign, while doing nothing to address the real problems we're facing."

The specifics:

The new law...requires police agencies across Arizona to investigate the immigration status of every person they come across whom they have "reasonable suspicion" to believe is in the country unlawfully. To avoid arrest, citizens and immigrants will effectively have to carry their "papers" at all times. The law also makes it a state crime for immigrants to willfully fail to register with the Department of Homeland Security and carry registration documents. It further curtails the free speech rights of day laborers and encourages unchecked information sharing between government agencies.

Will the Obama Administration act on its professed principles and opposition to the law?

Currently, the administration has a prime opportunity to take a stand on the issue, because the solicitor general will soon file a brief explaining the administration's position on Arizona's unconstitutional employer sanctions law, passed in 2007, which creates a state-level immigrant employment verification and sanctions regime.

The ACLU is calling on Obama to take a stand in that case:

"Actions speak louder than words," said Omar Jadwat, a staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project. "As the federal government sits on its hands, Arizona's anti-immigrant brushfires have turned into a firestorm. We call on the administration to file a brief categorically opposing Arizona's employer sanctions law to demonstrate its commitment to stopping anti-immigrant laws that interfere with federal authority, wreak havoc on businesses and cause discrimination against Latinos."

The Immigrants Solidarity Network says:

Let’s chant even louder. Let us be who we are: humans with dignity, with pride and a strong identity. Let us not allow them to portray us as “the poor ones” that have to be protected because they are afraid. No, we are people in resistance, noble, peaceful and brave.

The civil rights crisis in Arizona goes beyond the issues of immigration. Neither should our fight be reduced to a legislative strategy in Washington, DC. This is about the future of our country. We are either a country of exclusion or inclusion. We are either a country where we all have the right to life, liberty, and the search for happiness, or a country where people are judged and their opportunities limited based on the color of their skin.

The Anti-Defamation League weighs in here.

I hope everyone boycotts Arizona. Not a dime today, not a dollar tomorrow, until this law is found unconstitutional.

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  • Display: Sort:
    It Will Backfire, IMO (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 10:56:25 PM EST
    The GOP are out of control and are overplaying their hand.

    This sort of GOP anti immigrant fearmongering may have held some traction under BushCo, with his weekly terror alerts, but with the Dems in charge, as lame as they may be, the public will not put up with this sort of blatant fascism.

    This and the Oklahoma anti choice bill and other GOP dirty dealing, will ensure dem routing mid term elections, imo.

    Another stake in the coffin for permanent GOP rule.

    I tend to agree (none / 0) (#2)
    by ruffian on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 11:05:51 PM EST
    The most vocal republicans are the dems secret weapons, IMO.

    But I've certainly overestimated the public before.


    Yeah Me Too (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 11:26:23 PM EST
    I was sure that Reagan twice,  Bush I, Bush II twice, would never get elected..

    These fascist policies have been building for a while, but they are dependent on radical GOP rule, imo. Since that is gone, I do not think that they will get away with it this time.

    They will retrench back to their pre 9/11 precient lament:

    "Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor..." ...



    Are hispanics allowed to vote? (none / 0) (#4)
    by NealB on Fri Apr 23, 2010 at 11:43:02 PM EST
    They've got the numbers to upend the balance, but I don't think they're permitted to vote as much as white folk are. Same, of course, is true of blacks. And poor people in general are so busy trying to survive they're too exhausted to vote.

    It's not giving the public too much or too little credit, it's the inertia of racism.


    What are these "papers" everyone (none / 0) (#5)
    by caseyOR on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 12:10:35 AM EST
    is supposed to carry in Arizona?  Jeralyn's post says that everyone, including citizens, must show their "papers" when asked for them by a police officer. We don't have, and I don't want, national identity cards in the United States.

    So, what are these papers? It doesn't sound like a drivers license qualifies. Are people supposed to carry a birth certificate in their wallets? Federal law prohibits the use of Social Security cards as ID.

    So, what's a citizen to do? When I caught a clip of Gov. Brewer on the news she was insisting that all people in Arizona, not just the brown ones, will be stopped and asked for these mysterious papers. Boy howdy, I would love to be there if the cops stop my 85 year old uncle and demand his "papers".

    Oh ... this will be FUN (none / 0) (#9)
    by nyrias on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 12:24:19 PM EST
    I am waiting for some cop in Arizona to stop some out-of-towners and have to put them in jail or something if they cannot produce a passport.

    It would make a GREAT CNN story. Probably Youtube video and the governor would have to do damage control and looking silly in front of national tv.

    YEah i can see it now ... "Sorry ..we have to detain your 5 yr old white girl because she does not have a passport on her" ... hahahhahaha


    Boycot it is. (none / 0) (#6)
    by mexboy on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 05:57:23 AM EST
    They will go the way of Pete Wilson.
     Just when I start to think that Obama is bad and maybe voting for a republican wouldn't be so bad, they remind me how regressive and nasty they are!

    It is important to remember (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by christinep on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 01:58:12 PM EST
    "how regressive and nasty they (Repubs)are. And, we need to highlight that; since in the echo chamber of blog threads, the woes and perceived wrongs of Democrats tend to be highlighted (and highlighted and highlighted.) It is the wake-up call thing. Usually, in politics, I reject the age-old good & evil dichotomy and focus on gradations. Yet, the cumulative shenanigans of the present Republican Party make for a cheap scary movie.  Except...the Republicans are not a film image or a theory; they and their situation in Arizona are very real. We should do a catalog of the more harmful Republican shenanigans on a state-by-state basis...might be a best seller.

    Good idea (none / 0) (#7)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 06:23:39 AM EST
    Let's sanction a state and starve out the citizens.

    Are the citizens of Arizona... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 10:18:48 AM EST
    not ultimately responsible for this crap?

    I know its kind of a raw deal, and people will suffer...sh*t I don't like being responsible for the dirty my state government does, I'd like to dodge that responsibility, but at the end of the day I am partially responsible, as we all are for the actions of our government.

    We'll never do sh*t about it till we feel some consequences personally (worse before it gets better).  If the people of Arizona don't want people boycotting their state, they better get on getting this garbage repealed and fast.


    Of course (none / 0) (#11)
    by nyjets on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 02:19:57 PM EST
    AS outsiders, what right do we have to tell the people of Arizona what to do. They feel than 'undocumented immigrants' are a threat to them (and honestly, from an economic POV, they are right). As outsiders, this is a state issue. IOW, it is no one else's business but their own.

    Outsider? (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 02:24:10 PM EST
    Are you from a muslim country? China, Russia? You are the one who seems the outsider here, imo.

    outsider (none / 0) (#13)
    by nyjets on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 02:58:33 PM EST
    Outsiders in the sense for people who do not live in Arizona.

    Yes Ever Expanding or Contracting Goal Posts (none / 0) (#14)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 03:25:01 PM EST
    To suit your purposes.

    America is not a fascist state, as much as you seem to want it to be.

    Would you also cheer racial cleansing by a particular state?


    I never said (none / 0) (#15)
    by nyjets on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 03:40:45 PM EST
    I never said that I wanted to turn the US into a fascist state.
    I do feel however that as we continue to allow more immgrants into this country, like the 'undocumented' our economy will be overwealmed and eventually destroyed.
    Furthermore, I do not associate this legislation as being anywear near to racial cleansing.

    Amazing (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by christinep on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 04:26:36 PM EST
    I and so many others should start packing, I guess. My Polish immigrant maternal grandparents and my Slovenian immigrant paternal grandparents would certainly be glad that your attitude was not law when they arrived in the early 1900s. And, at that time, a lot of people were trying to push back immigrants as well...you know, they weren't from the British Isles or the blondikis from the Scandanavian countries. (And, 20 or 30 years earlier, the Irish faced the "Irish need not apply" signs.) Look, anti-immigrant attitudes appear periodically in American society (especially during economic stress.) Think about it. That aspect of American society--the I've got mine, everybody else out of here--is not new, just a sad repeat of periodic ugliness. As I recall, historical lessons often demonstrate that immigrants contribute to economic vibrancy and an ongoing renewal process that is the hallmark of this country. Unless you are an American Indian, nyjets, your fear of immigration is likely misplaced. Where does the fear come from?

    There are some differences (none / 0) (#17)
    by nyjets on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 04:36:44 PM EST
    There are a lot of differences between then and now.
    1. Our economy is no longer and can no longer grow any bigger. It can not handle any more people. There are simply not enough jobs and resources. We are loosing jobs every month. For every immigrant that comes to this country is one less job for an American citizen to have.
    2. The population of this country is close to critical mass. This country can no longer sustain any more influx of people.
    Basically things are a lot different now than they were in the past. If we continue to allow more immigration, whether it it 'documented' or 'undocumented', the economy will be destroyed.

    Things are always "different" (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by christinep on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 06:20:47 PM EST
    And, they are always the same. I do feel the depth of your belief in what you asserted. Yet, your sentences are themselves conclusions. In fact, the periodic anti-immigration fervor experienced in this country (and in other countries--witness, e.g., Britain and France as well as economically ravaged 1930s Germany)often reprises the same "we can't get any bigger" or "we will lose jobs" argument. Really, I do understand the jobs argument...as the daughter of one who had to quit school to work in the mines and a relative of others once similarly situated, I've lived and respect the fear of job loss. But, in all honesty, I ask you to read some works on the history of American immigration, and then see if you can look at this with different eyes. Talk to families who have watched each generation meld, grow, and prosper in this great land. Each pattern is strikingly similar--historically--and there is every reason to believe that this wave will be no different. Also: While I do not pretend to foresee how the job market will evolve, admittedly, I start with a touch of faith...in ourselves. Don't let fear get the better part of you. Fear is much too stifling and, ultimately, defeating of all that we are.

    Examine your premise (none / 0) (#19)
    by diogenes on Sat Apr 24, 2010 at 10:59:16 PM EST
    "The bill blatantly encourages racial and ethnic profiling."
    The problem is with your premise that profiling is somehow by definition an evil thing. Most Americans profile all the time.  Even Jesse Jackson said that he would cross the street if he saw several teenage blacks walking down his side of the street.
    If Obama and the Dems want to fight the 2010 elections on a platform of "no ethnic profiling", then they can have it.