[Speaking Truth To Empower]
President Barack Obama attacked Arizona’s anti-immigration bill warning it will probably “undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.”
The legislation now faces several legal challenges. In one particular challenge, 45-year-old Tucson Police Officer Martin Escobar, a 15-year veteran, contends the law promotes racial profiling.
The bill, SB 1070, was sponsored by Arizona State Republican Senator Russell Pearce. Some of the bill’s provisions include: (1) “Requires officials and agencies to reasonably attempt to determine the immigration status of a person involved in a lawful contact where reasonable suspicion exists regarding the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation.”(2) “Authorizes a peace officer to arrest a person without a warrant if the officer has
probable cause to believe that the person has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the U.S.” (3) “Stipulates that if the person is arrested, the person’s immigration status must be determined before the person is released and must be verified with the federal government.” (4) Specifies that in addition to any violation of federal law, a person is guilty of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document if the person is in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1304(e) or 1306(a).
The legislation was signed into law by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. It is expected to take effect by August. Several politicians and immigrants rights groups have decried the legislation as draconian. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund said “Governor Brewer caved to the radical fringe.” They also warned the law would cultivate “a spiral of pervasive fear, community distrust, increased crime and costly litigation, with nationwide repercussions.”
Pearce, the main drafter of the legislation, has courted controversy before. In 2006, he circulated an e-mail entitled: Who Rules America to his supporters from the white supremacist group the National Alliance. In the e-mail the Alliance attacks African Americans, Jews and Latinos, among others.
In a disparaging manner it opines about “the rapidly darkening racial situation in America,” the “Jewish ‘Holocaust’ tale,” and the “flood of non-White aliens pouring across our borders.” It also characterizes White racists as “racially conscious,” persons and derides the notion of “the equality of the races.”
Pearce, also, spoke glowingly about the 1954 deportation of around 1 million Mexicans, during Operation Wetback. The term Wetback started as a racial slur against Mexicans and was extended to all Latinos. Operation Wetback mirrored the forced migration of Mexicans during the Great Depression. From 1929 to 1939 America deported around 1 million people of
Mexican descent. However, around 60 percent of these people were American citizens.
Because of these bigots in Arizona, Washington will be forced to address the issue of illegal immigration. Perhaps, America should look at the impoverishment it has inflicted on Latin America with economic “Free Trade” debacles like NAFTA. Who will talk about those so-called “illegal” aliens, coming across the border, who’ve lost their jobs because of these exploitative economic measures? What about U.S. foreign policy and how it has helped to stifle the self-determination of the Latin American people by propping up the most anti-democratic and despotic elements in the region over the years. Perhaps, we need a real “Good Neighbor” policy that will encourage fair economic growth in Latin America. If Washington did that we wouldn’t have a problem at the southern border.
Unfortunately, political panderers, like Senator John McCain, have embraced this racist law. Arizona has now made ethnic, racial profiling the law in their land. This bill has codified prejudicial stopping anyone who looks like a Mexican, or, who speaks Spanish. However, this bill is but one component of the racism Arizona has been fostering. Arizona has also passed HB2281. This bill is an apparent attempt to limit educational courses—primarily, anything having to do with ethnic studies—that doesn’t
conform to their warped, white Eurocentric viewpoint. In one provision it prohibits classes “designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic
Comically, in another provision it, purportedly, bans any class that promotes “the overthrow of the United States government.” Why don’t they go after Arizonians advocating overthrowing the Obama White House? Aren’t these the same people who tried to pass a bill, before shelving it, which would’ve forced President Obama to “prove” his citizenship if he wanted his name on Arizona’s ballot to run for re-election in 2012?
Let’s not kid ourselves; Arizona has a history of backwardness with respect to racial intolerance. Arizona, and Senator John McCain, fought against the Dr. King holiday. For years Arizona refused to observe it.
Arizona is also the home of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is infamous for his bigoted attacks, and sweeps, against Mexican communities. The truth is the so-called immigration issue isn’t about “illegality.” It is about the darkening demographics of
America, and those who fear White supremacy is coming to an end.
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