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Ear to the Ground

Arizona Bears Down on Illegal Immigrants

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Posted on Apr 2, 2010
AP / Victor Calzada

A U.S. Border Patrol agent checks an irrigation ditch near Fabens, Texas, about 200 miles from the Arizona border, in 2008.

Arizona is known for its anti-immigration climate, with vigilante sheriffs seemingly ruling the day. Now, that anti-immigration sentiment may be about to be implemented by the state’s political system, as the Legislature votes on a bill that would significantly toughen laws against undocumented immigrants.

The bill, which is expected to pass the Legislature, makes anyone who is in the state without documentation papers a de facto criminal. Police must check the residency of anyone they believe to be in the country illegally, and anyone knowingly transporting an undocumented immigrant is subject to arrest.

Even police departments are calling the measures burdensome and impractical. —JCL

NewsJunkiePost.com:

The state legislature of Arizona is poised to pass a bill that makes the presence of an undocumented immigrant anywhere in the state illegal. Many experts believe this is an unconstitutional measure aimed at appeasing angry conservative voters in the 2010 elections.

Arizona is ground zero for the debate about immigration policy in America, and you can feel it. Nowhere is the atmosphere more charged and polarized between those pushing for harsher laws and reformers. Nowhere is there a more heightened sense of the demographic changes taking place in the country, and more sharp views about it either way.

The dominant political apparatus in Arizona is currently conservative, but many in the Tea Party movement are attacking the incumbents from the right for not being ‘conservative enough’ on many issues, first and foremost immigration. This is ironic, because the original Tea Parties were grassroots libertarian events, and the official Libertarian Party platform clearly states their stance on an open border policy. Ever since the traditional conservatives rolled their astroturf over this fledgling movement and took it over, the rhetoric has become harsher and harsher against immigration, possibly explaining why there are so few Latinos in attendance. Regardless, the ground campaign of the Tea Parties has re-energized anti-immigration forces to push politicians from the right.

The Arizona senate recently passed bill 1070, sponsored by Sen. Russell Pearce (R-Mesa). The bill has a few provisions.

• It outlaws the hiring of day laborers off the street
• Prohibits anyone from knowingly transporting an undocumented immigrant
• Forces police to check the residency status of people they suspect are in the country illegally

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By Tarjei Straume, April 9, 2010 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If you’re in a country illegally—ANY country, fluent command of the spoken language is a must. Otherwise, you’ll have to hide in the bushes and move in and out of the shadows. Your spoken skills should surpass many natives, and your accent or dialect should be attributable to some place, or places, inside the country’s borders. You need to acquaint yourself with recent national history so well it’s like you’ve lived there all your life.

And in America, you need to learn as much as you can handle about baseball, football, basketball and other things many people are passionate about. Think of yourself as a Russian sleeper during the Cold War.

Don’t socialize with strangers when intoxicated; your accent will slip. Never fear authorities; shoot the breeze with the local cops, but stay far away from experienced and intelligent INS and Border Patrol folks, who can sometimes smell your illegality a mile away and may be phonetic experts with highly trained and attuned ears. (I once had an extremely close call between San Antonio and El Paso, talked myself out of it, whew.)

It may also be helpful, but far from necessary and very rarely required, to beat a polygraph. Having graduated from acting school helps with all of the above, of course.

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By jazlynn, April 8, 2010 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dido@ wakethehellup it’s a mystery to me why anybody would move to this country without making learning english one of their top prioritys. I have been denied numerous jobs because I don’t speak spanish, that’s remarkably like discrimination to.

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By wakethehellup, April 7, 2010 at 4:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m an Independent who leans strongly Democrat and I APPLAUD ARIZONA. I believe most politicians think most Democrat and Democrat leaning Independent voters want to allow all this illegal immigration, but we don’t. We do have empathy toward the plight of our neighbors to the south, but we also believe that you can’t help keep others from falling off of a cliff, if you don’t anchor yourself from falling off first and boy, we’re falling off fast. With the thing that Cali. is trying to do with their Marijuana laws and Arizona passing this creative new trespass law, we might see some things start to change. If passed, the proposed Cali. law will destroy the illegal marijuana trafficing from Mexico and countries further south, to California and illiminate the benefits of illegals and others planting hemp gardens in our national parks. If we can get all the border states to follow these two examples, non-border states will some get tired of their illegal immigrant handicaps and follow suit. Once that even starts to happen, the Feds. will act, because then, they’ll know that the “real majority” means business. Alright Republicans, let’s work together on this common ground issue, but let’s have commonsense compassion. I recommend that we promote the idea that any illegal who can prove they’ve been here, working and without criminal issues for ten years or more, counting back from 2005, be granted permanent residency and a path to citizenship. This offer should come with fines, an end to the scorned anchor-baby statute and a requirement that they must take and complete government supplied english language classes, if they can’t already speak and read english.

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By Tarjei Straume, April 5, 2010 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Undocumented aliens arrive from outer space.
I saw one in the bushes with a funny-looking face.
The papers say they’re coming from some place in Mexico,
but I have seen them jump out from a giant UFO!Recruit More Distributors

The Pentagon is worried about alien attacks.
Some people tell me aliens have liquid on their backs!
They went to Mars in search of them but could not find a trace.
One immigration lawyer flew to Venus on a case.

The INS is frantic, and they don’t know what to do.
They’re handing out those green cards, but some aliens are blue!
Red alert is on, and there’s an awful lot of fuss -
Rumors say that aliens look just like some of us!

Undocumented aliens are roaming around wild.
One could be your governor - another one your child!
With eighteen federal files on every native motorist,
they’d better find those aliens and add them to the list!

( - Tarjei Straume, Phoenix 1981)

I delivered the above in person to the INS office while illegally in the US for 11 years, where I never received any public health care or similar services, although I did pay some taxes. Now I’ve been back in Norway for a couple of decades— allegedly the richest country in the world (compared to the small population)—where I hear exactly the same arguments against illegals. I think all persons who rave against illegals should spend a few years somewhere as illegals themselves, just to get the hang of it wink

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By jazlynn, April 4, 2010 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Racism always loses in America? That’s the biggest lie since the “the earth is flat” illegal immigrants should be deported, when their presense here is having a negative affect on citizens. I personally have a serious problem with immigrants receiving free healthcare when im a taxpaying citizen and have no insurance.  In no way do I hate immigrants I just believe citizens should come first.

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By stcfarms, April 4, 2010 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

If you did not have a relative living here on oct, 11th 1492 then you are an
illegal alien.

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By Tarjei Straume, April 3, 2010 at 7:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Once upon a time—make that 30 years ago—I was an illegal alien living in Arizona, driving taxicabs and getting high with my colleagues at Sky Harbor Airport between arrivals. In those days, it was fairly safe to be an outlaw like that—well, as long as your eyes were blue and your name wasn’t Spanish. But things have changed.

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By SoTexGuy, April 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

Enough partisan rhetoric, from both sides of the issue..

The discussion needs to be pared down to the essential question .. do the United States and by extension the individual states have the right to control immigration? I think the answer is yes and not only is it a right it is a necessity.

Want change? Make a series of workable laws which better serve both those living now in our country and those seeking entry.. but first serving our citizens.. and until then enforce our existing law.

Though I do not think illegals are demons.. Crossing our border illegally is a serious crime and those doing so include many who come here to do us harm by breaking other laws. Illegal entrants have made the choice to break some of our most important laws as their first act as residents. Many deserve our empathy (understanding) but not necessarily our sympathy, as in the form of amnesty of some special dispensations.

It belittles the work and sincerity of the millions of our citizens who came here from abroad within our law.. to somehow suggest that now none of our laws or immigration quotas really mean anything… and that anybody that can make it here by hook or by crook is to be welcomed.

I live on the US-Mexico border. I’m not insulted or threatened by Mexicans or people of Mexican heritage. I also see first hand the problems associated with local communities having to absorb too many new residents with few skills and resources..

It is a big issue with many people personally invested in how things work out. Some of those grandstanding out in Arizona (in whatever cause) aren’t helping to solve anything.

Adios!

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By gerard, April 2, 2010 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

Fear causes anti-immigration behavior.
Lack of, or loss of a job causes fear.
Difference of skin-color and culture causes fear.
Lack of education causes fear.
Feeling one has no influence on government policies
  causes fear and anger.
Radio talk shows, local editorials, some local preachers and politicians stimulate fear and anger.

Behavior based on fear and anger is usually either ineffective or counter-productive, or both. If fear and anger are allowed to dictate behavior, the result is persecution and injustice.  If “the law” upholds persecution and injustice it is bad law, no matter how many people favor it. Bad law administered by fearful angry officials kills democracy.

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By gerard, April 2, 2010 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

Fear causes anti-immigration behavior.
Lack of, or loss of a job causes fear.
Difference of skin-color and culture causes fear.
Lack of education causes fear.
Feeling one has no influence on government policies
  causes fear and anger.
Radio talk shows, local editorials, some local preachers and politicians stimulate fear and anger.

Behavior based on fear and anger is usually either ineffective or counter-productive, or both. If fear and anger are allowed to dictate behavior, the result is persecution and injustice.  If “the law” upholds persecution and injustice it is bad law, no matter how many people favor it. Bad law administered by fearful angry officials kills democracy.

Report this

By Ivan, April 2, 2010 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Joe Arpaio and JD whatever his name is must be arrested and deported back in time to Nazi Germany. Those 2 monsters do not belong to the human species. Do not be afraid, people, there is always darkness before light comes and takes over. Racism always loses in America and a just comprehensive immigration reform is a matter of when, not if.

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