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Boycotting Arizona’s Racism

Posted on Apr 28, 2010

Arizona was the only territory west of Texas to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy during the Civil War. A century later, it fought recognition of the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday. This week, an anti-immigrant bill was signed into law by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer. Arizona Senate Bill 1070 empowers state and local law enforcement to stop, question and arrest whoever they suspect may not be in the state legally. The law is an open invitation to sweeping racial profiling and arbitrary detention.

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The law ostensibly offers “cooperative enforcement of federal immigration laws throughout all of Arizona.” It provides that a “law enforcement officer, without a warrant, may arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.”

Thus, if a police officer suspects a Latino person of being an undocumented immigrant, he or she can lock that person up. Day laborers are targeted. It is illegal to accept (or make) a job offer in some roadside settings, and even makes “communication by a gesture or a nod” in accepting a work offer an arrestable offense. S.B. 1070 goes further, facilitating anonymous reporting of businesses that anyone suspects has undocumented employees.

President Barack Obama denounced the bill, saying: “Our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others, and 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. In fact, I’ve instructed members of my administration to closely monitor the situation and examine the civil-rights and other implications of this legislation.”

There is a serious backlash against the bill in Arizona and around the country. Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat from Tucson and co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is front and center in opposing the controversial law. He told me: “It’s a license to racially profile. It creates a second-class status for primarily Latinos and people of color in the state of Arizona. ... Arizona’s been the petri dish for these kinds of harsh, racist initiatives.”


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Legal groups are mounting challenges to the law. Sunita Patel is a staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. According to Patel, “It allows the local law-enforcement agencies to check not only the FBI databases, which they’ve traditionally always done, it also allows them to sync up with immigration databases, which are notoriously unreliable because of errors with the data entry because they just have incorrect information on citizenship status ... so you have this very broad net being cast.”

Grijalva is calling on the federal government to refuse to cooperate with Arizona. “Immigration is a federal law, and if we’re asking the president for him not to cooperate in the implementation of this law through Homeland Security, through Border Patrol, through detention and a noncooperative stance by the United States government and the federal agencies, [it] would render much of this legislation moot and ineffective,” he said.

He also is calling for people to boycott his own state: “I support some very targeted economic sanctions on the state of Arizona. We will be asking national organizations, civic, religious, political organizations not to have conferences and conventions in the state of Arizona. That there has to be an economic consequence to this action and to this legislation. And good organizations across this country, decent organizations that agree with us that this bill is patently racist, that it is unconstitutional and it’s harsh, it’s unjust, that they should refrain from bringing their business to the state.”

Already, the American Immigration Lawyers Association has decided to move its fall 2010 annual conference from Arizona to another state. San Francisco Board of Supervisors member David Campos, saying that Arizona “with a stroke of a pen set the clock back on a generation of civil-rights gains,” is confident that his resolution calling for the city to boycott Arizona will pass. Similar city boycotts are being considered in Oakland, Calif., and El Paso, Texas. Sportswriter Dave Zirin is supporting a boycott of the Diamondbacks, Arizona’s major league baseball team.

Close to 30 percent of the Arizona population identifies itself as Hispanic. It was a boycott that eventually forced the state to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is a shame that similar tactics are needed again.

Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 800 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

© 2010 Amy Goodman

Distributed by King Features Syndicate

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 3, 2010 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

melpol, May 3 at 9:54 pm,

You must be a Right-Wing Republican EXTREMIST toady.  The workers are not lazy here.  Tell that to the miners.  It’s the economy.  There are two different economies, but the Right-Wing is doing all possible to push the United States to being exactly the same as Mexico and that would make you happy, yes?

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By melpol, May 3, 2010 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment

I agree with MarthaA and her assessment of the Republican party.  The attraction
of the illegal immigrants to employers is not only for their low wages but also for
the quality of their work. Most small manufacturers cannot afford to pay more
then the minimum wage. The locals that are willing to work are usually lazy or
slow minded. The illegal immigrant is a savior, he accepts only 10 dollars an hour
but is worth 30. The employer is limited to a cash only payroll, but his profits are
large enough to give Uncle Sam his cut. The shortage in employable workers must
be ended. Opening up the border would not only bring in a large workforce of
quality workers, but also create more tax payers.

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By MarthaA, May 3, 2010 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

The Republicans aren’t trying to keep the Mexicans out, they are only playing like it.  Melpol is right, the Republicans are trying to completely fool the populace as a whole and break the unions, because Republicans are against socialists, unions, liberals, community, progressives, liberalism, socialism for the populace and the populace recognizing their power.  Republicans represent the Chamber of Commerce, the GOP, big business and big industry, big Banksters and big insurance corporations, whatever produces big capital.  Republicans play like, but do not represent any member of the populace; and in a capitalist two political party society, Republicans represent the upper crust and in no way feel a need to politically represent the populace, that is the other party’s position, and if the other party, the Democrats, do not, it will not be done, but there will be plenty of representative rhetoric to the contrary.

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By melpol, May 3, 2010 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Peon labor is needed by investors, without them there would be no reason to
invest in anything from a small business to a food processing plant.  Thank the
Lord for creating the peon, they have come to the rescue and saved the American
economy. The anger by protestors against 20 million illegals would be short lived
if they all picked up their sombreros and swam back across the Rio Grande. The
nation would then experience the greatest inflation and depression in its history.

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By MarthaA, May 3, 2010 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

doob, May 2 at 1:53 pm,

You are without perspective.  Undocumented workers are seduced by business and industry in the United States for cheap labor and they come because they need work.

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By melpol, May 3, 2010 at 10:14 am Link to this comment

The hot winds are carrying the desire of 40 million Mexicans that want to live the
good life in the USA. This is not fiction but a result of the latest Zogby poll. Their
influx will break the backs of union labor, give the Democratic Party new votes,
and make the dream of MLK a reality. The walls are bursting at the seams and the
flood of millions of new immigrants will soon wash America clean.

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By room206, May 2, 2010 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Suppose the impetuous teenage daughter of Amy Goodman were to run away to Arizona with illegal immigrant Juan Hermoso, because he calls her his flower and she thinks he’s the one?  What if Juan is really Jose Asesino, undocumented and wanted for kidnap and murder in his own country?
Are we to believe Amy Goodman wouldn’t call Arizona law enforcement officials to investigate and find her daughter, because she thinks illegal immigrants shouldn’t be questioned in America?
Or would Amy franticly contact every person, and organization she knows for help, hysterically scream for 911 to do something, beg and plead with law enforcement officials at any level to declare interstate Amber Alerts, instigate dragneting, questioning, detaining and arresting of any uncooperative illegal withholding information, while humbly praying that no harm befalls her child?

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By doob, May 2, 2010 at 9:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So, it would be ok for me to come over to your house,
raid your refrigerator, prop back in your recliner and
watch whatever I felt like on your tv and told you to
keep your mouth shut?

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By Joe G, May 1, 2010 at 11:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am from Escondido, CA. I see where this is going and I do not like it!

News flash: The people in Arizona do not need you to tell them what a Mexican is. They have been living amongst them unlike you.

Question: Do you know what Democracy is?

The down side of illegal immigration falls into the laps of the most vulnerable people. Poor working people “latch key kids” etc.

When you hurl insults like “racist” “Stupid” “Uneducated” you are excluding from the conversation the very people that we should be listening to!!

Do not be hurling accusations of “Confederate” and “Racists” towards me, because I have had enough of it and I WILL stand up to you!!@!

Everything is probably fine and dandy (as usual) in San Francisco, but it is not always “shiny happy people holding hands” around here in Southern California.

It is people like you that the Mexicans should be afraid of. Ignorant and unaware delusional fascists looking for slaves!

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By Corinthia, May 1, 2010 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Native Americans are poor and brown—and if born on a reservation don’t necessary have a state issued birth certificate—they may just be a few in Arizona - how about instead of asking them for their papers—they ask the illegal land stealing Europeans to go back to Europe?

Oh that’s right if it was your grandparents that stole the land it is ok, you have the guns and it is your land now.  Hypocrites -

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By MarthaA, May 1, 2010 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

omygodnotagain, May 1 at 4:38 pm,

It is not Liberals, but Conservative Right-Wing EXTREMISTS that are causing all the problems in our country.  You could be talking about the neo-liberals, which are conservatives, as well. 

This is a capitalist country.  Capitalism exploits for benefit.  There is no way the AZ Dept. of Commerce or the U.S. Dept. of Commerce will see fit to make business and industry get rid of the undocumented workers by taxing them until it isn’t feasible to hire them, because it is cheap labor and cheap labor that makes profits for the capitalists. Anything else that is said is cheap oppressive tricks exploiting, oppressing and tyrannizing the undocumented workers.  Cheap labor is all capitalism and conservative capitalists corporations are concerned about.

You may be overwhelmed with undocumented workers, but get used to it or move, because they are here to stay.  Capitalism will keep them.

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By REDHORSE, May 1, 2010 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment

Great comments:Mcoyote-NABNYC-and others—You are correct.Thank You!! I appreciate the effort. No easy answers to yet another bad reality created by a corrupt Fed.

Enjoyed your comments—hope you’ll pardon my anger. I’m just overwhelmed with the sense that something beautiful is being murdered right before our eyes.

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By swain, May 1, 2010 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment
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By omygodnotagain, May 1, 2010 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

This is why Liberals are despised. From Manhattan, DC or Boston in some cushy place they make pronouncements about what people should do at the other end of the country. They do not live with the overcrowded schools, with gangs recruiting kids for crime, they don’t go to the overloaded hospitals where women are having babies and care free of charge. They don’t have to pick up the bill. They don’t care if they are drug mules enriching crime bosses south of the border. These liberals are fundamentalists, no different from the free market fundamentalists who believe we should have no financial controls, or the religious fundamentalists who believe that their creed is right and everyone else wrong.
When a system of checks to protect the population is suggested they scream about liberty and racism, when the only practical way to monitor who is coming in and what they plan to do is to give them ids its an invasion of privacy. What do you want Arizona to do, take down the border, just let them all flood in.
Liberal stupidity no wonder this country is moving to the right. I consider myself a progressive.

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By MarthaA, May 1, 2010 at 7:47 am Link to this comment

NABNYC, April 30 at 8:26 pm,

“Of course businesses love it because they get cheap labor.”

Instead of government forcing the populace of the United States to do unto others what they wouldn’t want done unto them in the same situation, it would seem more appropriate to make laws taxing the companies who employ the undocumented workers at a high enough rate to discourage the practice and police the companies, but of course, due to capitalism, that will never be.

The Southwestern United States is the homeland of the aboriginal people of that area, that was Mexico.  Because their homeland was forcefully taken away from them by the United States and occupied through supposed Manifest Destiny doesn’t make it right to run aboriginal citizens off the land.  In no way can I find it in my heart to decide they can’t live on the land given to them by God. 

This is all just a farce engaged in by Arizona to cause a propaganda conflict for President Obama in the first place, as the government of the United States will never interfere with commerce, the basis of capitalism, which is why Arizona will never make and enforce a law to tax companies for the use of cheap undocumented labor that would be against commerce.

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By NABNYC, April 30, 2010 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

It’s unclear whether opponents of the bill oppose it because they believe it will result in harassment of citizens.  Or whether they oppose it because they believe it will result in the detention and deportation of illegal immigrants.

In the former case, the law on its face does not direct harassment of citizens.  If it is applied in that way, then a legal challenge will likely succeed.  The mere act of asking somebody for their papers is not unconstitutional.  Federal immigration law requires lawful permanent residents (immigrants who have moved here legally but not yet become citizens) to carry with them their status papers (commonly called green cards) at all times, and they may at any time be asked by any representative of the state to show those papers.  The Arizona law does not seem different and therefore will not likely be deemed unconstitutional.

No doubt Arizona has a racist past and present.  But that does not mean the citizens are required to allow their state to be overrun by illegal immigrants from Mexico—people who have no legal right to live or work in this country.  I don’t doubt that many residents of Arizona have legitimate reasons for wanting illegal immigrants to be deported.

Any citizen with less than a high school education will cost the city and state of residence $85,000 over their lifetime.  They do not earn enough to pay significant taxes, but they and their families do use social service resources (schools, water, sanitation, police, fire).  This is not bigotry, it’s an economic fact.  Having large numbers of generally uneducated immigrants move into an area creates a financial loss for the local municipality.  Of course businesses love it because they get cheap labor. 

For those who support amnesty, keep in mind that our current laws allow any lawful permanent resident or citizen to bring here their parents, spouse, children, and some siblings.  Assuming 15 million illegal immigrants, and each one brings 4 people here, that could be an additional 75 million people added to our country within a few years.  That is an increase of 25% in our population.  Most of those 75 million will be relatively poor and uneducated, meaning they will cost the towns and states where they settle $85,000 apiece.  Who will pay for this?

The chamber of commerce and George W. Bush want “comprehensive immigration reform.”  Go to the chamber’s website, and you will see that they want to use the current hysteria about immigration to change the laws so that any business can import as many workers as they want.  The first would be truckers, of course, to fire all the Americans, bust the union, and replace them with Mexican truckers as bush tried to do for years.  Of course Bill Gates hired Ralph Reed to lobby Congress to lift the cap on h1b visas so Microsoft could fire all the Americans and only hire foreign workers.

If people want amnesty, they should say so.  But this hysteria over the Arizona law is feeding into the hands of business groups that simply want open borders so they can fire more Americans and crush working people in this country.

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By melpol, April 30, 2010 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

If you are not ready to pay the bill, than shut up. Each American would have to pay 25 thousand dollars to deport all the illegals. The cost of catching, holding, processing, and deporting an illegal is over 40 thousand dollars. With over 20 million illegals, it would cost 8 trillion dollars to do the job.  Most Americans would rather listen to Chicano rock or eat Enchiladas and Chilaquiles rather than cough up the 25 thousand bucks. So lets accept our illegal neighbors, we cannot afford to lose them.

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By gerard, April 29, 2010 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If you want to do something to help this miserable situation, Google N MORE DEATHS (NO MAS MUERTAS) for a list of 15 or 20 hardworing civil rights and church organizations with long experience working for justice and fairness.

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By MarthaA, April 29, 2010 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

Mcoyote, April 29 at 10:54 pm,

I agree with your post.

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By Mcoyote, April 29, 2010 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

Immigration is essentially driven by America’s OWN grievously immoral, underhanded, fraudulent and criminal actions under a policy of neo-liberal exploitation that has occasioned massive theft, political intrigue and election-tampering, coups, propping-up of corrupt dictators and brutal autocrats, blackmail, assassinations and death-squads, institutionalized terrorism, IMF/WTO/World Bank-imposed privatization and ‘restructuring’ and subsidized agricultural exports that have displaced huge numbers of small farmers, ‘drug-war’ skullduggery and forced de-funding of critical social services and public infrastructure—the concept of ‘illegal immigration’ falls-apart. It is actually economic and political self-defense.

Illegal immigration is a wedge issue primarily because most Americans are ignorant about, in denial, or unwilling to face the fact that America has taken outrageous advantage of and abused the basic civil and human rights of Latin American citizens in order to prop-up America’s bloated standard of living and overextended debt. The principles of rule of law governing allowable and acceptable economic trade practices and respecting the sovereignty of foreign nations have been consistently violated by America’s appeal to its imaginary sense of exceptionalism—which constitutes a huge nationalistic blind spot.

Americans in general tend to be astonishingly uninformed and misinformed about genuine history and the real consequences of American foreign policy—thanks in large part to its disingenuous mass media and the co-opted public education industry. For all the popular rhetoric about America’s National pride, honor and sense of values, and championing the causes of freedom, peace and justice, to a very large extent the American public is clueless about how hypocritical and self-serving the US has been, and how complicit they are by not holding their leaders and policymakers accountable for America’s devastating Imperialist pretensions.

I strongly believe that they should close the border to Mexico. On one condition, which is you close it not only to people but to resources. If you say you want to
close it to people but not resources, what you’re saying, one thing, is that you’re a racist, but another thing you’re saying is - I don’t want you but I want the coffee that’s grown on the land that used to be yours.

Why is this migration taking place? It’s not taking place because suddenly a bunch of people from Guatemala decide they want to take an eco-tour of the strawberry fields in the San Joaquin valley. It’s because their communities are being destroyed through the theft of the land. If you don’t want these people moving up here then don’t steal those people’s lands, pretty simple solution.

Yes it is a xenophobic sleight of hand but it is used, as it has been for centuries in America preceding Republican-Democrat nonsense, to point the finger at the victim so as to keep the eyes averted from the horrors being perpetrated upon those victims and to ignore or rationalize the colossal banditry for the beneficiaries. The liberal class is particularly hypocritical and criminally ignorant on this point.

The problem is really quite simple as is the solution.

The problem: El Norte is pushing them there “illegals” off of their ancestral lands so as to steal the resources that reside in Chiapas e.g.

The solution: Stop El Norte from stealing the resources of the people in Chiapas e.g.

NAFTA is merely the latest acronym-IMF the latest international syndicate-World Bank only the latest MoneyChanger in this ongoing colonial conquest.

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By MarthaA, April 29, 2010 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment

canyon criter, April 29 at 12:24 pm,

Do you think the supposed bums should get a phone call?

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By Carl, April 29, 2010 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

Why do some fools begin every comment with a childish insult - like “racist”?

Okay, if you are stopped I suggest that you speak English, that will be enough. Otherwise, show your driver’s license or any other picture ID. If you “lost your wallet” just tell him your date of birth or alien number, and he can confirm that if he wants. But if you can just tell him your local address and why you were acting strange, like loitering in a parking lot for two hours, that is probably enough.

If someone can’t do any of the above, they are not U.S. citizens, may be criminals, and don’t belong here. A common scene is seeing a few illegals walking northward along a highway, with their backpacks. This is dangerous, so a highway patrolman might stop them to ask what they are doing. They run away and he grabs one. He doesn’t speak English, has no ID, and can’t say where he lives. This is “reasonable suspicion” that he might be illegal, so I have no problem with an arrest and turning him over to the Feds to check out and possibly deport. 95% of Americans agree.

The other 5% watch too much corporate TV, and think the other 6 billion people on Earth have a right to migrate to the USA, and “need a path” to citizenship.

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By bobm, April 29, 2010 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

>>> How would any of you prove you are a citizen, if stopped? Do you carry a US passport all the time?

Not now, but I would if I had to. I would if it would help with law enforcement difficulties and other problems driven by illegal immigration. I’d show it every day if the police wanted to stop me every day.

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By NYCartist, April 29, 2010 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

Racism.  See it in some comments.  How would any of you prove you are a citizen, if stopped?  Do you carry a US passport all the time?  I don’t have a passport at this time.  My birth certificate has my father’s last name on it.  Only my voter registration card has my present name.

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By REDHORSE, April 29, 2010 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

Yes Yes—-Democracy NOW!! Unless the people in Arizona want to take control of the illegals issue because the corrupt Fed has blown it off for the benefit of their corporate masters. GOOD FOR ARIZONA!! NO AMNESTY EVER!! Get legal or get out!!

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By canyon criter, April 29, 2010 at 8:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

when an american enters canada and plans to go to calgary canada runs a background check and to enter you have to pass. while there u have to keep your id on u its the law. if you drive to alaska you need to have a minimum of $1000 cash and a credit card. this insures the safety of canadians and keeps dead-beats out of there country if u dont like it dont go.we have the right to enforce our laws. not much different than someone breaking into your home and you call the sheriff if they dont do anything about it and around here they usually dont you eventually have to take the law into your own hand. arizona has the right to protect themselves when the feds fail to do so.

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By rufus, April 29, 2010 at 6:15 am Link to this comment

If I understand this law, anyone can be stopped by the police if there is a reasonable suspicion that they are in the country illegaly not necessarily incedent to a crime. What I.D. would then be acceptable? Do visitors to Arizona need to bring their birth certificates with them and carry them at all times?

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By Greg, April 29, 2010 at 1:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Most of our Lawmakers are against this law, yet what have they done to pass a law? NOTHING. Is this law on the Federal books? YES What does Mr. Obama want? total amnesty for all, Fine!! Is that total amnesty for all that are here? for the ones climing the fence as we speak? for all the new ones that cross the border after?

Tell me, When does it stop?

I do have to laugh though, The Mexican govt issued a statement that this is a bad law…Now there’s a country who can talk about “fairness”.  How many murders this year? If I’m in your country illegally I get thrown in jail for how long?

What it boils down to and everyone seems to be missing is Number One: It is a crime for ANYONE no matter what country their from to be here illegally.

2. Our Lawmakers have done nothing to pass any law though President Bush did try hard to pass the “guest worker” program in 2005. What has Mr. Obama done? Oh that’s right he said immigration refor would be one of the first things when he got in office.  A “Promise” to the illegals here.  So much for promises’!

Who here is for waiting in front of 10 illegals in the hospital waiting room? Or having to know spanish in order to get a job? (just look in the paper)must be “bilingual” person needed. Watching people in the grocery store pay with nothing but food stamps & welfare money? Course the guy sleeping on the street can get a job…oopps, he’s white, can’t hire him.

Just like the Fed Govt, “Must hire 10% hispanic” whether they can do the job or not. That’s been a law for 20yrs now.  Don’t believe me? fine check it out.

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By bobm, April 28, 2010 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Diamond, the law doesn’t target any particular ethnic group. In fact, there is nothing in the language of the law that is racist or preferential. It merely mimics much of the language of already-in-place federal laws at the state level. Is it open to abuse? Definitely. I’d love to see a definition of “suspicious” implemented into the law. But to this point, it strikes me that this is nothing legal citizens have to worry about. I have yet to see why there should be outrage. And the moment there is an abuse, I expect Pres Obama and organizations like the ACLU to step in and correct them.

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By MarthaA, April 28, 2010 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

RAE, April 28 at 11:15 pm,

What democracy are you ranting about?

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By Alpha Snail, April 28, 2010 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others”

You should be focusing your attention on the people who are preventing exactly that instead of branding the majority of an entire U.S. state as racist (in my opinion). I like my president. Always have, probably always will. This is difficult for me to explain here because I love your work. Did it ever cross your mind that these supposed “Racists” might be afraid? Maybe they have concern about the often insulted public education system that is taking in too much already without the added input. You might not give a shit about the millions of people here in Southern California where I live and their force fed promises about “hopes and dreams”, but I do. I have more love and respect for the Mexican people than you could possibly imagine. You are not doing them any favors by letting them scrape food off our plates (so to speak). This is not about the Mexicans. This is about an intelligent immigration policy that makes sense. I would not react to this differently if all of the undocumented immigrants in this country where from Norway!

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By johnnyfarout, April 28, 2010 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

Arizony…the last stand of duh white man.

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By diamond, April 28, 2010 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

Illegal combatants? Areyouhighorwhat you need to take a valium and have a good lie down. Arizona, hold on to your hat, is part of the United States of America and you can’t just do whatever the hell you want because it’s your state. When Arizona banned MLK day the state lost nearly 400 million dollars in cancelled conventions and probably more in lost business. They eventually had to re-think their craziness and they probably will on this too because money talks, money sings and money dances. And bobm why should the police have the right to stop anyone belonging to one particular ethnic group when they haven’t broken any law or done anything wrong? This is probably what the Germans said about the Jews: “Oh well, if they haven’t done anything wrong they’ve got nothing to fear”. Well, guess what:  they hadn’t done anything wrong but they had plenty to fear. This law turns Arizona into a police state. What a pity you can’t say they’re terrorists because then the police could do whatever they wanted and no one would say a word.

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By Carl, April 28, 2010 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

Let me provide those living in wealthy, gated communities with an example of why working class people dislike illegals. It not just stealing jobs and pushing down wages, and living 40 to a house in the hood.

Homeless people are a problem and need help, but funding is a problem. As one who has lived along the border for most of my life, I can easily pick out most illegals, just like cops can. They dress differently than Mexican-Americans and speak different Spanish, and use different body language. I realize that most gringos haven’t a clue of what I am talking about and want to shout “racist” but ask any Mexican-American and they can explain more. If you don’t even understand the difference between a Norte and a Sur, just shut up!

Anyway, I know that many of those in line at soup kitchens are illegal, and many who sleep at our nearby park are also illegal. They want to stay out of sight and want to work, but there are no jobs. So why are they here, using government services. One would get drunk or use drugs and walk around at night screaming in Spanish, or Mexican to be exact. Women and children feared him, but the police did nothing.

So when someone proposes that local police have the power to arrest anyone who speaks limited or no English, has no ID, no local address, doesn’t know his SSN or Alien number, wears a backpack, and doesn’t have the visa/green card he claims to have lost, which he is required to carry by federal law, most people say yes. Turn him over the to Feds for legal processing and possible deportation. What’s wrong with that?

I hope this helps (Ms Goodman) author of this racist rant article, to understand the problems in working class neighborhoods, and learn to appreciate the value of democracy. I hope it helps the editors of truthdig understand what’s going on far below their ivory tower.

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By Carl, April 28, 2010 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

One must laugh at the irony. Ms. Goodman hosts “Democracy Now” yet when citizens of Arizona use democracy to force change, Ms. Goodman is upset. She has never lived there and apparently doesn’t understand the issue, but jumps in to declare that most Arizonans are racists.

Ms. Goodman, please withdraw this “racist” article and apologize. If you don’t understand the issue, just offer your reasons, but don’t crap on democracy with your anti-worker rant.

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By McTN, April 28, 2010 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

AreYouHighOrWhat, April 28 at 6:53 pm #
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No one outside of Arizona has a right to tell them how to live, it’s their state, their laws! The busloads of agitators racing to trample their rights and throw 70% of Arizona’s population under the bus is frightening!

Wow!  I haven’t heard that argument since the civil rights era when Southerners decried outside agitators coming to Mississippi and stirring up our good nigras. 

We are the United States and any citizen can try to influence any policy anywhere in the country. We are not limited to our place of residency. Boycotting, protesting, picketing…it’s the American way, a proud tradition, a function of democracy. All Arizona has a right to do is not to respond.

I have been opposed to illegal immigration because it’s simply another version of slavery—cheap labor for the Corporatocracy. These Mexicans were recruited, brought here to work cheap with benefits provided by local govts—medical, education, housing. It’s been masked as some kind of humanitarian event—the poverty stricken Mexicans searching for a better life.  But the truth is they are sold by their govt to our construction industry, hotels, landscapers, etc. to fill jobs that Americans would be to expensive to fill given our cost of living and regulations regarding health care, safety, and treatment. Being illegal, Mexicans won’t complain about working 25/7 and not being paid overtime.  They are exploited.

Which brings me to my point. All this legal force is misdirected. It’s the business owners who should be hassled and arrested.  If there was no work here, if business owners obeyed the laws and refused to hire undocumented workers, we wouldn’t have an illegal immigration problem of this magnitude. As long as businesses will hire them, they’ll always return.

It’s like arresting slaves for being brought here and forced to work on plantations. If our laws stated that any business caught hiring undocumented workers would be shut down and its assets seized (like drug traffickers), the problem would disappear overnight.  But for some strange reason, we protect the businesses and punish the slaves….Another proud American tradition.

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By Caballero, April 28, 2010 at 5:56 pm Link to this comment
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I hope Portland Oregon also considers action. The actions of Arizona are disgraceful. This is not the act of a lunatic fringe. It was a statute passed and signed into law with full knowledge of its implications and polls are saying that 70% of those in Arizona are in support. This is an entire state that has come unhinged.
It just goes to show you what the union of fear and hate can produce.

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By Taco Smell, April 28, 2010 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment
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This article is total BS…We are tired of the invasion of illegal foreign nationals from Mexico and we want them out of our country NOW…

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By MarthaA, April 28, 2010 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

Arizona has never been good about being concerned about the populace. In the early 60’s, my younger brother was visiting with my older brother who lived off base in the military in Glendale, AZ .  One day he went out sightseeing and the police just picked him up, called him a vagrant and detained him in a double walled prison with armed guards without a phone call at all, no court and no court records.  My older brother kept looking through places for him and after three days finally found him.  They didn’t have a right to hold him, if someone cared, so they let him go.  If my older brother had not looked for him, we are certain, he would still be there.  Arizona has been handling the law their own way for a mighty long time and are not likely to change without a populace uprising.

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By bobm, April 28, 2010 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment
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But but but… if I have papers and I get stopped, I can show the papers and side-step getting detained. End of story.

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By AreYouHighOrWhat, April 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment
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No one outside of Arizona has a right to tell them how to live, it’s their state, their laws! The busloads of agitators racing to trample their rights and throw 70% of Arizona’s population under the bus is frightening!
The people calling for boycotts sound like the same people that told half the population that “Healthcare Reform was law, made by our elected officials so shut up”,... now the issue has changed and your double standards start kicking in…PATHETIC! BTW: Loved those peaceful protests, waaaay less threatening than those bigotted tea party protests, nice touch with the Swastika in beans, my hippie parents are spinning in their graves! Those people aren’t protesters by any sense of the word, IT’S AN ARMY OF ILLEGAL COMBATANTS….yeah, that’s right, I went there….what else are you gonna call them?

I suggest all the Democratic Americans that support Arizona’s right to Democracy boycott the boycotters. I know I will, and I won’t stop when they do, they’re anti-democratic sentiments will not be forgotten as quickly as they forget about their boycott. So by all means, START THE BOYCOTTS! I’m sure the residents of Arizona won’t find a way to strike back, and I’m sure they won’t feel an upsurge in tourism from the law abiding citizens of this country. The far left radicals hate it when you play their game according to their rules, I think it’s time they get a taste of their own medicine, BOYCOTT HATERS OF DEMOCRACY

BTW: Citizens of Arizona, most of this talk is JUST TALK, and these boycotters weren’t ever gonna spend money in your state anyways.  The half dozen queens that I know that carpool to SF’s Pride parade are now boycotting SF to come see the Grand Canyon, see you soon! ;0)

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