by Moses Apsan, Esq.
The handwriting is on the wall. Arizona has taken years of hard earned progress in human rights and regressed it to a time that we have been trying to forget. SB 1070 [the Arizona bill], long sought by opponents of illegal immigration, passed 35 to 21 in the state House of Representatives. The bill incorporates a host of draconian terms intended at criminalizing non-citizens and debase anyone who doesn't appear to be an American (in their opinion). What this law does is criminalize a person for doing something that was not a crime before. The crime in question is being an undocumented immigrant. Once marked as a criminal many civil rights are lost and the possibility of deportation increases. There is no doubt that if this law remains there will be a mass exodus of illegal and legal immigrants out of Arizona. I don’t know what the final economic affect will have on Arizona, but their legislature doesn’t appear to care. They’re only though in their heads is to rid themselves of all immigrants and keep America safe … for themselves.
This venomous law will never stand on it’s own. The 10th Amendment states, “[t]he powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
The Supreme Court has ruled that the Congressional power to regulate naturalization, in Article 1, Section 8, includes the power to regulate immigration. Therefore immigration is under federal authority.
SB 1070 also violates the constitution by permitting racial profiling, under the color of law. The Arizona bill would mandate state law enforcement agents to question individuals about their immigration status if the officer has a "reasonable suspicion" that they are undocumented. Any individual without proof of legal status would be subject to detainment and arrest. According to AILA Executive Director Crystal Williams “In effect, the act compels law enforcement to conduct racial profiling of all people in the state, including U.S. citizens. People will be questioned and detained for looking foreign. ”
The consequences of SB 1070 may be felt even by native-born residents and immigrants alike. What will give police “reasonable suspicion” that a person is in the country illegally? Most likely, it will be the color of their skin.
The law also permits people sue to compel police agencies to comply with the law, and no city or agency can formulate a policy directing its workers to ignore the law. Imagine the unreasonable and potentially frivolous litigation by private citizens with an anti-immigrant agenda will have on the state’s court system.
Another provision criminalizes any lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) if he or she is on any private or public property in Arizona who fails to carry the alien registration card. So, a green card holder who takes out his garbage in the morning is a criminal if he doesn't carry his green card with him as he throws out the garbage.
It’s evident to most people that Arizona has started down a slippery slope.
Imagine if the U.S. starts to resemble the Civil War with states arresting illegal immigrants because of the crime of being an immigrant and those that refuse to lose the precious ground of American justice we have gained over the years since Martin Luther King, jr said: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
“The bill will overwhelm local enforcement agencies by requiring them to engage in the highly technical work of enforcing immigration law that is better left to the federal government. Nationally efforts to deputize local law enforcement have failed for precisely that reason” said AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) Executive Director Crystal Williams referring to what is known as the 287(g) Program.
Under section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, state and local law enforcement agencies, allegedly acting under federal supervision, are granted federal immigration enforcement powers. A report released earlier this month by the DHS Office of the Inspector General found widespread lack of adequate training, guidance, monitoring or oversight.
“There is a real danger that the Arizona law will be duplicated by other states attracted to the notion that our broken immigration system can be fixed with band-aid local laws. AILA urges Governor Brewer to stand up to this intolerance and veto this bill the moment it reaches her desk. Instead she should call upon Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform—the only smart approach to this complex issue” AILA President Bernie Wolfsdorf concluded.
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Arizona did not cook this law alone. It had help. Lot’s of help in the form of right wing extremist polluting the AM dials with their tireless run-on anti-American/Anti-Immigrant talk shows. Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs, Glenn Beck stand out as the most disturbed and extremist of all the talk show hosts. They were also assisted by the tea party (symolized by Sarah Palin), anti-immigrant groups, such as the minutement, FAIR, Ali-Pac and host of other anti-immigrant gangs laying in wait for their next attack.
Dan Stein of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Gilchrist and Chris Simcox, co-founders of the anti-immigration group the Minutemen Project, have appeared on national cable network television at least 110 times in the past three years to push their agenda.
FAIR was named as a hate group by the civil rights law firm Southern Poverty Law Center located in Montgomery, Ala. SPLC noted that FAIR often compares immigrants to bacteria, has members of white supremacist groups employed by them, and has accepted more than a million dollars from the Pioneer Fund, a racist foundation devoted to proving a connection between race and IQ.
In addition to the Minutemen Project’s controversial actions to police the Southern border, Gilchrist was once videotaped at an anti-immigration rally saying he was “proud to be a vigilante.” Simcox, the group’s co-founder, was convicted in 2003 of carrying a weapon into a national park while searching for undocumented immigrants, according to SPLC.
Previoulsy, on Saturday nov 16, 2009 , approximately 200 people showed up to the anti-immigration “No Amnesty” tea party rally planned by American Citizens United in Phoenix. Many people held signs with slogan’s such as “America not Amexico.” There was a physical encounter when neo-Nazis showed up and tried to unite with the event, holding a Hitler poster and waving a Confederate flag with the “Don’t Tread on Me” Tea Party symbol. When a Tea Party activist confronted the group, one of the neo-Nazis pushed him to the ground. “If you assault me, you get assaulted back,” he said as police intervened.
The Phoenix rally was part of a larger nationwide effort by Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), which organized anti-immigration Tea Parties to stop the effort to “destroy America through mass illegal immigration and amnesty.”
On tax day, April 15, 2010, anti-immigrant group ALI-PAC organized Tea Party Against Amnesty and Illegal Immigration events from April 15-17 in 52 locations nationwide. When ALI-PAC coordinated similar tea party events on November 14, 2009, they featured several speakers affiliated with the Tanton Network. ALI-PAC is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Ex-Congressman Tom Tancredo, founder of the Tanton-affiliated House Immigration Reform Caucus (an well know bigot and racist), and William Gheen, president of ALI-PAC, will be their honored guest speakers at numerous Tea Party events. Tancredo will appear in Tempe, Arizona and then fly to South Carolina. Even Arizona’s notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio is expected to speak at a tea party in Arizona.
Tancredo is not the only affiliate of the Tanton Network who spoke at a tea party event. Kris Kobach of the Immigration Reform Law Institute, another anti-immigrant group, is scheduled to speak in Kansas City on April 19. Ron Woodard, director of NC Listen, a group based in North Carolina and financially supported and trained by the (FAIR) Federation for American Immigration Reform, will be speaking at the Raleigh Tea Party today.
NumbersUSA is also playing a role in the tea party’s anti-immigrant movement. In an email recently distributed by ALI-PAC director William Gheen, he noted:
“We also want to thank all of the NumbersUSA supporters who have signed up to support this effort. We hope all of our supporters will sign up at and support via www.NumbersUSA.com.”
Getting Back to Beck. As he puts it: “It’s time to wake up in this country. We are dealing with an illegal alien crime wave, and drug smuggling is just the beginning.” “ Every single illegal immigrant is guilty of a crime, every single one…. Every undocumented worker is an illegal immigrant, a criminal and a drain on our dwindling resources.”
He said this even before Arizona passed this law; even before being illegal was crime in any state. Was his statement a premonition or was it part of the brainwashing techniques these drones of the talk show use to get the viewer to forget reality and use the thoughts of the host as his own.
“I’ve got a quick message for illegal aliens if you happen to be watching; you better start packing your bags; and to the politicians in Washington who are soft on illegal immigration, start packing up your office, because when the terrorists strike, which they will, and when we find out that they’re here illegally from some other country, we will be telling all of you to get the hell out;”
On one show Glenn Beck jokingly offered a one-step resolution to the immigration and energy crises on his radio program. He read a wished-for ad for a "giant refinery" that produces "Mexinol," a fuel made from the bodies of illegal immigrants coming here from Mexico to find work.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which records hate groups across the U.S, between 2000 and 2008 following years of moderate growth, the militia movement suddenly exploded in 2009. The SPLC counted a total of 369 new groups that had come into existence since the election of Barack Obama as president. Is this increase in violent anti-American groups a coincidence?
In its annual Intelligence Report, the center noted the resurrection of radical right militias as cause for solemn concern. "Individuals associated with the Patriot movement during its 1990s heyday produced an enormous amount of violence, most dramatically the Oklahoma City bombing that left 168 people dead," it said. Following Mr. Obama's election, the report notes plots against the president's life by racist skinheads and the case of a Massachusetts man accused of "murdering two black people and planning to kill as many Jews as possible" as support of the premise that the hazard from such hate groups is on the upswing.
To President Obama: As Martin Luther King, Jr. in his Letters from Birmingham Jail on April 16, 1963 said: “There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience."