Educational, Immigration, Rant

Creating History In Their Own Image

Some Arizona news:

Mesa Man Pushes to Keep Brother’s Name on Sept. 11 Memorial

The brother of a local Sikh killed during a hate crime in the wake of 9-11 is trying to get the state government to keep his brother’s name on the memorial.

“It seems like they are making a hate crime again. They are attacking me directly again,” said Rana Singh Sodhi, a Mesa restaurant owner who since his brother’s slaying has devoted his life to fighting racial and religious intolerance.

“What are they trying to do, zero us out, zero out the impact? I can’t sleep. It’s hurting me.”

Members of the Valley’s Sikh community and the chief prosecutor who put Singh Sodhi’s killer in prison said they thought the legislation was a poorly-thought-out attempt to rewrite history and they are urging Gov. Jan Brewer to veto it.

The bill, which passed both houses on party-line votes, was sponsored by Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, who said Monday that he did only a cursory Internet search on Singh Sodhi’s murder. Kavanagh said it was unclear to him that the shooting was directly related to 9/11.

However, Frank Roque, who was convicted of murdering Singh Sodhi, told Mesa police during a tape-recorded interrogation that he was consumed with hatred toward “Arabs” after 9/11. He admitted shooting Singh Sodhi and firing on two other targets that day: a gas station with Middle Eastern owners and a house Roque sold to people of Arab ancestry.

image from
Mexican-American Studies Foes in the Hot Seat:
For those who don’t remember:
Immigration, In the Kitchen

Pearce’s Immigration Omnibus Bill

I don’t know where to start, so here’s a link to the bill itself.  It conflicts with federal law (at this point nearly all of our legislation does) on a few points and is absolutely ridiculous.  People will have to prove  “lawful presence” to:

  • Enroll their kids in school
  • Live in a public housing project.  This doesn’t apply only to people applying for public housing (which as far as I know you already have to provide proof of lawful presence) but to people who just might come live with you. Given the state of our economy I think this is rather harsh.
  • Get the title and registration of a vehicle
  • Enroll in a community college or state university. This bill doesn’t exclude you from getting any aid or in state tuition break (prop 300 already tossed that out) but prevents you from even enrolling.
  • Seek medical treatment at a hospital
  • Get married (This is an update of his failed 2008 House Bill 2631 preventing those who could not provide proof of US citizenship from getting a marriage license.  Both people would have to produce proof  of citizenship to marry.)

Additionally, this bill forces school employees, hospital officials, and public housing authorities to act as immigration enforcement.  And they don’t want it.  So many teachers, doctors, and renters voiced their opposition to SB 1611 but the legislature doesn’t care.  This travesty of a bill will pass the Senate.

This is what Feathered Bastard observed at the committee hearing:

When Pearce described 1611 — which makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to operate motor vehicles, prevents the undocumented from registering their vehicles, mandates that schoolchildren prove they’re in the country legally or be reported to the cops, blocks those here illegally from attending community colleges, and on and on — as an assortment of “cleanups,” Sinema called him on it, numerous times.

Sinema said she counted in the bill “19 pieces of legislation that you’ve introduced over the years that didn’t pass,” adding that it was “more than just some cleanups.”

She got Pearce to admit that the bill had been slapped together at the last minute.

“This was written in a very few hours on Friday afternoon,” Pearce admitted more than once, almost apologetically, as Sinema pointed out its foibles in extreme detail.

One egregious example concerned the community colleges. Students would have to provide one of a list of documents to prove lawful status, such as a foreign passport with a visa.

Sinema pointed out that 36 countries have agreements with the United States that do not require their citizens to have visas while in the U.S., including Canada and Australia. Pearce had no answers.

Instead, he blathered on ad nauseum with a bunch of his pet lines, like, “Enough is enough,” “Stop the invasion,” “The laws must be enforced,” and “You can’t continue to break our laws.”

Those last couple are pretty amusing, actually, considering the fact that Pearce’s son Joshua is currently cooling his heels in county jail for, um, breaking the law. But hey, that’s different, right?

Try my new recipe posted at Black Market Farm.

Educational, Immigration

Precious Knowledge

Lots of things going on in Arizona right now.  We have Minuteman Shawna Forde’s trial for the murder of 9-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father (which got weirder when known white-supremacist Laine Lawless showed up in disguise).  We have Pearce and friends introducing not one, but four bills targeting the 14th amendment.   And we have the ethnic studies ban that is now in effect.

I didn’t have the opportunity to take ethnic studies until I got to college, but it was important to me and I know  it’s important to these kids too.  Students of color should have the right to learn history from their peoples’ perspectives; it is empowering to see where we come from.  What are we so afraid of?


Case 1 Update

Case 1 (1.5?) Update:  DH’s attorney applied for NACARA a while back for the family.  I wasn’t sure why exactly as it didn’t make much sense to me but I figured she knew what she was doing.  NACARA is the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act, passed in 1997 to help people from Meso-America and former Soviet Bloc countries seeking asylum.  I knew she had applied too late.  It wasn’t exactly her fault because it was something the previous lawyer could have done but didn’t, for whatever reason.  Anyway, a couple of weeks ago the court decided against DH’s family on NACARA.  

We weren’t very surprised but they have the option of bundling their 9th Circuit case with an appeal on NACARA which the lawyer said would most likely have another unfavorable ruling, essentially tainting the possibility for a favorable 9th Circuit outcome.  Don’t ask me how because I don’t know.  This would basically give them about 2 years to save up some money, wait for the (non) possibility of immigration reform and sell my Father-in-law’s business before being deported should the decision be unfavorable.  The family is foregoing this choice and just waiting for the 9th Circuit decision since they’ve been waiting for a final decision for such a long time.

Now, some good news.  Robert Creamer  wrote about the impact of Latino voters:

 Republicans won control of the House Tuesday, but their hopes of controlling the Senate as well were stymied by a firewall of Latino voters who were outraged by Republican demonization of Latino immigrants, their Arizona “papers please” law, their proposal to repeal the 14th Amendment, and their overall opposition to comprehensive immigration reform.

The consequences of the Republican anti-immigrant rhetoric will likely spread far beyond last Tuesday’s election. The fact that Republicans have alienated the fastest-growing ethnic group in America will have far-reaching consequences for the party’s ability to win a Presidential election and compete nationally over the long term.

A quick look at the numbers tells the tale:

  • Senator Harry Reid was trailing Tea Party icon Sharron Angle going into Tuesday’s election. In fact, Reid beat Angle by over 6 percent.. The big difference was the Latino vote. Reid beat Angle among Latinos a whopping 90% to 8%, and Latino turnout was up from 12% of the electorate in the 2006 Mid-Terms to 15% in 2010.
  • In Colorado’s Senate race, the consensus polls showed Democrat Michael Bennet losing by about 1% in a close race. Instead he won by 1%. His margin among Latinos was 81% to 19% and Latino turnout was up from 9% of the electorate in 2006 to 13% in 2010. 
  •  In the California Senate race, Barbara Boxer beat Carly Fiorina among Latinos 86% to 14%, and Latino turnout was up from 19% of the electorate in 2006 to 22% in 2010. Fiorina lost despite having spent a record-setting140 million of her own money on the campaign.

Latinos also made the difference in critical Governors’ races that will affect the playing field shaped by redistricting.

  • In California, Jerry Brown won Latinos 86% to 13% over Republican Meg Whitman, who had endorsed the Arizona law during the primary and whose hypocrisy on immigration became an issue when it was revealed she had hired an undocumented immigrant to be her maid, and then treated her badly.
  • John Hickenlooper won the Colorado Governor’s mansion in a contest with arch anti-immigrant Tom Tancredo and rightwinger Dan Maes. Among Latinos he got 77% of the vote, compared with 14% and 9% for Tancredo [wtf?] and Maes. 
  • And in Illinois, Democrat Pat Quinn was re-elected by a margin of fewer than 20,000 votes. Latinos voted for Quinn 83% to 13% for his opponent. Even at 6% of the voters, the support of the Latino community was decisive. 
  • According to election-eve polling of Latino voters conducted in eight key states (AZ, CA, CO, FL, IL, NM, NV, TX), Latinos overall voted for Democrats over Republicans by approximately 75% to 25% — a 3 to 1 margin. That is a stark contrast to six years ago when Latinos voted for Democrat John Kerry over George Bush by only 59% to 40% — a 3 to 2 margin. There has been a massive swing toward Democrats and away from Republicans in this fastest-growing group of voters in the country.

 Immigration was the major issue driving these vote totals. In some cases Republican candidates depicted Hispanics as gang members and criminals in ads that were meant to whip up fear among Anglo voters about immigration. That kind of rhetoric is not understood as a difference about a policy or issue. It directly offended the Latino community’s sense of identity, pride and self-worth. That drove voter decisions as well as turnout.

The Las Vegas Sun quoted Gilberto Ramirez, a first-time, recently-naturalized voter from Reno, Nevada, as he explained how Sharron Angle’s anti-Latino ads influenced the fact that he turned out and the fact that he voted for Harry Reid: “She was depicting me as a gang member. I served seven years in the Marine Corps.”

Fiorina and Whitman got on the wrong side of the immigration issue in order to win Republican primaries. Angle, Tancredo, Maes and Colorado Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck overtly trumpeted their anti-immigration positions to whip up fear and anti-immigrant votes. Turned out that was a bad call. And it will likely turn out to be a worse and worse call that will effectively prevent Republicans from winning control of the White House. In fact, demographers tell us that another 1.25 million Latinos will reach voting age between now and 2012.

A major organizational effort by Latino and immigration rights groups helped galvanize voter turn out. The level of organization is only likely to grow over the next several years.

The fact is that as the Latino population continues to grow, it will rapidly become impossible to put together an electoral majority of 270 electoral votes with that kind of Hispanic opposition.

It is increasingly difficult for overtly anti-immigrant candidates to win electoral votes in states like California, Colorado, Nevada, Illinois, New York, New Jersey and Florida. Together these states have 117 electoral votes. It would also be very difficult for them to win New Mexico, and might even put Texas into play. Remember that when John McCain and George Bush ran for President they presented themselves as pro-immigration reform candidates. Bush got a sizable percentage of Hispanic voters. McCain got less, but was not wiped out. Between them, Texas and New Mexico have another 34 electoral votes.

If an anti-immigration Republican disqualifies himself completely in states with 117 electoral votes, and then makes life very difficult in states with another 34 (a total of 151 votes), that massively narrows the playing-field where he or she must assemble the 270 votes needed to win election.


$B1070 and the Private Prison System in Arizona

The CCA also runs the T. Don Hutto Residential Center which, thankfully, no longer houses immigrant families.  When it did, it was the focus of an ACLU lawsuit due to its treatment of detained families.  The lawsuit went to settlement in 2007.

“To call it a family residential center is to mask what’s going on,” said Vanita Gupta, a lawyer with the A.C.L.U. “They may be cleaning up conditions, but at the end of the day it still begs the question of why they are using such a Draconian system.”

“At Hutto, we found prisonlike conditions imposed on families with no criminal background, including asylum seekers,” said Michelle Brané, a lawyer for the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children and the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service who co-authored a report on family detention to be released on Feb. 22.

Barbara Hines, clinical professor of law at the University of Texas at Austin who runs an immigration clinic and has visited clients inside, said Friday that “I don’t think children should be incarcerated at all.”

The law required the government to hold families in the least restrictive conditions possible, Ms. Hines said, adding, “I was shocked, and I have been doing this 30 years.”

It is clear that the CCA sees immigrants as little more than a paycheck.

Update:  I almost missed this.  Yay Chris and No More Deaths!


Immigration News Roundup

UPDATE: Posted by A Year in the Life of Krystal (thank you!)

Arizona has race issues:

46 percent of Arizona adults agreed that the immigration debate has “exposed a deeper sense of racism in our community.”
School enrollment dip linked to SB1070:

Galveston Elementary School in central Chandler is down 40 students this year, and Principal Mike Henderson has no doubt about the reason.

“Absolutely, absolutely” it’s because of SB 1070, he said. “You can talk to any school within a mile radius of here and find the same thing.”

Although small, Galveston’s drop of 5 percent surprised Henderson.

“We thought we might get some families sitting tight and seeing what happens. But it’s been clearly communicated that there will be more sweeps today,” Thursday, the day the law went into effect.

Straight out of Prince William County:

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has issued an opinion that Virginia law enforcement officers, including conservation officers, may inquire into the immigration status of people who are either stopped or arrested.

The opinion, sought by Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, comes amid a new push by the chairman of the Prince William Board of County supervisors for an immigration crackdown in Virginia, on the heels of Arizona enacting some of the toughest immigration laws in the nation.

  I grow corn!!!

If you haven’t seen 9500 Liberty yet, check it out.

Oh yeah, and this:

Jon Kyl calls SB1070 ruling wrong, calls for repeal of 14th Amendment:

The Senate’s no. 2 Republican didn’t place himself on the extreme wing of his party’s stance on immigration policy. Rather, he joined what is a growing movement that could very well shape the official policy planks of the GOP.

There are already a number of Republican officials who have preceded Kyl in calling for a reworking of the country’s citizenship laws. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has proposed the piece of legislation that would repeal the 14th Amendment; he is joined on the House side by Rep. Jack Kimble (R-Calif.).

An aide to Graham said that there had been no formal dates set for hearings or the bill’s introduction. “Senator Graham threw this out there on Fox News and it is something that he has been talking about in South Carolina as well,” the aide said. But there was growing talk and legislative activity around the concept.

Lindsey Graham To Deport U.S.-Born Heathens:

In 1898, the sinister liberals on the Fuller Court ruled that Wong Kim Ark (pictured), who was born to Chinese parents in San Francisco, was by virtue of his birthplace and the 14th amendment a U.S. citizen, despite laws that said that Chinese people couldn’t be citizens, because, come on, Chinese people. Wong thus became the first “anchor baby” (or, since his parents had long ago returned to China by the time he filed his court case, an “anchor adult”), and ever since, hugely pregnant women have desperately climbed our shoddy border fence so as to give birth to a tiny brown U.S. citizen. Who will stop this chaotic state of affairs that has so afflicted America for the past 112 years? Lindsey Graham will stop it!