Saturday, April 24, 2010

Arizona's Shame

Well, she did it. Jan Brewer, governor of Arizona, just signed one of the worst pieces of legislation into law in a history of bad laws in AZ. Unless you have been hibernating in a cave, you know the law I mean; the anti-immigration piece of garbage the Russell Pearce, just foisted on us.

Ms. Brewer just gave new meaning to the jokes about dumb blonds. (I suspect that her blond has come from a bottle, though. Meow.) I was sickened when I heard this lame brain governor give her rationale for signing this stupid piece of legislation.

Where is our former governor, Janet Napolitano, when we need her? Oh, darn, she was so good that Obama tapped her to be in his cabinet. Janet vetoed similar legislation time after time when the fringe wingnuts in our leggie passed similar legislation. You do know that Jan Brewer was not elected, but was selected to replace Janet, don't you? Who did that dastardly deed, I wonder.

Arizona is cutting vital school programs right and left because we are out of money. Now we will be spending money to defend this idiotic bill because sane people are already lining up to sue Arizona. Our own Senator in Washington, Rual Grivala, is urging a boycott of our State. So there goes one of our main sources of revenue, tourism. I am sure conventions will stay away in droves from this backward leaning state. In addition, I am sure the Mexican Nationals across the border will be afraid to come do their shopping in Arizona now. That is another big source of revenue that will go down the drain. Some business's are against this legislation because they use guest workers for farm labor, etc; backbreaking work that others do not want to do. Unintended consequences are going to further put our state in financial trouble.

I believe that this law will not stand the test of constitutionality. It is unconstitutional for a state to pass laws that supersede Federal laws. Immigration is the province of the Federal Government. In addition, it will be impossible to implement this law without racial profiling, which is a crime.

From the President to the lowliest citizen the condemnation of this mean spirited law is being broadcast all over the nation. Here are a couple of excerpts in this morning's papers.

From Creator's editorial page, Mark Shields wrote: Reason has not stopped the Arizona state legislature from passing a bill to require every presidential candidate to provide a birth certificate in order to be listed on the state ballot.

This is the poison harvest of a political paranoia that demonizes and dehumanizes one's opponents.

We, the real majority who care about our country, have an obligation to reject the politics of personal destruction and the Big Lie on every side and to give our political opponents the benefit of the doubt — that they may very well care just as much about America and their children's future as we think we do.


From the L. A. Times: Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles said the authorities’ ability to demand documents was like “Nazism.”
Paranoia, extremism, bigotry and hatred make bad laws. We certainly have our share on the books. How in God's green earth can you identify an illegal entrant without racial profiling? This law is aimed directly at the Mexican illegals who usually have dark skin, brown eyes and dark hair. Guess who will be stopped by a racist policeman? A fair skinned, blue eyed illegal from (say Poland) is perfectly safe here.

It will also be a misdemeanor to fail to have your papers with you proving your status. If you fit the description of a Mexican you will need to have a valid driver's license issued in the U. S., or other proof of citizenship or some other paper such as a Green Card to prove you are in the U. S. legally or you will be fined. What rot. Is this America, the land of the free? Is this the land that Lady Liberty said to bring the huddled masses and they would be welcome? No longer in Arizona.

Unless stopped by legal means, this law goes into effect in August. What a pity.

Late News: April 26 addition to this post. A necessary read to bolster my points.
Please read the following article in today's Huffington Post.


Barry said...

I have my third trip planned to AZ soon. Had I not already had the non-refundable tickets I would have canceled. As it is my plan is to spend as little money as possible there this time. After this trip, I will not be back until this foolish legislation is repealed.

Ugich Konitari said...

I have dark skin, brown eyes and dark hair. And I am coming to visit you next time I come to the USA ! (Waiting for some lottery). :-) Darlene, no one will dare stop me if I am with you !

Hopefully, by then they will have repealed this terrible law....

Tech Unsavvy said...

Found you via Grannymar, and aargh, this makes me so angry! I was foolish to hope that this "governor" would not be such a fool. My sincere condolences. What a waste of taxpayer money and law enforcement resources.

tnlib said...

Darn good piece there. I'm still not sure I believe it.

tnlib said...

Meant to leave this link to a solid piece on Crooks and Liars. I think it will be of interest to everyong.

Darlene said...

*Barry - If your trip includes Tucson please let me know and I will give your directions to my pad in hopes you will find time to drop by.

*Ugich Konitari - Oh I do hope you will visit me. I am sure the law will not be in force long unless our Constitution no longer means what it says.

+Tech Unsavvy - Thank you so much for your visit. I do hope you will return.

You may be Tech Unsavvy, but you are one sharp cookie otherwise.

*tnlib - Believe it.

Looking to the Stars said...

Oh, this is not good. We do a lot of work for AZ. This means we are not going to do very much building there. Bummer.

Thanks for keeping us posted. I hope they pull their heads out of their you know what.

Take care :)

Rummuser said...

Darlene, I am not an Arizonian or an American. I am a brown skinned Indian. The original from (South Asia) and not your local variety. I have traveled widely all over the world and had been asked to establish my identity in a number of situations, which I think is perfectly reasonable. Why I take issue with you is the problem that we have in india with Bangladeshi refugees coming into India just like Hispanics come into yours. These elements bring with them the potential to completely change the demographics of our country and some of our border states. If, as I expect, Pakistan collapses, we will be saddled with similar influx from our Western borders as well. For us, this is a nightmare. As it is, the influx is causing many problems in our border states and our establishment is pussyfooting around this issue by not doing anything meaningful leading to private armies being formed to chase out these infiltrators who come in to compete for scarce resources, albeit better than what they have in Bangladesh. You surely do not want this phenomenon to take place in Arizona do you? What is the big problem in legitimate residents carrying identification documents? In a troubled world, I think that some action like this is necessary, though the misuse of sweeping powers given to local officials is possible, the implementation can be made humane by proper training.

Nancy said...


What is your thinking on all American citizens having a NATIONAL IDENTITY CARD?

You always think things through and I would really like to hear your opinion on this.

Darlene said...

*Looking to the Stars - I am not like Raul Grivala; I do not advocate boycotting Arizona because of our stupid bunch of 'leggies'. This will be resolved in the courts.

*Rummuser - There are two answers to your analysis. First of all, we have millions of illegal immigrants living here and many of them have been here for many, many years; they often work in menial jobs that citizens won't do. Mainly, the Fourth Amendment to our Constitution makes it illegal to allow unwarranted search and seizure. Having to show an identity card for no good reason, other than the color of your skin, infringes on that freedom, a freedom that we cherish. Ethnic profiling is illegal as well. Unlike India, we are a country made up of many nationalities and to single one out (even though the governor denies this) is discrimination.

Another factor is this; it won't work. The drug runners are the Mexicans that cause all the trouble and this will do nothing to stop the drug trade. So good people who contribute to our economy will be deported while the crime will not lessen.

*Nancy - I haven't really given much thought to this, but off the top of my head I do not approve of a National Identity Card. It is another back door way to catch and deport illegal entrants by forcing ordinary citizens to obtain and carry another ID card. The better way would be for the government to finally pass into law a reasonable and comprehensive immigration policy. We cannot deport millions of illegal people in our borders because it is not logistically or financially feasible

Rain said...

And so if you give all the illegals here right now citizenship, that will solve this problem, you think? What about when Reagan did it and the end result is where we are today.

When Arizona's half million illegals are given citizenship, they will change the type of jobs they apply for and more illegals will come in for Americans to exploit at lesser wages. The only solution is what Obama said-- border control, a reasonable work card that stops illegals from being hired and penalizes employers who don't bother to check their ID and a plan for citizenship for those already here.

On the citizenship card, I have changed my mind and have no problem with applying for one anymore than I did my passport. It would be a lot easier to carry and no reason we should not all carry one. My wallet is full of cards identifying myself in many ways. Other countries have gone to this already. I don't really see how it differs from a passport which you have to carry to go to Canada or most any other country. Before the passport, we had to carry birth certificates.

If they stop the profit in transporting people, it will take a chunk out of the coyote's trade. If they do a better job on patrolling the border, it might stop it totally.

Arizona, who is being slammed by so many, at least has tried to do something (and considering how much violence is just across the border and coming up, not surprising they'd want to) when the US has ignored it or even profited from it. If we don't stop the entrance illegally than the amnesty will do nothing for the problem-- absolutely nothing.

If the US, with Obama's leadership, steps up to bat on this then Arizona's law (which I have not read and have no idea of its specifics) won't be needed. But since they have not, perhaps this will prod them into doing something.

Having a group who basically serve as slave labor is not flattering to any of the values we claim we believe in.

Barry said...

Everyone in Arizona will be a suspect. Guilty of not being a citizen until proven innocent on the street by a police officer who should have no reason to get involved with you in the first place. I for one am not comfortable traveling to a state in my own country with this possibility. By some of the logic given here I cannot, for example, go out for a run on a public way without my passport and risk being tossed in the back of a patrol car and hauled off to the station for booking by a police officer because I happen to tan very well and have left my "papers" at the house?

Ridiculous. What's next? Microchips and have the authorities scan us at the super market?

Rain said...

As I understand the law, it is only with reasonable cause but that has already been true many places. Watch the movie The Visitors, I think or something like that about a man from Lebanon who got grabbed in NYC because they thought he didn't pay his subway ticket and the problem he ran into. I don't think it'd be different in any other country if you didn't have proof with you and the police saw you do something they regarded as suspicious.

In Oregon, my husband had a police officer follow our vehicle into a video store last year. I didn't understand it was a traffic stop, got out and walked toward the store to do what we had come to do while leaving my husband to deal with any driving questions as I saw the officer had gotten out of his vehicle. I didn't hear him but I guess the officer yelled at me to stop. Because I hadn't heard, I kept walking. Likely due to my gray hair, he let it go but what he had wanted, I am assuming is me to stay in the car while he checked both of our IDs (which would be driver's licenses). It happened because my husband had evidently switched lanes too fast but anything like that can lead to a demand for identification and them to do a check on who you are. This was in a small (pretty liberal) town but in reality anywhere you go that can happen. They stop you and ask for ID. Generally that means a valid driver's license. Which if you drive anywhere you have to always carry (along with proof of insurance on the vehicle in the vehicle). IF I hike anywhere I generally carry my proof of who I am as well as medical insurance cards which means two cards now days). Nobody requires me to carry those but it's just commonsense if I got hit by a car or had an accident and was unable to tell someone who I was.

The only places in Arizona that routinely have checkpoints have been there since 9/11 in one case (coming down from Las Vegas) and between Nogales and Tucson where for years there has been a blockade on the main highway where you can be asked for ID. Just keep in mind about your worry that the media is whipping it up into a frenzy because it makes a good story, but it won't likely change much for Arizona. But boycott the state if people wish. As Darlene said, it might stop some shoppers coming up from Sonora. I see a lot of their license plates at nearby malls but maybe they will still come considering the danger of shopping in Nogales. Any of that might change the minds of politicians while it hurts the ordinary businesses who had nothing to do with this law or the problem.

Incidentally what Arizona did might end up what will push the federal government into doing what is right about this situation which has needed to be fixed for many years.

Incidentally if you do visit Tucson, my second home, it is recommended by the State Department that you not visit Nogales, Sonora, which used to be a fun part of any trip to Tucson. Due to possible gun fights between the cartels and the police, it's not deemed to be safe. I also personally recommend you watch out when you get out into the wilderness areas, places I have always loved to explore. You never know what you will run into as the coyotes are not those you want to meet... and I don't mean the yodeling type

Darlene said...

*Rain - I will try to take your points one at a time. I agree with some, but have a different slant on others.

Giving citizenship to all illegal aliens with certain restrictions (they must pay a large fee, have lived here a certain number of years, etc.) is practical. It may not be the solution we desire, but it is totally impossible to deport a half million people. This is fiscally 'out of sight' and, from a practical viewpoint, mpossible. To deport that many people who are now contributing to our economy by paying taxes, SS withholding, etc. would also disrupt our economy.

On one point I agree with you completely. The best solution is more money spent on border control. The task is daunting, however, with over 2,000 miles of border between Mexico and the U. S. What to do about the Canadian border where terrorists have tried to enter? So far, that border is safe. How about our shores? More money should be spent there, as well. It all gets back to money.

I think you make my point about a citizenship card. It is unnecessary because citizens already carry so much identification that if you are a legal citizen it is easy to prove. To set up another bureaucracy to oversee this program would use precious resources better spent on more border patrolmen.

I think it's wishful thinking to believe that more border patrol would stop the coyotes or drug runners, It might slow them down, but as long as there is the huge profits to be made they will find a way. Tunnels under the fence or helicopters over it will be used. The best answer is to take the profit out of the drug trade and a comprehensive law dealing with the illegal alien problem. Legalizing Marijuana like alcohol is one step and putting other illegal drugs under the control of the FDA with a prescription required might help.

I totally agree that the one redeeming feature in the Arizona law is that it is prompting the U. S. Government into tackling the situation. Lets hope they come up with a practical law once and for all.

On your second post you mentioned 'reasonable cause.' I find this to be a straw man, because the law officers can already stop a violator (such as speeding, or a suspicious van loaded with Hispanics) and ask for ID. We all know there are racist cops who will use this law to harass anyone with dark skin and eyes. If you don't believe me, think of Sheriff Joe Arparo (sp?)in Mesa. How else is an officer to identify a suspected 'illegal' if not physical appearance? Racial profiling already occurs and will be magnified ten fold if this law stands, whether it is illegal to do so or not.

Yes. the violence in Sonora is spilling over into the U. S. and the killing of the rancher makes it imperative that we resolve this issue once and for all, but this AZ law does nothing to address the issue of Gang warfare.

*Berry - You made a very good point; this law violates our Constitution by assuming you are guilty until proven innocent.

I love your comment about microchips.

Rain said...

Clearly we will have to agree to disagree on this because I do understand why Arizonans tried to do something about a problem that is being ignored by many because it doesn't touch their lives or they profit from hiring illegals. We cannot go on as we have been and Arizona may be the catalyst for changing the system. If the law is unconstitutional, it will be blocked until the courts declare that. I just hope if it is blocked, it won't mean nothing happens because that isn't okay either.

If the police cannot be trusted to do reasonable and responsible things, if you really fear that they are bigots, then your problem is with the police force and who serves there. They would be no more safe to have in that position without this law as with it. I haven't had that negative of experience with law enforcement, but then I am not a minority. I actually had an uncle who was a detective. I have felt they do their best in a difficult situation where their life is on the line in ways the rest of us cannot imagine. But maybe I am wrong. BUT if they cannot be trusted with this law, they cannot be trusted period.

I've said what I think on this though and won't continue arguing about it. The legal system will quickly determine if it went too far and I am no legal expert. The country, if it truly does boycott Arizona will bring a lot of pressure to change it if it's not unconstitutional. But unfortunately that won't fix the problem if Americans don't want to.

Off and on I have been writing about my concern for the border since I began doing blogs and nothing has significantly changed. We either put enough people there to stop the coyotes or worse will be the result.

Xtreme English said...

When a friend complained about "Arizona's woman governor and her new law," i thought she was talking about the one Obama pinched, not this new dingbat! Thanks for clearing that up, Darlene. This can't be sure as hell isn't right!!

Kay Dennison said...

I thought xenophobia went out with the 50s

Darlene said...

*Rain - I respect your opinion, although I do not agree. As to racist cops, not all are racist and it only takes a few of them to cause fear and harassment.

*Xteme English - It is wrong on so many levels. Unfortunately, the Arizona economy will now suffer more set backs.

*Kay Dennison - I am afraid it will never go away as long as ignorance rules.

Vagabonde said...

I have spent some time on the Cherokee Indian Reservation and frankly, I think they and all the other Native tribes should take America back, and throw all of us immigrants out.
But you know, showing a driver’s license is no proof of citizenship. When I worked with the Algerian trainees at work, the first thing I would do is to get them a driver’s license so I could keep their passports for safe keeping during their two-year training with us.

Hattie said...

I've read what everyone has to say here, and I say: Boycott Arizona (sorry, Darlene, but it is a way to express disapproval that gets attention). There are no excuses for what is going on either in Mexico or in Arizona. Mexicans are being driven to despair by the poverty in their country. Building walls and harrassing people for their skin color and ethnicity are not going to do a damn thing for anyone.
Furthermore, I think all those Mexican haters should start doing their own yard work and home repairs, taking care of their own kids, and looking after their own elderly parents instead of hiring and underpaying poor Mexicans to do their work for them. They could go out and groom their own damn golf courses and start eating at home instead of in Mexican staffed restaurants, too. And stop buying all that pre-prepared food in supermarkets and cook everything
from scratch.
It's a nasty situation, made worse by the bad conscience of all the people who exploit Mexicans without wanting to do anything for them.
Where I live, in Hawaii, people come here expecting to find an underclass of exploitable non-citizens,such as they had such an abundant supply of where they came from in California and other such places. But it's not like that here. Local people are not desperate enough to do any kind of work for any old pay the Man wants to give them. People here feel that they have rights.
Many of the newcomers adjust, but many more either settle into a lifetime of griping about the cost of labor and the government and taxes, or they return from whence they came.
I am sick and tired of seeing Mexicans scapegoated, when the fault lies with greedy and selfish Americans.
Solutions: I have none.
But be warned: without Mexicans, life will be lots less comfortable and more expensive for those of you who profit from Mexican labor.

Darlene said...

*Vagabonde - Good point. Unless you have native blood, you, or your ancestors are (or were) immigrants. America always does this to the new immigrants; the Irish, the Italians, the Germans, and the French. Now it's the Hispanics. Lady Liberty must be weeping for our lack of compassion.

*Hattie - If I didn't live here I would agree with you, but it is the Arizona children who will ultimately suffer if the state is boycotted. They are the ones who suffer by having their schools closed, lack supplies, programs are cut, etc. when the state budget is in the red. Cutting education to balance the budget comes thanks to the same neanderthal legislators that gave us this terrible law.

A boycott is going to happen whether I approve or not. They are already being called for and conventions are being canceled. Maybe Arizona will have to swallow the bitter pill before it comes to it's senses and repeals this law so I guess it's not all bad.

naomi dagen bloom said...

Darlene, Great post and very timely for one I put up just now, linked to you. My bias is that all who are troubled about what Arizona governor has done should blog about it.

My sentiments are with Hattie--no surprise. Also, am furious with that damned U.S. Congress that should be struggling with this (and it is a complicated issue), not doing nothing so that states will do their own illegal thing.

There is much wealth among Mexicans, for example Carlos Slim one of the richest men in world who few years ago provided capital for new New York Times building. Kind of person who does not care about impoverishing his own country, buying into ours. Better minds than mine might figure out how to connect the dots--create more possibilities for struggling Mexicans to live in own country.

I always refer to "undocumented" immigrants. But then I'm from the land of political correctness!

Darlene said...

*Naomi Dagen Bloom - Thank you for your visit and for linking to my post.

Many years ago my husband and I vacationed in Mexico and we went to the Pedrigal in Mexico city. There we saw the lavish mansions with flagstone driveways that belonged to the very wealthy. At the end of the area there was a stream with tar paper and tin shacks on the banks. Poor little dirty urchins were playing in the mud. The contrast between the extremely wealthy and the very impoverished couldn't be starker. You are correct in saying that the wealthy Mexicans do not help their poor.

Undocumented immigrants is a much better term than illegals. I should have used that term. Thank you for reminding me.

Barry said...

Darlene - We'll be staying in Tucson near Agua Caliente. I'll get in touch with you privately at some point.

One more thing, then I am done with this....