Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Immigration News Roundup 4/4/06

Scanning the headlines here in Arizona yield the following tidbits.

Phoenix's April 10th march is expected to draw 100,000 participants
Organizers are asking marchers to begin gathering at 11 a.m. at the fairgrounds. The march will begin at 1 p.m., when organizers will lead marchers along Grand Avenue to Van Buren Street and then west on Washington Street to Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza.

Following the rally, marchers will walk back to the fairgrounds west on Adams Street and then north on 19th Avenue.


In Phoenix, organizers said volunteers will conduct a voter drive as part of the march, under the slogan, "Today we march - Tomorrow we vote."
Millions of people have marched over the past several weeks, with near-zero incidents of violence; however, it's not stopping the frothing wing of the Republican Party from calling for a police state.
Two Republican senators want Gov. Janet Napolitano to call out the National Guard in anticipation of Monday's marches to protest federal immigration proposals.

A third wants the state to enforce truancy laws against students who skip school to participate.
Sen. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, said more than 100,000 people could be involved in the Phoenix march, which is one of several events planned for cities nationwide.

"That could be volatile and could turn violent," Harper said during a floor speech Monday.

"I'm not sure that there are enough police officers to patrol this crowd, should it become a violent issue," Harper continued.

He wants Napolitano to activate Guard troops by Saturday for two days of crowd and safety training, then have them deployed with police officers should extra crowd control help be needed.
Opposition to the horrendous House Bill 4437 is not isolated to the secular realm. The Catholic Church has also come out in opposition to the criminalization of social workers who minister to the poor and disenfranchised. Cardonal Mahoney of Los Angeles went so far as to call for civil disobedience if the Congress pushes through those measures. Here in Tucson, Bishop Kicanas has been doing yeoman's work on making sure the humanity of the immigrants is a central focus to the debate on policy.

An estimated 1,000 people crowded on the lawn at the state capital Tuesday morning to lend a prayerful tone to the immigration debate.

The Interfaith Prayer Service sent a gentle yet firm message to lawmakers. The message is simple and was conveyed through a combination of prayer and action.

"Shouting matches do nothing. But prayer together opens hearts," said Bishop Gerald Kicanas of the Diocese of Tucson. "So state legislators, stop shouting."

Those of Christian, Muslim and Jewish faith came together to pray and sing for peace and justice.

Student truancy due to the mass-walkouts has ignited quite the debate, especially since this is also the time that the AIMS tests are administered. (passing the AIMS test is required for graduation under the No Every Child Left Behind Act. From a columnist at the Tucson Citizen:
The first call I took Thursday morning in response to my column praising the students who walked out of class in peaceful protest of our nation's treatment of illegal immigrants went like this: "You're full of baloney.... Quit encouraging those knuckleheads."

And that was from my brother.

The day went downhill from there. Out of the 20 or so people who felt compelled to write or call, the vast majority thought the column was way off-base and perhaps even irresponsible. I'm devoting today's column to their voices.
The Minutemen, following their Republican Overlords' lead from Washington, have a zero-tolerance policy towards dissenting viewpoints regarding media coverage of their klan karnivals.
A Canadian author was stripped of his Minuteman Civil Defense Corp press pass on Tuesday morning after interviewing members of the ACLU outside the patrol area.

Stacey O'Connell, the field director for Arizona's arm of the volunteer border patrol effort, said that the situation was being handled internally and offered to give the writer, Derek Lundy, his press pass back after being contacted by The Arizona Republic.

Lundy, who is riding along the U.S.-Mexico border on a motorcycle for a non-fiction book, said a female volunteer took away a press credential issued by the Minuteman organization after he was seen interviewing American Civil Liberties Union monitors outside the ranchland where the group has set up patrols.
Not that they are making much of a difference (besides ramping up the racism)
A U.S. Border Patrol spokesman said Monday that he had not seen a single report of any sightings of illegal immigrants by the Minuteman border-watch group, which began a monthlong operation in Arizona on Saturday.

"I have not seen one single report — no reportable event as far as the Minutemen are concerned," said Johnny Bernal, a spokesman for the patrol's Tucson Sector, which encompasses most of the Arizona-Mexico border.

But Chris Simcox, national leader of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, called that "an absolute, blatant lie."
Sorry, Chris. You have no credibility, not even with the Border Patrol, whom you claim to be helping out with your hunting of human beings. How pathetic.

That's about all for now, make sure to keep checking in at Migra Matters for the latest news on the Senate's debate on a comprehensive immigration reform bill. McCain is not confident that they have the votes necessary to pass the measure in its current form, but at least it's progress from the House's horrendous actions so far.

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