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SB1070 - Arizona's March to Extremism

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
by Man Eegee
The Republican Party controls both chambers of Arizona's state legislature as well as the Governorship of Jan Brewer. This week, SB1070, authored by extremist state Senator Russell Pearce, passed through the Capitol and now awaits the Governor's signature. The bill has become toxic due to what many believe is an opening for local law enforcement to racially profile anyone in the state they suspect of being an undocumented worker:
E. 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.

full text of bill - .pdf warning
Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County is under several investigations at the moment due to racial profiling by personnel under his direction. SB1070 will expand this type of behavior to the entire state of Arizona. Due to the proximity of Arizona to Mexico, the Latino community is constantly having their constitutional rights violated by a system that uses skin color, accents and arcane vehicle profiles to stop motorists. If Governor Brewer signs SB1070, all of this will become legal.

Additionally, the bill takes a page out of the infamous HR4437 that sparked hundreds of thousands to protest in 2006 across the country with respect to criminalizing undocumented status and the relationship they have to families, friends, religious communities, etc.
A. IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR A PERSON WHO IS IN VIOLATION OF A CRIMINAL OFFENSE TO:

1. TRANSPORT OR MOVE OR ATTEMPT TO TRANSPORT OR MOVE AN ALIEN IN THIS STATE IN A MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION IF THE PERSON KNOWS OR RECKLESSLY DISREGARDS THE FACT THAT THE ALIEN HAS COME TO, HAS ENTERED OR REMAINS IN THE UNITED STATES IN VIOLATION OF LAW.

2. CONCEAL, HARBOR OR SHIELD OR ATTEMPT TO CONCEAL, HARBOR OR SHIELD AN ALIEN FROM DETECTION IN ANY PLACE IN THIS STATE, INCLUDING ANY BUILDING OR ANY MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION, IF THE PERSON KNOWS OR RECKLESSLY DISREGARDS THE FACT THAT THE ALIEN HAS COME TO, HAS ENTERED OR REMAINS IN THE UNITED STATES IN VIOLATION OF LAW.

3. A. ENCOURAGE OR INDUCE AN ALIEN TO COME TO OR RESIDE IN THIS STATE IF THE PERSON KNOWS OR RECKLESSLY DISREGARDS THE FACT THAT SUCH COMING TO, ENTERING OR RESIDING IN THIS STATE IS OR WILL BE IN VIOLATION OF LAW.

B. A MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION THAT IS USED IN THE COMMISSION OF A
VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION IS SUBJECT TO MANDATORY VEHICLE IMMOBILIZATION OR IMPOUNDMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 28-3511.

C. A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS SECTION IS GUILTY OF A CLASS 1 MISDEMEANOR AND IS SUBJECT TO A FINE OF AT LEAST ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS, EXCEPT THAT A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION THAT INVOLVES TEN OR MORE ILLEGAL ALIENS IS A CLASS 6 FELONY AND THE PERSON IS SUBJECT TO A FINE OF AT LEAST ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR EACH ALIEN WHO IS INVOLVED.
In response to this effort to create a police state in Arizona, countless groups have mobilized against SB1070, including ¡Alto Arizona! sponsored by the National Day Labor Organizing Network, NCLR, America's Voice, MALDEF, Presente.org, MoveOn.org, Coalición de Derechos Humanos, Border Action Network, United Farm Workers, US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Catholic Conference, whose bishops signed a letter with 12 other prominent religious leaders in the state, issuing the following statement (excerpted):
Our concern is that this bill could make felons, not only out of dangerous criminals (as is warranted), but also the many undocumented immigrants who have come to this country at a very young age and have no familiarity with any other country but the United States. We are concerned for these children and for families that may have a mother and a father, one of whom is a citizen and the other of whom would now be considered a criminal.

full text of letter - .pdf warning
The situation in Arizona is a direct result of inaction in Washington, D.C. to fix the broken immigration system. The Obama Administration has continued and escalated the enforcement-only policies of the Bush Administration that does nothing to unclog the backlog of applications for both temporary and permanent residency/work opportunities in this country.

The truth is, most undocumented workers are members of a family with various status of citizenship between its members. As long as the U.S. government ignores this fact, along with the effects of its economic and trade policies on sender nations, mass migration of humanity will continue and this whole window-dressing charade will continue until violence breaks out.

Russell Pearce has been salivating at the opportunity to pass something like SB1070 ever since Janet Napolitano ditched Arizona for her position as head of the Department of Homeland Security. This is no surprise to activists; the Latino community deserves to hear something beyond silence from the Secretary and President Obama. We are literally chaining ourselves to the seats of power in this state to demand justice for our communities.

¡Ya Basta! Enough is Enough!

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posted by Man Eegee at 3:45 PM | Permalink |
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