Saturday, April 24, 2010

SB1070: Now What?

As expected, Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona signed Senate Bill 1070 into law yesterday, calling a press conference and showing the rest of the country how clueless she is regarding the implications of the state's actions. There were a couple of points made that I think deserve more attention:

Let me be clear, though: My signature today represents my steadfast support for enforcing the law -- both AGAINST illegal immigration AND against racial profiling.

This legislation mirrors federal laws regarding immigration enforcement.

Despite erroneous and misleading statements suggesting otherwise, the new state misdemeanor crime of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document is adopted, verbatim, from the same offense found in federal statute.

I will NOT tolerate racial discrimination or racial profiling in Arizona.

full transcript of Brewer's remarks (emphasis mine)

The highlighted phrase caught my attention because it perfectly describes why the Latino community in Arizona has reacted so passionately to SB1070 - we are already regularly profiled by law enforcement. This new state law now expands those opportunities to target us. We don't imagine or pretend that we're routinely targeted, it's our reality. How very white of the Governor to wave away our concerns like we're a pesky mosquito.

I wrote on Twitter yesterday: "The AZGOP remains clueless as to how badly they're radicalizing a younger population of voters. Their time will end soon at the ballot box"

And that's what needs to happen next - voter registration, and more importantly, voter education as to why our voices deserve to be heard.

Governor Brewer told protesters yesterday at the Capitol after her press conference that they were "overreacting" - a hugely arrogant and ignorant statement from the state's top executive. This dismissal of Latino concerns is what will send the Arizona Republican Party over the cliff as our voting power grows with more engagement. And we are engaging.

I have heard from friends and family members over the past several days that never concern themselves with the political process, and they are pissed off, frustrated, and looking for ways to stop this madness.

My message to them and to the rest of Arizona who's had enough dysfunction at the Capitol is simple: Vote them out.

Our state finds itself in a crisis situation that spans beyond immigration - education and basic social services such as children's healthcare are being gutted on top of this latest outrage. This is all by design of the conservative movement. They don't believe in government.

Think about that. Why would we hire someone to teach who hates children? Or go to a doctor who can't handle the sight of blood? Or a mechanic who doesn't like to get dirty? It would be absurd.

Well, that exactly what we have in the form of the dominant leaders in the Arizona Republican Party. Russell Pearce is just one of the many lawmakers in Phoenix who make it their political cause to defund and destroy any government program that could actually benefit the public.

why our system is dysfunctional, not because an undocumented immigrant has the audacity to earn a paycheck. Schools are overcrowded? Well, that's because there are no state lawmakers who have the cojones to ask the public to agree to an income tax increase that would go to fund more school buildings and living wages for our educators. Hospitals are overcrowded? That's because our health care system sucks; something that you may remember was recently in the headlines on the national level and people like Brewer fought vehemently.

This is not rocket science.

The AZGOP does not believe in government, period. Yet, ironically, are elected to steer government's wheel. This must change. They have proven themselves unworthy to govern by their irresponsibility and arrogance to the concerns of a formerly voiceless population in the state's borders. We do have a voice, though, and they are going to learn that even though the bill has been signed into law, we're not finished making it known that we've have enough.

See you at high noon at the Capitol tomorrow.

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