Dear Arizona: We’ll Keep Our Immigrant Money to Ourselves

Per the Los Angeles Times, it looks like the LA City Council officially has joined a a growing list of other cities nationwide in boycotting – to the extent the city councils see possible, anyway – the hot state of Arizona.  The boycott comes as a protest against the passage of an arcane immigration law that grants Arizona police fairly wide powers to inquire anyone about their citizenship status (Kev-O had a good run-down of what to do if you are not protesting Arizona, go there to visit the rusty desert, and get stopped because you kind of, sort of look illegal and the cop is having a bad day, or a good one).  Our city council compared the law “to Nazi Germany and the beginning of the Holocaust, as well as the internment and deportation of Japanese Americans during World War II.”  This analogy, I think, actually is more apt to Joe Arpaio’s actions as sheriff of Phoenix and the rest of Maricopa County than the law itself, but I digress.

Meanwhile, Arizona’s governor, who signed the bill to much fanfare/fanhate, just doesn’t understand why all this is happening to the lil’ ol’ xenophobic people of Arizona:

“Why would they want to hurt the legal citizens?” Brewer says. “You and I, and everybody else in this state. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever to me.”

Womp, womp, Governor.  So sad, too bad.

14 Replies to “Dear Arizona: We’ll Keep Our Immigrant Money to Ourselves”

  1. LA has become a third world hell hole. we need a law like Arizonas here and really soon. The vast majority of American ‘citizens’ STRONGLY support enforcing immigration law. Get over it.

  2. I say boycott the companies and what not that are boycotting Arizona, why would you want to support anyone who is infavor of illegal activity.

  3. Wow, the xenophobes are really showing up in force today. Gentlemen, I cordially invite you both to kiss my left ass cheek. It’s the more lightly-complected of the two, so I’m sure it’ll be more to your liking.

  4. I’m all for people coming to this country, just go through the proper channels. It’s as simple as that.

  5. This is absurd and ridiculous. LA needs to leave AZ alone and focus all this hubris into tackling its own multitude of problems; not the least of which is illegal immigration. LA will only suffer (even more than it already has) for blindly allying with the wrong cause. The only reason LA should be complaining about AZ’s policies is that it will drive more illegals here to usurp more of our dwindling resources. Then LA will have no choice but to get up off its pretentiously righteous butt to do something about it.

  6. (Kev-O had a good run-down of what to do if you are not protesting Arizona, go there to visit the rusty desert, and get stopped because you kind of, sort of look illegal and the cop is having a bad day, or a good one).

    Actually, Kev-O doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I would suggest you pay no attention to him. I followed through to his link, read it, and left this comment. The italicized notes that follow are quotes from his statements there.

    So how can you protect yourself? Unless you plan on engaging in an act of civil disobedience, the best way is to carry proof of legal immigration status or citizenship. For immigrants, that means a green card, visa, Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization.

    This has been required by Federal law since 1940. Immigrants such as resident aliens and transients such as people here on visas were told this when they entered the country. People who knowingly flaunt Federal law – especially aliens – should expect trouble when they do so.

    Citizens should carry a passport (current is best, but an expired, undamaged passport is proof of US citizenship) or a birth certificate. A social security card would also be helpful if you have one.

    I’m a little curious why you would advise people on how to deal with a law that you have not yourself read. I say this because if you had read the law you’d skip all this and simply tell people to carry their driver’s license (or, if you don’t drive, a State ID). The law clearly states

    A person is presumed to not be an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States if the person provides to the law enforcement officer or agency any of the following:

    1. A valid Arizona driver license.

    2. A valid Arizona nonoperating identification license.

    3. A valid tribal enrollment card or other form of tribal identification.

    4. If the entity requires proof of legal presence in the United States before issuance, any valid United States federal, state or local government issued identification.

    Why would you tell people to dig out and carry all those other forms of documentation and not tell them to simply carry what just about everyone already has and carries as a matter of course? As you can see from this link, a California drivers license qualifies under point 4 from the section of the law I cited. In fact, that California drivers licence or ID card works even if you are a resident or transient alien. No need to show a green card to satisfy Arizona (although it’s still needed to satisfy Federal law).

    Are you offering your opinion without making even a minimal attempt to know what you’re talking about? Are you permitting yourself to be used as a tool (and a fool) by advocates of beliefs you admire without thinking on your own? Or did you actually read the law but decide to mislead people?

  7. Our city council compared the law “to Nazi Germany and the beginning of the Holocaust, as well as the internment and deportation of Japanese Americans during World War II.”

    If that’s the case then your city councillors are collectively a bunch of grandstanding fools. Investigating the immigration status of someone who gives them a fake license or is driving around without one (remember, show them a valid license and you’re on your merry way once you get the ticket they stopped you for) compares with throwing Jews in gas chambers? Or moving American citizens to relocation camps? Really? That doesn’t strike anyone here as ridiculous?

  8. For the benefit of those new readers out there, and those who might not be familiar with the types of rhetoric commonly used on the Internet, what Ron is doing is called “concern trolling.”

    By casting aspersions on the details of what queequeg and I are writing, he’s casting aspersions on the subtext of what we’re saying about immigration in the United States. We’re clearly opposed to the Arizona law, and he’s in favor of it, or at least in favor of booting out all the immigrants — but he won’t come right out and say that, because he doesn’t want you to associate him with all of the mouth-breathing teabaggers whose position he probably shares. You’ll note he actually raises a relatively decent point — I do suggest people carry more identification than the law requires (and with reason) — but the fact that he chooses to be extremely argumentative about it and make ad hominem attacks on me, rather than simply stating the facts in a helpful manner, belies any efforts he might seem to be making to be fair and balanced.

    Never mind the fact that this law, like the Jim Crow laws of old, is designed to do little more than give dirty cops a legal excuse to hassle ethnic minorities. Never mind that Ron seems smart enough to know that any cop who uses this law to demand papers from a brown person probably won’t be satisfied with a drivers’ license or a “nonoperating identification license.” Never mind the fact that it’s probably a good idea for immigrants (and, truly, all of us) to double up on the documentation they carry with them, so as to provide multiple redundancies of proof when faced with a challenge. Never mind the fact that this might actually be the first time since the 1940s that a comparison to Nazi Germany is truly apt — not because we’re throwing anyone in gas chambers (you’ll note that, despite Ron’s sputtering assertions, nobody ever actually made that claim), but because people are being forced to provide papers on demand. Never mind the connections between the new law and the white supremacy movement:

    http://www.racismreview.com/blog/2010/04/25/white-supremacist-tied-to-arizona-anti-immigration-law/

    http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/profiling-arizona-legislator-russell

    Never mind all of this. In Ron’s mind, the Arizona legislature has written a perfectly reasonable and not-at-all-vague law aimed solely at protecting the hardworking American taxpayer from the illegal hordes here to elbow us all out of our vaunted fruit-picking and valet-parking careers, and as long as we all stay in line and don’t do anything untoward, we’ll all be fine. Just carry your drivers’ license and everything will be OK. Hell, why are we even talking about this?

    Make no mistake, readers: Ron isn’t trying to have a discussion here. I’m not going to engage him, so neither should you.

  9. The AZ law has little or nothing to do with illegal immigration. Most Americans oppose illegal immigration (except for the mostly white business owners who want to hire illegal immigrants real cheap to maximize their profits). Nor is the issue the documentation that people are required to carry.

    The issue is the circumstances in which people are required to show such documentation. The Arizona law invites racial profiling of brown people. The cops in AZ won’t be hassling white folks to see if they snuck in from Canada or Europe or Mexico. So basically, only people who looks brown (or Latino, or Hispanic, you can fill in your synonym) will be the targets of the law. AZ GOP Governor Brewer, when signing the law, could not answer the question, what does an illegal alien look like?

    So basically, AZ cops are encouraged (some say required) to hassle brown people, the overwhelming majority of whom are here legally, for their papers. That’s part of what the Nazis did in Germany, and why people keep bringing that up. One commenter here talks about reading the law. How about reading the U.S. Constitution? 4th Amendment — no unreasonable searches & seizures. 14th Amendment — no state shall deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    This is no coincidence. The AZ law was drafted by Kris Kobach, an attorney for a white supremacist group. Since when do AZ lawmakers subcontract the drafting of laws? The law was then pushed in the AZ Senate by State Sen. Russell Pearce, who is on record for his white supremacist writings and association.

    It gets worse. The AZ law permits individuals to sue state and local officials if they believe the officials are not fully enforcing federal immigration laws, instead of just voting those officials out next time they’re up for election. As one AZ Sheriff who said he would not enforce the new law stated, this puts officials between a rock and a hard place, subject to lawsuits from some if they use racial profiling, and lawsuits from others if they don’t.

    How about the mischief that could take place on Election Day? I can envision state agents or police, and/or Republican Party agents, being sent to the polls to “enforce” the law or watch for “voter fraud,” i.e., with the true goal of intimidating law-abiding Latinos from showing up to vote, since they vote mostly Democratic. That is just what happened to Blacks for many years in South, with poll taxes and other tactics. Imagine the chilling effect on law-abiding citizens who are danger of being stopped and searched and hassled repeatedly, solely because of their ethnic appearance. I guess brown is the new black.

    Finally, some see this as a cynical attempt by Republicans to gin up an emotional issue in order to get their base out to the polls this November. I don’t know if that’s true, but it does seem that these issues (e.g., illegal immigration, gay marriage) sometimes get raised in the months before an election.

  10. It is going to be interesting to see how the court challenges play out. AZ is convinced they will survive challenges which is why they signed it into law. (For the record I don’t think it will stand the test of law just like our own 187 that failed years ago).

    I think LA has bigger issues to debate and work on in our own front yard. The lay off of some 1700 city employees and the loss of city services is going to affect us greatly.

    Not unlike LA’s stance in the apartheid years our checkbook being closed to AZ will have minimal impact and is largely symbolic. The courts will have the bigger impact on the AZ law.

    And Matt…your last paragraph hit a bullseye, look at Poizner’s campaign supporting AZ.

  11. Gentlepeople, may I point out to you that not all that long ago, California voters passed the very cruel anti-gay Proposition 8. I sure didn’t vote for it. I suspect I might know a few people who did, but none are under age 70. At that time, did the rest of the country cry for a ban of California? Did residents of San Francisco and West Hollywood flee for more tolerant states?

    Arizonans are not their legislature. And all Californians are not the majority of voters. I do however think that all the anti-Arizona outcry in California is from a very vocal minority. A silent majority of California voters, many of whom voted yes on Prop 8, might agree with what Arizona is doing.

    I think Arizona’s law is a cry for help to the Federal government to do something. Arizona may be angry, but shouldn’t we try to figure out the source of the anger and try to help, instead of condemning the state?

  12. Sorry, an overdue reply to all! Thank you thank you, Kev-O and Matt, for your comments. I do agree with RonF that the analogy to Nazi camps and the Japanese internment camps was maybe taking this a little too far – but, that said, comparing Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s practice of placing detainees suspected of being illegal immigrants in so-called “tent cities” – and having highly publicized events in which his office literally marches these individuals across town to these tents – sits uncomfortably between the internment and Nazi camps.

    I also agree that LA has its own problems on which it needs to spend time and money and effort and lame rhetoric. But, I don’t think that precludes LA – or any one/any entity – from ignoring things that its neighbors, or its country, does. As with most boycotts, I’m with frazgo – I highly doubt this will harm Arizona economically all that much, and really, if I was the one organizing some official act in protest of Arizona’s law, I might have not gone the boycott route. But, insofar that it throws a light on the law and forces the public to really ask itself if this is the path we want to embark upon in our attempt to deal with this issue, it’s somewhat effective.

    And finally, absolutely the source of the anger that precipitated the law partially is found at the federal government’s failure to really address illegal immigration – for all states, not just Arizona. That said, the source of the anger also is rooted in the drafters’ abject xenophobia and fear of the other. Same with the voters who passed Prop. 8. Both sources can be condemned, the latter must be.

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