Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I almost moved to Arizona a few weeks ago. A job offer had been made and it involved relocation to Phoenix. I was given one month to make my decision. Talked to a lot of people, did research and thought about consequences. It was a good opportunity, "how many times do you get offered an engineering job" said my friend Beleza.

good point.

Yet, this is the heart of Arpaio Territory we're talking about, and it's seething with anti immigrant sentiment.

With a heavy heart i turned the offer down.

Flash forward to now, the anti-immigrant bill, known as SB 1070, has cleared legislative hurdles and is on its was to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's desk.

SB 1070 makes it a misdemeanor to lack proper immigration paperwork in Arizona. It also requires police officers, if they form a "reasonable suspicion" that someone is an illegal immigrant, to determine the person's immigration status.

The bill essentially makes Arizona an apartheid state, where it will be ok for police to ask a brown "illegal" looking man or woman for their papers. I won't even delve into how a person goes about looking "illegal" (although target seemed to have their own opinion on the matter), but SB 1070 opens the gateway to legalized racial profiling.

As Alessandra Soler Meetze, president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona put it:
"A lot of U.S. citizens are going to be swept up in the application of this law for something as simple as having an accent and leaving their wallet at home."
Religious Groups are coming out against the legislation, the Associated Press reports that:
The head of the nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese has condemned a proposed Arizona crackdown on illegal immigrants, saying it encourages people to turn on each other in Nazi- and Soviet-style repression.
We've already seen U.S. Citizens being detained and even deported in the continuing ICE raids that keep separating families. Yet in Arizona this is on the verge of becoming common practice, and where is the Obama administration on this? quietly looking the other way. Once again, change you can believe in.

Prerna, Co founder of Dreamactivist.org and a blogger at Change.org, suggests that the passing of SB 1070 might not be such a bad thing after all. She argues that such an insane law would (and is) energize the pro immigrant movement much in the way prop 8 energized the LGBT community.

If history is any lesson, we can look at the huge latino backlash in California when Prop 187 was passed by then Republican Governor Pete Wilson. The law was declared unconstitutional and shot down, but the damage had been done, and the Immigrant community effectively managed to turn California into a blue state.

The Unites States cannot have 50 different immigration laws, the San Francisco Chronicle puts it best:
If there was any doubt about the need for comprehensive federal immigration reform, Arizona's politicians are putting it to rest.


  1. As important and necessary as it is for border states like Arizona to address illegal immigration, what is in place to address the very real problems that this legislation is bound to cause if it is signed into law?

    What would make a law enforcement officer suspicious enough to ask for papers? This is not a good position for police to be in, and I firmly believe a lot of unintended consequence would result from this.

  2. I'm glad you didn't go to Arizona. I thank God you didn't. Stay safe