Daily Archives: April 27, 2010

Breathing While Undocumented by Linda Greenhouse

Posted by: TheLCster

Op-ed by Linda Greenhouse

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Linda Greenhouse

NYT~I’m glad I’ve already seen the Grand Canyon.

Because I’m not going back to Arizona as long as it remains a police state, which is what the appalling anti-immigrant bill that Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law last week has turned it into.

What would Arizona’s revered libertarian icon, Barry Goldwater, say about a law that requires the police to demand proof of legal residency from any person with whom they have made “any lawful contact” and about whom they have “reasonable suspicion” that “the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States?” Wasn’t the system of internal passports one of the most distasteful features of life in the Soviet Union and apartheid-era South Africa?

And in case the phrase “lawful contact” makes it appear as if the police are authorized to act only if they observe an undocumented-looking person actually committing a crime, another section strips the statute of even that fig leaf of reassurance. “A person is guilty of trespassing,” the law provides, by being “present on any public or private land in this state” while lacking authorization to be in the United States — a new crime of breathing while undocumented. The intent, according to the State Legislature, is “attrition through enforcement.”

Representative Raúl M. Grijalva, a Democrat from Tucson, has already called on the nation’s business community to protest the law by withholding its convention business. Such boycotts can be effective, as demonstrated in the late-1980s when the loss not only of convention business but of — horrors! — the Super Bowl prompted Arizona voters to reinstate a Martin Luther King holiday in the state.

But a boycott is a blunt instrument that can hurt innocent business owners and their employees. So I will stick to my own personal protest without presuming to urge anyone else to follow my example.

Rather, I’ll offer a reflection on how, a generation ago, another of the country’s periodic anti-immigrant spasms was handled by the Supreme Court. In 1975, Texas passed a law to deprive undocumented immigrant children of a free public education. Many thousands of children — a good number of whom were on the road to eventual citizenship under immigration laws that were notably less harsh back then — faced being thrown out of school and deprived of a future.

…snip…

So what to do in the meantime? Here’s a modest proposal. Everyone remembers the wartime Danish king who drove through Copenhagen wearing a Star of David in support of his Jewish subjects. It’s an apocryphal story, actually, but an inspiring one. Let the good people of Arizona — and anyone passing through — walk the streets of Tucson and Phoenix wearing buttons that say: I Could Be Illegal.

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Filed under Arizona, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, Immigration, Law, Uncategorized

Arizona’s New Immigration Law and the Grassroots Say ‘No’ to Arizona Push Back

Posted by: Buellboy

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva

AP~U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, a Democrat, and civil rights activists spoke to thousands of people gathered at the state Capitol and called on President Barack Obama to fight the law, promising to march in the streets and invite arrest by refusing to comply.

“We’re going to overturn this unjust and racist law, and then we’re going to overturn the power structure that created this unjust, racist law,” Grijalva said.

Obama has called the new law “misguided” and instructed the Justice Department to examine it to see if it’s legal. It requires police to question people about their immigration status – including asking for identification – if they suspect someone is in the country illegally. Opponents say it would lead to racial profiling because officers would be more likely to ask people who look Hispanic.

Supporters have dismissed concerns about profiling, saying the law prohibits the use of race or nationality as the sole basis for an immigration check. Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the measure Friday, has ordered state officials to develop a training course for officers to learn what constitutes reasonable suspicion someone is in the U.S. illegally.

State Sen. Russell Pearce, the Mesa Republican who sponsored the legislation, said it’s “pretty disappointing” that opponents would call on the federal government to refuse to cooperate with Arizona authorities.

“It’s outrageous that these people continue to support law breakers over law keepers,” Pearce said Sunday.

Protesters, some of whom came from as far away as Texas, clustered under trees for shelter from Arizona’s searing sun and temperatures that approached 90 degrees. Police said it was peaceful and there were no clashes.

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Representative Luis Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat. He called the new Arizona immigration law a civil rights catastrophe and urged constituents to cancel vacations to Arizona

HP~One Chicago congressman has a suggestion for his constituents as to what they can do about Arizona: don’t go there.

“Why would you want to contribute to a group of people that clearly are engaged in a discriminatory act?” said Congressman Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat, according to Chicago Public Radio.

Gutierrez represents Illinois’s 4th Congressional District, one of the most heavily gerrymandered districts in the country, and one that covers two of Chicago’s strongly Hispanic neighborhoods. He has long been an advocate of immigration reform, and has been a persistent critic of the Obama administration for failing to act more strongly on the issue.

To that end, Gutierrez believes the new Arizona law, which requires police to question anyone they had reason to suspect was in the country illegally, has a silver lining:

“The legislative overreach by Arizona Republicans to inject harsh anti-immigrant politics into the brewing Election Year stew is focusing the President’s attention on the need for the federal government to take charge” on immigration reform, Gutierrez said in a statement.

Gutierrez was in Phoenix on Sunday, where he joined Arizona congressman Raul Grijalva in a protest at the state capitol. At a joint press conference in Washington before the rally, the two representatives decried what Gutierrez called a “civil rights catastrophe that Republicans in Arizona are unleashing on immigrants and all Latinos in the state.”

Say ‘No’ to Arizona ~ Nation’s largest Spanish-language newspaper joins boycott of Arizona over immigration legislation

Critics of Arizona’s new immigration law have been calling for a boycott of the state, and the nation’s biggest Spanish-language newspaper just joined that call.

Here’s La Opinion’s translation of its editorial:

“…The anti-immigrant bill signed yesterday in Arizona is a violation of our right to be free from police harassment based on the way we look….

There are two ways to fight this law: one is in the courts and the other is through direct action. As for the first, lawyers will be filing lawsuits challenging the law’s constitutionality. The latter, direct action, is a call to boycott the state of Arizona.

We express our outrage in the face of this abuse of power. We call for a boycott of all goods and services from Arizona and pledge to avoid tourism in the state as well. Let’s send a signal of our disgust with an arrogant state government that asserts powers it does not have in order to persecute a minority population.”

By the Time I Get to Arizona” — This Discrimination Must Stop

Written by Chuck D and Gaye Theresa Johnson

Chuck D and Gaye Theresa Johnson

HP~The Arizona immigration bill — which Governor Jan Brewer has decided to sign into law — is racist, deceitful, and reflects some of the most mean-spirited politics against immigrants that the country has ever seen. The power that this law gives to police to detain people that they suspect to be undocumented brings racial profiling to a new low. Brewer’s actions and those of Joe Arpaio, Russell Pearce, the Arizona State Senate are despicable, inexcusable, and endorse the all-out hate campaign that Joe Arpaio, Russell Pearce, and others have perpetrated upon immigrants for years. The people of Arizona who voted for this bill, as well as those who crafted it, demonstrate no regard for the humanity or contributions of Latino people. And for all of those who have chosen not to speak up, shame on you for silently endorsing this legislated hate.

In 1991 Public Enemy wrote a song criticizing Arizona officials (including John McCain and Fife Symington) for rejecting the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The same politics written about in “By the Time I Get to Arizona” are alive and well in Arizona today, but this time the target is Brown people.

These actions must stop. We are issuing a call to action, urging fellow musicians, artists, athletes, performers, academics and production companies to refuse to work in Arizona until officials not only overturn this bill, but recognize the human rights of immigrants. This should include the NBA playoffs, revisiting the actions of the NFL in 1993, when they moved the Superbowl to Pasadena in protest against Arizona’s refusal to recognize Dr. King. We all need to speak up in defense of our brothers and sisters being victimized in Arizona, because things are only getting worse. What they’re doing to immigrants is appalling, but it will be even more damning if we remain silent.

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Filed under Civil Protest, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, Immigration, Uncategorized

President Obama Speaks at the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama speaks on the opening day of the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship at the Ronald Reagan Building on April 26, 2010 in Washington, DC. The United States is hosting the two day Summit to strengthen ties between business leaders, foundations, and social entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim majority countries. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America)

In his June 2009 “A New Beginning” speech in Cairo, President Obama announced that the U.S. would host a Summit on Entrepreneurship to identify how we can deepen ties between business leaders, foundations, and entrepreneurs in the United States and Muslim communities around the world. The Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, held in Washington, D.C., today and Tuesday, April 27, at the Ronald Reagan Building, follows through on President Obama’s commitment. It represents an opportunity to highlight the importance of social and economic entrepreneurship, and strengthen mutually-beneficial relationships with entrepreneurs in Muslim-majority countries and Muslim communities around the world. The Summit emphasizes the President’s broader aims of supporting entrepreneurship, innovation, and opportunity at home and abroad.



Summit Participants

Participants have been selected from around the world to represent their home countries, regions, and sectors at the Summit. They hail from over fifty countries on five continents and include successful entrepreneurs, investors, academics, and leaders of entrepreneurship networks, non-profit organizations, foundations, and businesses who are invested in promoting entrepreneurship.

Participants hail from: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei, Cameroon, Canada, China, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyz, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Netherlands, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories, Paraguay, the Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Spain, Sweden, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, Uganda, United Kingdom, the United States, and Yemen.

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Filed under Change, Economy, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized

President Obama Meets With 2009 World Champion NY Yankees At White House

Posted by: Audiegrl

President Barack Obama is presented with an autographed New York Yankees jersey by team manager Joe Girardi during a ceremony celebrating the World Series champs in the East Room of the White House April 26, 2010 in Washington, DC. Despite being a Chicago White Sox fan, Obama celebrated the Yankees' victory and pointed to the team's visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center as an example of good community service (All photos by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America)

AP~President Barack Obama celebrated the world champion Yankees on Monday for their heroics and character – and bemoaned that his Chicago White Sox couldn’t match New York’s remarkable record of success.

In a jam-packed ceremony in the East Room that was part pep rally, the president pointed out that the last time the Yankees – winners of 27 titles – were toasted at the White House was 2001.

“It’s been nine years since your last title – which must have felt like eternity for Yankee fans. I think other teams would be just fine with a spell like that. The Cubs, for example,” Obama said, drawing laughs from players, coaches, members of his Cabinet and Congress and other guests. He added that his White Sox have gotten close, including a title in 2005.

The Yankees won the World Series in six games last year, defeating the Philadelphia Phillies. New York Manager Joe Girardi presented Obama with a signed Yankees’ jersey with the No. 27.

The White House visit was the fifth for the Yankees core four – Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada – who have a handful of championship rings. They’ve met three presidents – Bill Clinton in the 1990s, George W. Bush in 2001 and now Obama.

Obama praised the players for their off-field work, from a scholarship that first baseman Mark Teixeira established at his high school with a $75,000 check, to catcher Posada’s work on a support network for families with ailing children to shortstop Jeter’s sportsmanship.

Earlier in the day, members of the team visited war wounded at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, which several players described as a sobering experience. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who wore his championship ring, called the servicemembers the “real heroes” and pitcher Andy Pettitte hailed their sacrifice. Pettitte said even a few Boston Red Sox fans among the wounded appreciated the Yankee visit – though they kept their Red Sox caps on.

Obama said underneath the famed pinstripes the players and coaches “share a belief that anybody blessed with first-class talent also has an obligation to be a first-class person.”

Posing with the team, assembled on risers, Obama smiled broadly, then realized the photograph should include the World Series trophy. After Girardi brought it over, a member of the Yankee organization shouted out that it might be the White Sox’s No. 1 fan’s only chance to hold the trophy. The remark drew laughs from the crowd.


Remarks by The President Honoring the 2009 World Series Champion New York Yankees

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Filed under Baseball, Change, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized