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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