From the Editorial Board on 9/21/12:
AFTER A TWO-YEAR struggle, a federal judge this week authorized Arizona law enforcement agencies to require officers to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. Wearing the wrong clothes, speaking with the wrong accent or having the wrong skin color could land you in hot water in Arizona.
The state’s “show me your papers” provision — one of the most bitterly contested parts of the obnoxious immigration law enacted in 2010 — is the second such measure to receive a green light from federal courts. The first was from Alabama, where a similar policy was implemented about a year ago. Read more »
By Susan Carroll, published July 19, 2012:
Texas elections officials have joined a growing number of states seeking access to a massive immigration database to check voter rolls for possible noncitizens, officials confirmed Wednesday.
Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade sent a letter to Homeland Security Department Secretary Janet Napolitano requesting access to the federal database, which contains more than 100 million immigration records.
Andrade, an appointee of Gov. Rick Perry, is the latest of roughly a dozen GOP elections leaders from across the country to seek the information after the Homeland Security Department granted Florida officials permission last week after a long fight.
Andrade’s plans to check voter rolls against the database mark the latest chapter in an ongoing controversy over the state’s efforts to combat voter fraud. Texas officials and the U.S. Justice Department already are embroiled in a court battle over a state law passed last year that requires voters to show photo identification at the polls.
Read more »
Reported July 6, 2012:
This man is Raúl Héctor Castro. He is 96 years old, a former Arizona governor, and a former United States Ambassador to El Salvador, Bolivia and Argentina. He was born in Mexico, and is a United States citizen.
Last month he was stopped by U.S. border patrol agents after residual radiation from a medical procedure he’d recently undergone triggered an alarm at a checkpoint in Tubac, AZ. The 96 year-old heart patient was then forced to exit his vehicle in the 100 degree Arizona heat and wait in a tent in a business suit, even as his companion begged the agents not to subject an elderly man to such treatment.
This is the third time the former governor and ambassador has been detained by border control. The first occurred years ago while he was repairing his own fence and agents stopped him and asked to see his work card — although they eventually desisted after Castro pointed out a sign by his farm entrance that read “Judge Castro.” The second occurred years later in San Diego, although that encounter ended shortly after someone recognized Castro and said “Governor, how are you?”
Link to Article »
Reported June 28, 2012:
Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson rose nervously to urge Republicans at the state party’s convention to support a national guest-worker program for millions of undocumented residents.
Two years earlier, the party that dominates the second-most populous state had called for a crackdown on illegal immigrants.
“‘Well, here’s the end of a political career,’” Patterson said, recalling his thought as he looked over the June 8 gathering in the Fort Worth Convention Center. Instead, the delegates passed the platform with the guest-worker plan.
In Texas, the state with the second-largest illegal- immigrant population, Republicans have softened their stance toward them. The vote reflected a more pragmatic view of years past, such as when Governor Rick Perry signed a first-in-the- nation 2001 law that gave undocumented residents in-state tuition rates at public colleges. It preceded a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week that voided most of an Arizona law cracking down on people in the country illegally.
“I’m no bleeding heart; I oppose birthright citizenship,” said Patterson, 65, whose elected office controls state lands and mineral rights. “But we need the labor.”
Read more »
On June 12, 2012, Julian Aguilar wrote:
Texas Republicans are defending themselves against claims by Democrats that portions of a recently adopted GOP platform policy are little more than a move to pander to Latinos.
In doing so, Republicans are also highlighting divisions within the party on immigration matters.
Last week at the state GOP convention in Fort Worth, delegates adopted a party platform calling for a “Texas solution” for immigration reform, which includes a secure border, alternatives to mass deportations and a national guest-worker program. Party leaders have hailed the guest-worker stance as evidence that Republicans are on the side of economic migrants and the employers who need them.
But the platform also includes support for repealing birthright citizenship — a polarizing issue that has been linked to extreme terms like “terror babies” and one that Democrats say proves the GOP is pandering. Read more »
Escondido, California continues to vie for most anti-immigrant and anti-Latino city in America. Ugg. Sara Gates reports:
For every drunk driver, Escondido police pick up about 10 unlicensed drivers — a majority of which are undocumented immigrants. DUI road barriers effectively serve as immigration checkpoints in this California town.
According to a new report from KPBS news in San Diego, this policy is one of many recent initiatives by the Escondido police that directly target undocumented immigrants and the Latino population — 49 percent of Escondido’s 145,000 residents.
Other policies include proposed restrictions on food carts and parking in Latino neighborhoods and a 2006 ban on rental properties for anyone without proof of legal residency. However, the later restraint was ruled unconstitutional and ultimately discontinued.
Escondido police paired with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2010 to initiate “Operation Joint Effort,” which instituted dual DUI-immigration checkpoints.
The city is the first in the country to strike up such an agreement with ICE, so that the agency is informed whenever an undocumented immigrant is suspected. ICE also maintains an office at the local police station. Read more …
This is one of those moments when you can see the way national origin and class work out to make a hierarchy of belonging to “America.” This is a disturbing story about obnoxious high school kids and it also exposes some truths that no one likes to talk about. Victor Landa says it better below:
When do chants of USA! USA! become a racist rant? It sounds, at first hearing, like an Orwellian proposition. But take that proposition to one of the most American of venues, the high school basketball gym, and that seeming double-speak becomes an ethnic affront; it’s all in the intent.
That’s exactly what happened last week during an important regional basketball match between San Antonio’s Alamo Heights and Edison High Schools. The Alamo Heights Mules defeated the Edison Golden Bears, and with that defeat the Mules advanced in regional tournament competition. But in their post-victory celebration a group of Mules partisans chanted USA! USA! This is the nuance that turned a patriotic chant into a perceived ethnic/cultural slur: both the Mules and the Golden Bears are American High School teams. The USA! chant was entirely out of place, it was not an international competition — unless you dig further into preconceptions.
Alamo Heights is a mostly nonminority, affluent high school. Edison is predominantly Latino, lower- to working-class campus. Within that context the chant has a different implication. It is, at best, demeaning. At worst, it’s insulting. The implied intent is that the victors are American, and defeated are not. The implication goes further still: if the members of the Golden Bears squad are not American, as the chant implies, then what are they? Read more …
Carolyn Salazar reports, March 8, 2012:
How people feel about illegal immigration is often conveyed by the word they choose to refer to people who cross the border illegally.
To some, they are undocumented workers. Others call them illegal immigrants. Some call them by more pejorative terms, such as “illegals” or “illegal aliens.”
Beyond policy disagreements, the semantics of immigration –and specifically the word used in describing the millions of foreigners who have overstayed their visas or have entered the country illegally– has become one of the most sensitive and inflammatory aspects of the immigration debate.
A national Fox News Latino poll of likely Latino voters conducted under the direction of Latin Insights and released Monday shows almost half of respondents, or 46 percent, say the term “illegal immigrant” is offensive, while only a little over a third, or 35 percent, think the term is accurate. About 7 percent are neutral about the term.
GOP Hopefuls Losing Ground Among Latinos: Fox News Latino Exclusive Poll
“Calling people illegal or an illegal immigrant has become normalized even though it’s a term that’s inaccurate, it’s dehumanizing and it’s politically charged,” said Mónica Novoa, coordinator of the Drop the I-Word public campaign. “It’s anti-immigrant, anti-Latino language that’s harmful.” Read more …
March 8, 2012:
ATLANTA – A federal appeals court on Thursday blocked two more sections of Alabama’s tough new law targeting illegal immigration pending the outcome of lawsuits that seek to overturn the law entirely.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order temporarily halting a section that says courts can’t enforce contracts involving illegal immigrants and another that makes it a felony for an illegal immigrant to do business with the state.
The law adopted last year was challenged by both the federal government and a coalition of activist groups. A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit heard arguments last week but said it won’t rule on the overall case until the U.S. Supreme Court decides a federal challenge to a similar law in Arizona. The appeals court is also weighing Georgia’s law.
Lawyers in the Alabama case had asked the court to at least temporarily stop the two sections and others, claiming they were causing harm to people in the state.
“We are very pleased that the Eleventh Circuit understood the harms these provisions were causing in Alabama, and saw fit to enjoin them,” said the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Sam Brooke, who argued before the panel last week. “This is a great day for the residents of our state.”
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said he strongly disagrees with the court’s decision. Read more …
On March 3, 2012, Terry Greene Sterling writes:
As a longtime Phoenix immigrant-rights activist, Lydia Guzman says she has fielded phone calls from thousands of immigrants and American Hispanics who were either searching for missing relatives that might have been ensnared in Sheriff Joe Arpaio