Monday, April 19, 2010

Guest Voz:Congressman Luis Guitierrez - President Obama, Why Are You Abandoning Latinos as we face Racial ProfilingTerror in our Hometown Communities?

It is open season on the Latino community in Arizona. In Phoenix, Tucson, and across the state, people in Latino neighborhoods are afraid to leave their houses, afraid to be apart from their children for even a minute, and afraid to walk the streets because they feel their arrest on suspicion of being an undocumented immigrant could happen at any moment. It is a horrifying glimpse at what our future holds across the country if we continue down the path the Obama administration is leading us on immigration.

This week, we saw how destructive things are getting. The combination of a harsh piece of anti-immigrant legislation advancing in the Arizona legislature and a massive, well-publicized federal enforcement action against a broad human smuggling network has sent the unmistakable message to Arizona's one million immigrants and two million Hispanics: there is a target on your backs and authorities are coming after you.
President Obama, who promised immigration reform but has failed to make it a priority or use his office to make good on his campaign promises, is now able to see what lies ahead. The Obama administration has escalated mass deportation as our singular approach to immigrants and this has combined in Arizona with anti-immigrant hysteria that is festering to the point that state and local elected opportunists are taking matters into their own hands - with complete federal acquiescence.
We are now deporting people at a rate of 1,000 per day -- with nearly half of the arrests in the state of Arizona -- and now the state legislature is on the verge of escalating that pace dramatically. A law (SB 1070) that passed the state House this week and is probably headed to Governor's desk for signature, authorizes state and local police to round up anyone "suspected" of being an undocumented immigrant. As if that weren't bad enough, the law throws in a bounty of $500 in fines and a possible misdemeanor conviction on criminal trespassing if the particular lawman involved happens to guess correctly and the person they arrest cannot prove they are here legally.

As we know from experience in Arizona and elsewhere, giving police such a broad mandate to arrest and book people "suspected" of looking a certain way isn't just an invitation to racial profiling, it's like waving a green flag and saying "gentlemen start your engines." It is an insult to American justice and one of the harshest assaults on basic civil rights in recent American history. Then Thursday, the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency compounded the panic with one of the biggest Arizona enforcement actions in history, taking down an alleged state-wide smuggling ring. Let's be clear, I support targeted enforcement against smuggling rings exploiting our broken immigration system and preying on vulnerable immigrants, but the timing of this show of force could not have been more destructive.

Television screens across the state flashed images of 800 federal officers unleashed in Phoenix and Tucson, taking people to jail and multiplying the sense of siege in immigrant and Latino communities. After years of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Latino neighborhood sweeps, harsher and harsher state laws that target Latinos and immigrants, and escalating federal deportation, I'm afraid we have turned a very dangerous corner in the war on immigrants.

And we have heard nothing from the President. A man who told the Latino electorate that he saw undocumented immigrants as future citizens, not criminals or deportees, has not lifted a finger. It isn't as if his administration doesn't have a clear immigration policy; they do. It's called deportation only. And they are removing immigrants, mostly Latino, at a faster pace than the Bush administration ever did. All of the rhetoric that a new enforcement strategy targeting serious violent criminals was being adopted has been revealed as empty rhetoric. When the Washington Post published internal memos from Homeland Security headquarters to their field agents instructing them that their job performance would be judged by filling deportation quotas for simple visa and immigration violations, all of the President's lofty promises about a new approach went out the window. Either the President, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, and ICE Assistant Secretary Morton have been misleading the American people and Congress about their enforcement priorities or they have no control over what their agencies are doing.

At a minimum, the President has failed to put his heart into reforming immigration. He has dropped the ball in the first year of his presidency and as we head into election season in his second year, we are seeing more of the same. Unless the President acts forcefully in the coming weeks to drive the immigration reform issue forward, we are going to see a lot more of the devastation we are seeing in Arizona this week. I know the President knows what we need to do. We need comprehensive immigration reform to diffuse the crisis we are facing. We need the federal government to assert their supremacy over the immigration issue and make it clear to state legislatures, cowboy cops, and the American people that the federal government is in charge and effectively enforcing and regulating immigration. We need legal immigration as an alternative to illegal immigration and a way of getting the millions of unauthorized immigrants already here to get legal and get in compliance with our laws.

The President knows what we must do, but he alone must summon the political will in Washington to do it
. The short-run calculations of politics are deeply rooted and hard to overcome, but as we saw in the health care debate, he can do it if he wants to. He needs to stop appeasing those who embrace the persistent fantasy of MASS DEPORTATION or the delusion that by making America so hostile and uninviting, tens of millions of immigrants will deport themselves. Obama the President needs to stand up for what Obama the candidate and what Obama the Senator and what Obama the Chicago community organizer stood for and lead the Congress towards reform.

But I'm already afraid that for the people of Arizona, he has waited too long
. Even if an immigration reform bill passed tomorrow, Latino families in Arizona still face the prospect of going out into a hostile world next week. I know thousands of Latino families will hesitate before dropping their kids off at school or will have that terrifying twinge of fear before venturing out to buy groceries or go to work. If we allow police-state tactics in Arizona to continue, the level of basic community security will erode and civil unrest could escalate. The President must act now to diffuse the Arizona panic and take control of a deteriorating situation that could become a national crisis.


Vicente Duque said...

A few ridiculous uncultured rednecks in Arizona's Legislature want to install a despicable Racial Profiling System in that state :

Racists have been losing lately and will continue losing :

Arizona's Bill of Racial Profiling :

This system is a "Remembrance of Thing Past" called Segregation and Apartheid.

I trust that the United States of America is an Intelligent and Modern Nation. An Intelligent Governor and a Sound Court of Justice may sink this Idiotic Bill.

I do not think that the despicable Rednecks are going to triumph. Others will laugh at the end.

In case that I am wrong then the implications are very grave and sad.

Because If I am wrong then a Nation that has been treading the path of decline and decay, will only accelerate those downward forces.

And this will be only another chapter in the book of :

DeWesternization and DeWhitenization of the World

And I do not need to say any more.

Vicente Duque

ultima said...

Local law enforcement officers may question suspected illegal aliens encounter about their immigration status and then contact immigration authorities (ICE). Known as Estrada v. Rhode Island, this important decision should reassure local officers that they are not obliged to look the other way when they discover immigration law violations and provides guidance on reasonable actions officers may take in questioning foreign nationals.

ultima said...

As usual Gutierrez is indulging in hyperbole. As noted in the Estrada vs Rhode Island case, it is prefectly legal to check the immigration status of anyone the police have probable cause for checking their documents.

There is no need for loyal citizens to fear the Arizona law. If Hispanics give it their public wholehearted support and enable everyone to carry laminated proof of citizenship, things would go much more smoothly. It is their resistance to this solution to the growing problem of illegal aliens, that is causing all the difficulty.

ultima said...

Gutierrez is merely trying to stir up passions among the supporters of open borders or ineffective border security and law enforcement.

ultima said...

The mutiple meanings of the terms rule of law, illegal aliens,amnesty and border security in depth will be dissolved and reformed in the crucible of the immigration reform debate. The anti-Westernized America/pro-illegal crowd are the new Copperheads. They have a hard time understanding the concepts behind those terms. Strangely, they want to recreate here the very conditions and culture they fled their homelands to escape. It is not the individuals that are in question; it is their sheer numbers that will lead to Mexico Norte.

ultima said...

These are fearfully critical and anxious days, in which the destiny of America will be decided for centuries. Immigration reform has assumed such proportions that it threatens to engulf us all--no preoccupations with ethnocentrism can exclude it and neither hearth nor home can protect and hide us from the onslaught of a result that favors amnesty and unfettered growth.

The current generation has been stirred from its lowest layers and the final result will stamp every member of it until they are all in their graves and even then our children may occasionally find an old book that reminds them there was once a land called Camelot -- America the Beautiful.

ultima said...

This disagreement among citizens will transform the social life, the culture, the language, the ideals, and the entire national character in ways that won't even be recognized short of two or three generations.

They come to America and immediately begin to undermine the very conditions, opportunities, and freedoms that attracted them in the first place. They see every issue through a glass darkly as an issue of racism rather than an issue of population, quality of life, standard of living, and natural resources.

ultima said...

The amnesty Democrats are not interested in anything beyond what will give them perpetual control of congress but they will soon be replaced in the new milllenium with Hispanic surnamed representatives hoping to recreate here the nirvana of Latin

ultima said...

What Gutierrez should be saying is, "This is a federal job. Why aren't the feds the ones enlisting the help of the local enforcement authorities to stop this scourge of illegal aliens?"

Vicente Duque said...

AP : Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony on Arizona : German Nazi or Soviet Communist Repression, Children turning in parents, neighbors prying into private lives to report to the State.

The Catholic Church fighting for Human Decency and against Racist Holocausts and Progroms :

Associated Press
Los Angeles Cardinal: Nazism in Arizona immigration bill
April 20, 2010

Los Angeles Cardinal: Nazism in Arizona immigration bill

Some excerpts :

LOS ANGELES — 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.

The measure wrongly assumes that Arizonans "will now shift their total attention to guessing which Latino-looking or foreign-looking person may or may not have proper documents," Cardinal Roger Mahony said in his blog Sunday — a day before Arizona's Legislature sent the immigration enforcement measure to the Republican governor.

Gov. Jan Brewer has not indicated whether she will sign the bill, which creates a new state misdemeanor of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document. It would also require officers to determine people's immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally.

But Mahony, whose archdiocese has a huge Hispanic immigrant population, said the Arizona Legislature was passing "the country's most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant law."

Similar laws that were previously passed in other states have been repealed or struck down in the courts, he said.

"The tragedy of the law is its totally flawed reasoning: that immigrants come to our country to rob, plunder, and consume public resources," Mahony said.

"I can't imagine Arizonans now reverting to German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques whereby people are required to turn one another in to the authorities on any suspicion of documentation," the cardinal said. "Are children supposed to call 911 because one parent does not have proper papers? Are family members and neighbors now supposed to spy on one another, create total distrust across neighborhoods and communities, and report people because of suspicions based upon appearance?"

Vicente Duque

Dee said...

The racist goons in the AZ legislature are obscene in passing this racist, Racial Profiling bill. Tell me Ultima. Why did you not respond to having your wife, mother and grandmother racially profiled since they appear similar to Timothy McVeigh and the militia members in the Hutaree? They should be detained and questioned for hours, with no due cause, and agree to it because they are loyal citizens. You think this is ridiculous? I agree. But it is exactly what you want Latinos to undergo. See how ridiculous your argument is? Make sense man!

Be a true American and Stand up for Freedom and Justice for all! RACIAL PROFILING IS AGAINST THE LAW!!

ultima said...

Of course Cardinal Mahoney would say this. To do otherwise might threaten his collection plates.

He knows full well that no one is being asked to turn in their parents or neighbors unless there is evidence of illegal aliens or other illegal activity. Surely, this is one of the basic requirements of good citizenship -- a willingness to support local law enforcement.

Surely, Dee is not suggesting that if McVee was on the loose, one should not cooperate to the fullest with the law,including being willing to be stopped and questioned about membership in the Hutaree or whatever or to be asked to turn in those who are suspected of wrong doing even if that means some innocents like my grandma would be questioned. There seems to be a great deal of misplaced loyalty here -- leaning toward the illegal rather than toward the police that put their lives on the line every day.

I don't like the idea of having to stop and question citizens but drastic problems require drastic solutions. No effective alternatives have been enacted and enforced by the federal government. The feds and the ethnic brethren of the illegals simply want to sweep the problem under the carpet by enacting or promoting an another amnesty. Just think how much better it would be for our country, we dropped that idea and focused on border security in depth using E-verify. The opposition to E-verify by both Administration and the pro-imigration lobbies tell it all. If just that one measure, E-verify, was mandatory across the board for all employers, public and private, and all employees, current and new, SB1070 might not even be needed. But when we are denied the tools we need to deal with the problem, measures like SB1070 are the result. Those who are against e-veify have only themselves to blame.

If this bill is signed, let's hope that the police have the good sense to use velvet gloves and be courteous in the discharge of their duties without placing themselves in any greater danger than they already are. I expect some of them will pay with their lives for not being firm and careful.

The few uncultured rednecks in the AZ legislature happen to be in the majority, you know like the one that elected Obama. I guess it's a little different when the shoe is on the other foot.

ultima said...

This bill is the last stand for the rule of law and the America we know and love.

Dee said...

There are plenty of extremist loons on the loose. McVeigh was a militia member and many of those folks, e.g. Hutaree militia, are ON THE LOOSE.

Consider this: There are FAR MORE murders and violence in this country committed by the extremists than violence on the border.

There are far too many ASSUMPTIONS about violence re: "illeegals"

Look at the Robert Krentz murder that extremists like Russell Pearce are using to promote their racist agendas. The police don't even have a suspect. They have created several scenarios that they think MAY have happened, but they don't know. For all we know Russell Pearce and his friends may have committed the murder and made it look like an "illeegal" did it just to push their agenda. It wouldn't surprise me one bit.

So if there is to be ANY racial profiling in this country, it should be racial profiling ALL right wing extremists that look like McVeigh or the Hutaree militial members!

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