The importance of this assembly can be marked by simply looking at what many of us faced in order to arrive here. We travelled in caravans through 287(g) country, seek risking interfacing with police officers who double as deportation agents, view in order to challenge the polimigra. We left kitchen tables stacked high with frequent bills and street corners frequented by too few jobs during winter months. Carrying the fake checks of contractors in our pockets and the echo of hateful cries of minutemen in our ears, we’ve come together to turn the tide.
As President Obama reflects on his trip to Arizona on Jan. 25, he has some soul searching to do. In recent months, the President has displayed a schizophrenic approach to immigration as he attempts to straddle impossible opposites. He gives lip service to legalization but doubles down behind policies that criminalize. The Department of Homeland Security, headed by Arizona’s former Governor, has made conscripting states into immigration enforcement a centerpiece strategy while the Department of Justice sues states for usurping federal authority. Within the white house, it would seem that constitutional rights and discriminatory deportation programs are in a tug of war.
When I first saw the campaign ad in Louisiana, it reminded me of the 1915 klan film “Birth of a Nation.” As I watch election results and copycat bills of Arizona’s SB 1070 spreading across the country and now 14 states considering attempts to rewrite the 14th amendment, I wonder what nation we are birthing today.
Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px; text-align: left; padding: 0px;”>“They call me KKK, I consider it an honor. It means we’re doing something,” are the startling words of Sheriff Arpaio, the top law enforcer of Maricopa County, Arizona.
Unlike radio hosts or other public officials who lose their posts instantly when uttering similar remarks, Arpaio’s position has won five elections and received continuous support from the federal government.(1)
click Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 19px; text-align: left; padding: 0px;”>In Arizona, law enforcement has two new tools in their supposed fight against immigration; ski masks and teddy bears.
Anyone in Maricopa County can sign-up to be part of volunteer posses that sweep through Brown neighborhoods on a self-described hunt. Upon taking up the task, they’re handed those two items, a ski mask to hide their identity and a teddy bear to hand to any children whose mother or father they rip away.