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Federal Injunction Blocks Portions of SB1070
July 30, 2010 9:20 PM   Subscribe

On July 28, Federal District Court Judge Susan Bolton issued an injunction (link to pdf of court order) blocking several portions of the recent immigration bill SB1070, which was passed on April 23. (Previously on Metafilter.) Among other provisions, the bill would have allowed Arizona police officers to demand proof of immigration status of people suspected of being in the country illegally pursuant to a legal police stop. Most importantly, the federal ruling blocked the portion of the law that would have allowed police officers to demand proof of legal status. Opponents of the law, who had already planned demonstrations yesterday, the first day the law was set to take effect, reportedly view the ruling as a victory, though partial and perhaps temporary. Proponents of the law are predictably unhappy with the ruling, and react with disappointment.
posted by diocletian (127 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think that the new law required police officers to determine immigration status, not simply allowed them to.

Sections of S.B. 1070 are preempted by federal law:
Portion of Section 2 of S.B. 1070
A.R.S. § 11-1051(B): requiring that an officer make a reasonable attempt to
determine the immigration status of a person stopped,
detained or arrested if there is a reasonable suspicion that
the person is unlawfully present in the United States, and
requiring verification of the immigration status of any
person arrested prior to releasing that person
Section 3 of S.B. 1070
A.R.S. § 13-1509: creating a crime for the failure to apply for or carry alien
registration papers
Portion of Section 5 of S.B. 1070
A.R.S. § 13-2928(C): creating a crime for an unauthorized alien to solicit, apply
for, or perform work
Section 6 of S.B. 1070
A.R.S. § 13-3883(A)(5): authorizing the warrantless arrest of a person where there
is probable cause to believe the person has committed a
public offense that makes the person removable from the
United States

posted by Brian B. at 9:31 PM on July 30, 2010


The nice thing about this decision is that it enabled me to discreetly hide an entire swath of racist former classmates on Facebook that day.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:31 PM on July 30, 2010 [26 favorites]


Seems like it would be a heck of a lot easier to just make hiring undocumented workers a criminal matter and, since they seem okay with some level of profiling, conduct frequent raids on high-risk employment situations. That would make it pretty much impossible, not to mention pointless, to come here illegally. Problem solved! Weird they didn't do that, huh?
posted by one_bean at 9:59 PM on July 30, 2010 [30 favorites]


I wouldn't support the bill for civil rights reasons, but I'm not sure I'm willing to equate its supporters with racists. It's one thing to disagree, but quite another to vilify and dehumanize your opponents.
posted by Phyltre at 10:15 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you think this law could be enforced without disproportionately affecting people of a certain skin color you're delusional; if you don't care, you're racist.
posted by Zalzidrax at 10:19 PM on July 30, 2010 [9 favorites]


I wouldn't support the bill for civil rights reasons, but I'm not sure I'm willing to equate its supporters with racists. It's one thing to disagree, but quite another to vilify and dehumanize your opponents.

Right. And as far as I can tell, the bulk of the supporters of this bill are villifying and dehumanizing an awful lot of people.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:28 PM on July 30, 2010 [13 favorites]


Seems like it would be a heck of a lot easier to just make hiring undocumented workers a criminal matter and, since they seem okay with some level of profiling, conduct frequent raids on high-risk employment situations.

But.. isn't this exactly what they do anyways? I could see making the fines and consequences for hiring stiffer, up to revoking licenses if you are going to continue to go in that direction. But I am pretty sure you need the right documents to be hired legally, and ICE raids do occur fairly often. IMO though it just makes a bad situation worse, most jobs undocumented workers take the majority of Americans won't touch. I read a few weeks back that this AZ law has actually made AZ's economy significantly worse since it's passage. One side of the debate argues that many parts of the country would be quantitatively worse off without this population. Figure 10 million+ people paying taxes into the system without receiving many/any benefits. Think we are in dire financial straits now? Remove those 10 million and all the low wage labor and taxes they represent. The United States has ALWAYS depended on free/low-paid labor to maintain it's standard of living for the majority. From slavery to undocs.


I'm not sure I'm willing to equate its supporters with racists.

Certainly not all supporters are, just as not all Tea Baggers are, but it may be a bit assumptive to pretend to know exactly what was said to prompt the FB hiding.
posted by edgeways at 10:29 PM on July 30, 2010


I'd prefer the thread not be made about whether or not it's OK for me to go "um, OK, that's racist." It's enough to know that I found the remarks made indicative of racism towards Latinos, specifically Mexicans, and of a fundamental unwillingness or inability to become educated about immigration policy issues. I can only really tolerate so much loose talk about "Susan Bolton wants to violate our sovereignty" before I give up.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:44 PM on July 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


This spring, I presented on some employment law topics to a group of HR professionals. (IAAL. TINLA.) One of my co-presenters was an immigration lawyer whose presentation was intended to put the fear of God, or at least of Immigration & Customs Enforcement, into our audience. According to him, it is very difficult to correctly file all of the immigration paperwork that is required upon hiring a new employee.

You know that I-9 form that you filled out if you started working someplace in the past 25 years? According to the attorney presenting on the topic, that form is filed incorrectly around 9 out of 10 times. If an incorrect filing is discovered, the penalties include both criminal prosecution and a fine of up to $1,100 per incorrect I-9.

Again according to that attorney, it has only been lax enforcement of I-9 filings that has kept most HR people out of jail. Most incorrect filings are on behalf of U.S. citizens, apparently.

I don't know how to feel about this. On the one hand, I think that stricter enforcement of these laws -- which are already on the books -- would make employers very reticent to hire undocumented workers. It would, in all likelihood, make employers very reticent to hire any workers.

It would probably lead to immigration reform, actually, insofar as the maxim holds true that the surest way to get rid of a bad law is to enforce it at every turn.
posted by gauche at 10:44 PM on July 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't support the bill for civil rights reasons, but I'm not sure I'm willing to equate its supporters with racists. It's one thing to disagree, but quite another to vilify and dehumanize your opponents.

There are worse things than being called racist. Such as being racist.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 10:49 PM on July 30, 2010 [8 favorites]




But I am pretty sure you need the right documents to be hired legally, and ICE raids do occur fairly often. IMO though it just makes a bad situation worse, most jobs undocumented workers take the majority of Americans won't touch

Most businesses will hire people with fake documents, often knowing they are fake, but a service called E-verify aims to curb the identity theft if employers want to use it. These employees are typically painters, landscapers, movers, roofers, tile layers, stucco workers, cooks, maids, cleaners, drivers and some waiters (to name a few). Most of the the kitchen crew and maid staff at any hotel in Vegas is probably illegal. They buy their fake ID's from organized crime contacts that specialize in it. ICE raids usually don't occur at all without a complaint, although buses are searched periodically.

The idea that illegal immigrants are only fruit and salad pickers is probably the most racist argument to be made in the entire discussion. Many of the migrant farm workers actually do have temporary visas (H-2A). Illegal workers often own stateside houses and live in family groups. Some pay taxes through their pay checks, and some even receive a tax ID number and get refunds. Most just enter the maximum exemptions to avoid it.

A serious demand-side concern among people who debate this policy is the US law that hands out citizenship for any baby born in the US, regardless of parental status. This draws many women to come here dangerously pregnant to county hospitals, and the baby's citizenship can then be used to draw immediate welfare benefits for the household. It was in such an agency in Utah where an activist recently distributed a list of so-called illegal immigrants to the media (not counting the legal baby).
posted by Brian B. at 11:12 PM on July 30, 2010


gauche: You know that I-9 form that you filled out if you started working someplace in the past 25 years? According to the attorney presenting on the topic, that form is filed incorrectly around 9 out of 10 times.

Wow. I'd love to read examples of how someone manages to screw up an I-9 form 90% of the time. It seems insanely easy: 1) Write your name and address; 2) Write your DOB and SSN; 3) Check "here" if you are a citizen, national, LPR, or some form of temporary worker; 4) Have employer fill in the info on the documents used to verify your identity and status from #3; 5) Sign.

If an HR department or clerical person has problems with that form, I'd hate to see his or her taxes.

I do not doubt the accuracy of your statement. It truly is surprising to me that the form would have a 90% error rate.
posted by fireoyster at 11:18 PM on July 30, 2010


...racists. It's one thing to disagree, but quite another to vilify and dehumanize your opponents.

What kind of world have we come to when calling out racism is the equivalent of declaring the target an inhuman monster? That's not what it means. It means the target is all-too-human.

Next thing you know, it'll be more offensive to call someone an anti-semite than to engage in willful discrimination against Jews.
posted by breath at 11:23 PM on July 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


I assume that step 4 is the hard part, huh, fireoyster.
posted by breath at 11:24 PM on July 30, 2010



A serious demand-side concern among people who debate this policy is the US law that hands out citizenship for any baby born in the US, regardless of parental status.


I'm frequently surprised by people's reaction to this. There's an effort in California to pass an initiative to counter this BUT IT'S IN THE GODDAMN CONSTITUTION. It's part of the 14th ammendment. It's hard for me to pay attention to anyone who thinks they can change this any way short of ammending the constitution which I wouldn't support anyway.
posted by rdr at 11:41 PM on July 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Fuck SB1070, and fuck the assholes that are trying to bring it here to Tennessee. Enough already.
posted by nola at 11:52 PM on July 30, 2010


Has anyone discovered a fair analysis of the judge's decision? From what I could gather the injunction was based on inferred intent based on wording changes between different versions of the bill, and a claim that the decision would swamp the resources of the Federal Government (who must have not spent any money developing infrastructure to process information of foreign nationals in the last nine years).

Reasons aside, as the judge is supposed to uphold the law, not make policy, I am wondering how strong this case is should it come up for appeal.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:56 PM on July 30, 2010


You know that I-9 form that you filled out if you started working someplace in the past 25 years? According to the attorney presenting on the topic, that form is filed incorrectly around 9 out of 10 times.

Is this number being talked up in various circles? The HR dude for my new job got snippy with me when I seemed unconcerned about his THIRD warning that I read the documentation requirements VERY CAREFULLY. They're not rocket science. My passport will do just fine. Because he's so worried, I'll go ahead and bring my drivers license and SS card just in case, thus over-fulfilling the requirements.
posted by desuetude at 12:10 AM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


What this represents is the next natural step of politics as usual in Arizona. I live in southern Arizona, and a great deal of my friends and co-workers are Mexican-Americans. I'm sick of the constant derision of Latino people. But it continues. Every year Russell Pearce and his cohorts in the legislature introduce yet more anti-illegal immigrant legislation. Every. Single. Year. Next year they're targeting birthright citizenship (you think the Feds are really going to let you go on that one?) and, IIRC, they want to require schools to verify citizenship. They keep harping on illegal aliens, but there is a deep undercurrent of racism running through it all. It's the same racism that makes people yell "Go back to Mexico!" at Latinos who have roots here stretching back generations. It's the same racism that draws white supremacist groups to donate cash to these politicians. It's the same racism that laws such as SB1070 aim to legitimize.

I understand that illegal immigration is a problem. Ask any rancher in Cochise County that has had their land trashed by migrants. Ask a first responder who has had to go help when a smuggler's vehicle has flipped with 20 people inside. There are real problems inherent when you have this kind of influx. But solutions have to be realistic. There are 10+ million here illegally now. How do you deal with that many people? You can't deport them, since that would be an operation of unbelieveable scale. You can't tell an illegal just by looking at them. SB1070 would have given police a green light to racially profile. (It wasn't needed to allow the police to hassle Latinos; that always goes on. This would have legitimitzed it.) I don't know that these guys ever actually want immigration to be solved, since they need it for a wedge issue.
posted by azpenguin at 12:23 AM on July 31, 2010 [21 favorites]


Employers say the audits reach more companies than the work-site roundups of the administration of President George W. Bush. The audits force businesses to fire every suspected illegal immigrant on the payroll— not just those who happened to be on duty at the time of a raid — and make it much harder to hire other unauthorized workers as replacements. Auditing is “a far more effective enforcement tool,” said Mike Gempler, executive director of the Washington Growers League, which includes many worried fruit growers.

The simple fact is that Obama administration has been much harder on illegal immigration than previous administrations. The other fact is that the anti-immigration people are more interested in latino lynching than they are in actual enforcement of immigration laws.

But it's racist to call white nativist cryptofascists white nativist cryptofascists.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:26 AM on July 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


This draws many women to come here dangerously pregnant to county hospitals

What exactly is dangerously pregnant?

And I was under the impression that most folks that are in the US illegally and working were paying into the system more than they were drawing out.
posted by Back to you, Jim. at 1:04 AM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


In the "unhappy" link, Sheriff Larry Dever of Cochise County seems to be making some claims about the unusual dangers posed on the homeland by illegal immigrants. It's odd that the crime rate in AZ has fallen in the course of past decade, yet he considers the situation so critical that he accepts profiling as a solution to this diminishing threat. Is there anyone in a position of authority in that State who is not an asshole?
posted by 2N2222 at 1:13 AM on July 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


And I was under the impression that most folks that are in the US illegally and working were paying into the system more than they were drawing out.

One side says they are paying in more than they're drawing out. The other side says the first side is misrepresenting the facts by omitting costs and they are drawing out far more than they are paying in. The first side says the second side is misrepresenting facts by omitting various things.

I don't actually know which is correct; neither would particularly surprise me. I do know that you can't trust the figures either side puts forward.
posted by Justinian at 1:15 AM on July 31, 2010


I do know that you can't trust the figures either side puts forward.

So vote Republican.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:19 AM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


As we didn't vote for Brewer as governor, this little gem of irony makes me wince:

In the legislature, "Brewer argued that being secretary of state does not make a candidate qualified for governor, and that if a governor leaves mid-term, s/he should be replaced by a member of the same party. Brewer introduced a measure to create an LG post so frequently, a former Senate colleague told the Arizona Capitol Times, that lawmakers simply started referring to it as "Jan's bill."
posted by disillusioned at 1:30 AM on July 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


So vote Republican.

How exactly does that follow?
posted by Justinian at 1:34 AM on July 31, 2010


What exactly is dangerously pregnant?

"GET DOWN! SHE'S GONNA BLOW!"
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:38 AM on July 31, 2010 [6 favorites]


It's amusing, in a sad way, that Godwin-style references have gotten so passé, precisely when we need them the most.

There was a time in this country that the thought of police being able to stop you and demand your papers would have been absolutely unthinkable. That was the precise, exact caricature that was always used to denote the epitome of an evil society, and yet Arizona is in full-throated howl embracing the idea, anything to get the Other. It won't inconvenience them, what with the white skin and all, and putting those darkies through hell to catch a few miscreants is, to them, totally worth it.

To protect America, they had to destroy it.
posted by Malor at 3:13 AM on July 31, 2010 [29 favorites]


How exactly does that follow?

It followed the fifth glass of wine.

(It's [so vote Republican] a Fark joke.)
posted by dirigibleman at 5:12 AM on July 31, 2010


Funny.

Everyone thinks of this happening to so-called ethnic minorities.

I remember, a few years back, a legally unblemished Canadian friend falling for an American friend. They got married, and even had a child together.

Took him around $3000 U.S. for lawyer fees and a couple of years living in the U.S. to finally get his citizenship and he was from a friendly country, suffering no drug-related border violence (that I am aware of) and was trying to play the game by the rules.
posted by Samizdata at 5:51 AM on July 31, 2010


There was a time in this country that the thought of police being able to stop you and demand your papers would have been absolutely unthinkable.

I do find it amazing that the same people who were screaming bloody murder about some contrived notion that America would issue national ID cards, because such a thing would impinge on their precious bodily fluids freedoms are now screaming bloody murder that the Feds aren't doing enough to stop people in the street and ID them.

It's quite clear on the face of it that this is because the people that they want ID'd are "other." If there was any chance of middle aged, upper-middle class pale-assed white guys being stopped and asked to prove their citizenship in Arizona, they'd be freaking right the fuck out.

This thing is horridly racist and creates second-class citizens out of every American or legal immigrant who looks or dresses a certain way.

Not to mention the fact that the police themselves, upon whom this requirement s being foisted, don't particularly think it's a good idea. It's going to have a huge chilling effect on community policing in the poorest communities that need it the most. Want to rape someone? Just make sure it's an illegal immigrant -- she probably won't report you for fear of being deported. Want to shake someone down for the paycheck they just cashed at the Moneybox? Ditto. Go for it.

Vile and pernicious.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:57 AM on July 31, 2010 [12 favorites]


Samizdata, I don't think the Arizona law proposes any changes to the barriers to citizenship. That's a completely different issue. Now that your friend is an American citizen, he has absolutely no fear of walking down the street in Phoenix and suddenly getting tossed over the Mexico border because he left his wallet at home. If he were "Mexican-looking," that would not be the case.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:02 AM on July 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


How many of you accusing Arizona of "racism" have ever actually been there? Here's the thing: if Arizonan taxpayers don't want to directly feed, educate, and house substantial portions of the Mexican underclass - and 80% of Arizonans decided they didn't - they shouldn't have to. Mexico is a failed state, it has failed these desperate people, but Arizona is not the one who should be forced to pick up the tab, contrary to the apparent stance of the Justice Department. Because the Federal government refuses to enforce its own immigration laws, Arizona adopted these same Federal laws as their own. All this bullshit about "papers please" is a misreading of the law.

As people point out, there are benefits to mass immigration of underclass populations, but there are also costs. Who is to determine when the costs outweigh the benefits but Arizonan voters - you know, people who actually live there?
posted by norabarnacl3 at 7:00 AM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm in my late thirties, and the lady at the Mexican grocery store I shop at still calls me "mi hijo" when I'm cashing out. The guy who speaks in broken English who helps me load my stuff at a local hardware store is always smiling and helpful. The ladies in the back at the tortilla factory speak Spanish, work hard and they create fantastic handmade tortillas, made with the personal touch that makes them tastier than anything you could ever get from a machine. All of these people are here legally. These people are also subject to being harassed under 1070 if it were to take effect. That disturbs me. I'm white, so I can sail through the Border Patrol checkpoints. I don't run the risk of having to prove that I'm here legally. But these people have done nothing wrong - they just happened to be born with brown skin - and they still have to deal with harassment and suspicion that whites don't have to.

The pendulum will swing someday. Whites will be a minority in the US in a few decades, according to projections. The Arizona legislature can pass all the laws they want, and it won't change that. When the history books are written in the not-too-distant future, this will be looked on as a dark chapter in American history.
posted by azpenguin at 7:01 AM on July 31, 2010 [6 favorites]


How many of you accusing Arizona of "racism" have ever actually been there? Here's the thing: if Arizonan taxpayers don't want to directly feed, educate, and house substantial portions of the Mexican underclass - and 80% of Arizonans decided they didn't - they shouldn't have to.

Well, I just moved out of Arizona after living there for two years and found casual, socially accepted racism against Latinos to be shockingly common. I agree that the state has real problems with illegal immigration to address, but the demagoguery and strong-man posturing around the issue is pretty repulsive, and as mentioned above takes what has been shown to be the least effective and most socially damaging approach to enforcement. Employer audits work, and the Obama administration has actually been pursuing them quite a bit.

When I hear people say 'the federal government isn't doing anything,' I know that what they want to see is big round-ups and deportations by police, perp-walk style--Arizonans do seem to love their big, strong lawmen--not what is actually effective. What is more effective is enforcement through employers and that's mostly bureaucratic and not very exciting and hasn't yet satisfied what seemed to me to be a thirst for some kind of payback to "them".
posted by LooseFilter at 7:36 AM on July 31, 2010 [14 favorites]


fireoyster: the figure surprised me, too, so I went back to the handouts from that presentation and it is based on the attorney's own experience. Take that for what you will.

The handbook for filling out Form I-9 is Form M-274. It is 54 pages plus an index. Apparently there is more to it than you would think.
posted by gauche at 7:43 AM on July 31, 2010


Who is to determine when the costs outweigh the benefits but Arizonan voters - you know, people who actually live there?

As much as they may not like it, they're a state amongst the United States, and thus bound by the constitution that they agreed to when they applied for statehood. As we saw (finally) in the southern states in the 1960s, the constitutional rights of a US citizen upstage the state's right to restrict their liberty as defined by the US constitution.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:51 AM on July 31, 2010 [11 favorites]


Just curious: When did "Mexican" become a race? Let's at least get it straight that it's racism against Latinos.
posted by TDavis at 7:58 AM on July 31, 2010


Quote For The Day - "[M]y children don't look Hispanic," - Nevada gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval, explaining why he doesn't fear his kids would get harassed by Arizona's immigration bill, which he supports.
posted by kliuless at 8:08 AM on July 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


That wraps it up quite tidily, doesn't it?
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:13 AM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


How many of you accusing Arizona of "racism" have ever actually been there?

I live on the southside in Tucson, and have for thirty years.
posted by azpenguin at 8:26 AM on July 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


The casual racism is really mind-boggling.

I have a friend who lives in Colorado, and doesn't know a whole bunch about the actual facts related to immigration, and has a brother who lives in AZ, I think in the Phoenix area.

So, the metaphor my friend uses (I'd guess this is coming from his brother; maybe I want to believe this because, you know, I like my friend) for those crossing the border is 'cockroaches.'

And he sez this to me and I freak the fuck out, because jesus fucking Christ what is this Germany circa 1935 or something? And he tries and tries to reassure me that he's not racist, he's really not, he's lived in Guatemala, blah blah blah

I was astonished not just by the metaphor but by the amount of resistance he gave me when, after I calmed down, I tried to explain - - You don't call people COCKROACHES. YOU JUST DON'T. IF YOU DO YOU ARE SUPPORTING A FUCKING VILE RACIST IDEA, EVEN IF YOU ARE A GOOD GUY AND LIVED IN GUATEMALA I DON'T GIVE A FUCK.

Jesus, my blood pressure just spiked recalling that conversation.
posted by angrycat at 8:33 AM on July 31, 2010 [9 favorites]


In regards to numbers of money paid by any population, in terms of "social benefit," I'd imagine that the numbers are lacking for savings made by hiring people are paid less than standard wages, and paid under the table.

I was talking with some family friends about immigration, and one lady brought up that in the 1960s, the field work jobs were often filled by college students in the summers. I spent some time the following day looking for any confirmation of this, but couldn't find anything. Was this really common? United Farm Workers Organizing Committee (now United Farm Workers of America) was formed in 1966, joining groups that started back in the 1950s.

As for a population shifting from minority to majority, there also needs to be a shift in positions of power and leadership. The numbers of women in director roles of Fortune 500 companies was bleak in 2007 and 2008, and diversity in race doesn't seem to be that high, either. Divesity in families of old white dudes is nice, and may lead to more diversity in the future, but it seems to be happening slowly.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:00 AM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


if you don't care, you're racist.

I'm glad we have you here to define what is, or isn't, racist for us. I don't live in Arizona so I can't claim any firsthand knowledge of what people living along the border have to deal with but if the Federal government enforces this injunction as well as they secure the border AZ can pretty much do whatever the hell they want without fear of any action from Uncle Sam.
posted by MikeMc at 9:16 AM on July 31, 2010


When did "Mexican" become a race? Let's at least get it straight that it's racism against Latinos.

No, I don't think that white Spaniards and Argentinians have much to worry about. Or, for that matter, white Mexicans, except to a racist white Mexicans aren't Mexican, they're "Spanish."

It's racism against people who look stereotypically "Mexican;" primarily indios and mestizos.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:16 AM on July 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


How many of you accusing Arizona of "racism" have ever actually been there? Here's the thing: if Arizonan taxpayers don't want to directly feed, educate, and house substantial portions of the Mexican underclass - and 80% of Arizonans decided they didn't - they shouldn't have to.

I moved out of AZ about 7 years ago and plan on never going back. Never lived in a more hateful place, ever. The casual racism mentioned by others above me in the thread is rampant and ugly. I actually heard people say things like, "oh, you should find a little brown person to [hire to do job X]." Not "you should hire someone" but "you should find a little brown person".

And seriously, the taxpayer isn't feeding or housing these people. The immigrant hispanic workers put more muscle and effort into earning their keep than I've seen from a good majority of the group you label the "American taxpayers." They scrap and save and live extremely modestly and literally do the jobs nobody else wants to do. I certainly never saw any white people working on the gardening crews along the freeways in Phoenix, trapped between two 30' high concrete walls with 6 lanes of exhaust-spewing traffic in the middle of July's midday heat, picking up trash and tending the plants.
posted by hippybear at 9:30 AM on July 31, 2010 [6 favorites]


Whites will be a minority in the US in a few decades, according to projections. The Arizona legislature can pass all the laws they want, and it won't change that.

That's a matter for debate, if you pass enough laws, deport enough people and deter enough from coming there may be some slowing of said pendulum. Don't think for a minute that demographic trends aren't lurking in background of immigration reform. Also, it seems that a fair number of Hispanics (is that term ok?) define themselves as "white". Sooo...if you change the definition of "white" from what we currently accept it to be you change the demographics as well.
posted by MikeMc at 9:31 AM on July 31, 2010


if Arizonan taxpayers don't want to directly feed, educate, and house substantial portions of the Mexican underclass - and 80% of Arizonans decided they didn't - they shouldn't have to.

Your premise is racist and flawed.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:32 AM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


white nativist
O, the irony.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:33 AM on July 31, 2010 [6 favorites]


angrycat: You don't call people COCKROACHES. YOU JUST DON'T.

Indeed. First thing I thought of.
posted by hangashore at 9:34 AM on July 31, 2010


It's interesting how the so-called "not-racist" proponents of this law play the taxpayer card. Migrants and immigrants are taxpayers. It's called Sales Tax.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:38 AM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


TDavis: Just curious: When did "Mexican" become a race? Let's at least get it straight that it's racism against Latinos.

It seems to me that's true when directed generally against all Latinos. I think there may be something to the idea that there's a specifically anti-Mexican bigotry on display in some of these people/groups as well. If I were to guess, I'd imagine that's due to both the unique relationship (and proximity) of Mexico and the US vs the other Central American states, as well as more visible cultural separatism of Mexican immigrants (more visible probably due to the size of the population rather than any unusually strong anti-assimilationist qualities when compared to other Latino cultures.)

I suppose that might be more properly described as cultural bigotry than racism (or cultural bigotry on top of racism), but the people perpetrating it are not likely to be making that disctinction.

It also seems to me that these many of these "white nativists" have an awfully short memory when it comes to how many generations were required for various European cultures to assimilate (including the immigrant generation not really mastering English in many cases.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:42 AM on July 31, 2010


hippybear: And seriously, the taxpayer isn't feeding or housing these people. The immigrant hispanic workers put more muscle and effort into earning their keep than I've seen from a good majority of the group you label the "American taxpayers." They scrap and save and live extremely modestly and literally do the jobs nobody else wants to do. I certainly never saw any white people working on the gardening crews along the freeways in Phoenix, trapped between two 30' high concrete walls with 6 lanes of exhaust-spewing traffic in the middle of July's midday heat, picking up trash and tending the plants.

Tom Russell - Who's Gonna Build Your Wall?
posted by hangashore at 9:44 AM on July 31, 2010


I certainly never saw any white people working on the gardening crews along the freeways in Phoenix, trapped between two 30' high concrete walls with 6 lanes of exhaust-spewing traffic in the middle of July's midday heat, picking up trash and tending the plants.

This is always an interesting argument to me. "They do the jobs white people/Americans won't", that's just wrong. Somebody was doing those jobs for many decades before the levels of immigrant labor from Mexico, and points south, reached their current numbers. Look at meatpacking, Hormel used to employ a workforce of well paid local union labor but now that the unions have long since been broken who works in the meatpacking plants? The people currently working the meatpacking plants probably make less money now than the union workers did in the '80s. Americans will do the work but not, by and large, for what companies can get away with paying people of questionable immigration status. I don't blame immigrants for coming here looking for work, I blame companies using illegal labor to depress wages for creating much of the tensions around immigration and politicians who benefit from those tensions. These politicians are tightly tied to industries that use massive amounts of illegal labor and then have the balls to turn to the American working class and blame those immigrants for the plight of the American worker. I'm amazed at the sheer chutzpah.
posted by MikeMc at 9:58 AM on July 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


It's interesting how the so-called "not-racist" proponents of this law play the taxpayer card. Migrants and immigrants are taxpayers. It's called Sales Tax.

Any sales tax is offset by remittances.

Note: You'd probably get a better discussion underway if there weren't so many knee-jerk racism claims however. It reminds me of those films of little Maoist youth blowing their whistle at the older folks, holding up a little red book and pointing their finger with a scowl. These scorners aren't really that liberal in their sentiments, and they see illegal immigrants in terms of black velvet paintings in their parents' garages. They don't factor any of the dangers of exploitation, over-population, religious conservatism, or even the massive drug trade claimed by those gangs (that might make a gray area that would confuse them). They just see an easy chance to be prove to themselves they aren't racist, anymore, by claiming they know what others are thinking deep down inside. This should be a hint to anyone who knows what projection is. This is the same name-calling technique when Obama was up against Hillary Clinton, and none seemed to be aware what they were really saying about themselves. A few of them even imagine they are the All-American welcoming committee to the poor foreigner, representing success and pride, when in fact they themselves are jobless and this is the easiest way to deny it, by establishing a lower tier.
posted by Brian B. at 10:08 AM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


"You're mean, therefore I'm not racist" is a dumb argument.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:15 AM on July 31, 2010


My sister-in-law lives in the Phoenix area and gave me the "You don't know what it's like, living here with all of these people!"

I blinked a lot.

My urban neighborhood has a sizable Mexican population (as well as other ethnic minorities.) Because we live in the city, we really are all in close quarters. She lives in a pretty tony upper-middle-class suburb. What are these people doing to you, exactly? Your taxes are high because they built a suburb in the dessert with great schools and recreational facilities and so forth, to attract people to raise their kids there. She's totally okay and welcoming to the Latino families in her kid's school. It's just THOSE PEOPLE that are the problem. Y'know, the OTHER ones.

I am continually disappointed when smart, usually-kind people buy into propaganda.
posted by desuetude at 10:17 AM on July 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


norabarnacl3

Thing is, if Arizonan taxpayers don't want to directly feed, educate, and house substantial portions of the Mexican underclass, they really don't have to. Immigrants, legal and illegal, largely pay for themselves. To the extent that they incur public costs is usually the result of governmental powers deciding that "something needs to be done". In a way, it's kind of like the costs of marijuana: the major cost to society isn't the actual harm from the contraband, but rather the burden created by policing and prosecuting. Arizona isn't picking up the tab for a failed state. Arizona's violent crime rate has fallen in the last decade. The crisis claimed by so many simply does not seem to exist. Unless dark skinned folks speaking Spanish in the local supermarket line represents a crisis.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:17 AM on July 31, 2010


The immigrant hispanic workers put more muscle and effort into earning their keep than I've seen from a good majority of the group you label the "American taxpayers."

Seconded. Just from personal experience, Latinos will pile into small, undersized apartments, will settle for crap work and crappier wages, arrive earlier, work later, and complain far, far less than their white, privileged counterparts.

I fucking hate it when people can't even get their stereotypes to logically reconcile. Like, the stereotype of a couple dozen latino farm workers piling into the back of a truck to go off to work in the morning… why wouldn't they just drive their own truck? Oh, right, because they can't afford one. Except, wait, no, they steal all our services to enrich themselves. But they can't afford a crappy used pick-up truck to drive to work and steal our jobs.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:18 AM on July 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


These lazy good for nothing illegal immigrants refuse to work, are burdening the system and soaking up all our taxes! And they're taking all our jobs!
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:23 AM on July 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Notwithstanding the issue that tolerating the current situation fosters the growth of a generations-long underclass, I find it amusing that companies are whining about jobs "Americans won't do."

Now, I presume many of these people are nice, upstanding Teabaggers who believe that the application of the free market in every area of life will magically solve every problem -- why don't they let the market sort it out? Pay a wage that the market insists upon, and you'll never have a problem getting those tomatoes picked. Maybe that wage is $20/hour, and maybe that means tomatoes will go from being $2 per pound to $3 per pound. At least then the externalities are accounted for.

Oh, OH! I guess they just want a free market when it benefits them (and lax immigration enforcement so that they can pay illegally small wages to people afraid to complain about it), not when the market wage for farm workers is high enough that it attracts workers.
posted by chimaera at 10:27 AM on July 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


MikeMC
This is always an interesting argument to me. "They do the jobs white people/Americans won't", that's just wrong. Somebody was doing those jobs for many decades before the levels of immigrant labor from Mexico, and points south, reached their current numbers.


The problem with this line of thinking, and that which assumes immigrant labor takes our jobs, is that it makes the false presumption that the economy is a fixed size, and adding more laborers makes everyone's slice of that economic pie even smaller. The fact is that the economy is not a zero sum game. Growth of the labor market increases productivity end eventually prosperity for everyone in the end.

The people who used to do those jobs you pine for moved up the ladder. Like it or not, there are lots of jobs that natives really don't want to do. The question is whether we Americans will allow the labor market to expand enough to take advantage of willing laborers, or will we decide that restrictionist policy is for the best despite even if it means that labor markets not grow and low wage production moves abroad even faster.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:29 AM on July 31, 2010


Like it or not, there are lots of jobs that natives really don't want to do.

And my point is, they'll do those jobs at a fair wage, just not wages at the artificially suppressed levels they are now.
posted by chimaera at 10:31 AM on July 31, 2010


Any sales tax is offset by remittances.

How so?
posted by desuetude at 10:34 AM on July 31, 2010


The people who used to do those jobs you pine for moved up the ladder.

Really? The meatpackers, drywallers etc...moved up to where exactly? It's not that immigrants are "taking" jobs from people it's just that labor, like any other market, is supply and demand. A large influx of workers that will work relatively cheaply allows businesses to drop wages for a given job to the point that these jobs become unattractive to most people. Real wages for "working people" have been stagnant for decades and the prosperity that comes with increased productivity has not increased for everyone in the end. Or, on preview, what chimaera said.
posted by MikeMc at 10:39 AM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's quite clear on the face of it that this is because the people that they want ID'd are "other." If there was any chance of middle aged, upper-middle class pale-assed white guys being stopped and asked to prove their citizenship in Arizona, they'd be freaking right the fuck out.
THIS A MILLION TIMES

-------------------
How many of you accusing Arizona of "racism" have ever actually been there? Here's the thing: if Arizonan taxpayers don't want to directly feed, educate, and house substantial portions of the Mexican underclass - and 80% of Arizonans decided they didn't - they shouldn't have to. Mexico is a failed state, it has failed these desperate people, but Arizona is not the one who should be forced to pick up the tab, contrary to the apparent stance of the Justice Department. Because the Federal government refuses to enforce its own immigration laws, Arizona adopted these same Federal laws as their own. All this bullshit about "papers please" is a misreading of the law.
Typical TeaParty wanking.

Look, before White English speaking occupiers invaded Arizona, there were Mexicans living there. There's people with Mexican looking faces and names who's families have been living in Arizona longer than it has been a state.

So it's ok now to harrass them because they look Mexican?

And if you think Mexico is such a failed state, I have one word for you: NAFTA.

Before spewing crap you pick up on FOXNews, know your history.

--------------------
Just curious: When did "Mexican" become a race? Let's at least get it straight that it's racism against Latinos.
Obliquely responding to this with my On why I hate Hispanic Heritage Month.
posted by liza at 11:25 AM on July 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, OH! I guess they just want a free market when it benefits them (and lax immigration enforcement so that they can pay illegally small wages to people afraid to complain about it), not when the market wage for farm workers is high enough that it attracts workers.
posted by chimaera at 1:27 PM on July 31


not only that: those meatpacking, janitorial, basically lower end of the working class spectrum jobs that are so cushy that "mexiguns" want to take away from patriotic Americans are the same jobs the parents and grandparents and great-grant-parents of those purple-mountains-loving Patriots used to do WHEN THEY WERE (ILLEGAL) IMMIGRANTS THEMSELVES.

so where are the 5 generations of O'Reilley janitors these days? Oh, right, there aren't because the minute the so-called "white Niggers" of the last big European migration became "White in America", they dropped those jobs and climbed up that ladder of whiteness like it was nobody's business. Am talking about the Irish and the Spaniards, Portuguese, Greeks and especially Italians. These were all considered mongrel, lower rung "races" by WASPs and their European counterparts but as the push for desegregation got stronger, as Puerto Rico became a huge importer of black and brown US Citizens and as mass migrations from Latin America (not just Mexico) and Asia grew bigger after World War II, there was a concerted effort to absorb into whiteness European ethnicities that had been up until the 70s deemed as "Others" (case in point, go watch again the original KARATE KID with Ralph Macchio).

so cry me a river over the people saying that brown-skinned immigrants are to blame for the US unemployment woes. you thought you had it made because now your italian or greek last name makes you white but you have no jobs? well, had you thought about where you came from, how people like you were once discriminated, you wouldn't have voted for labor, trade and immigration policies that are now fucking you over royally.

don't blame the mexiguns. blame your blatant ignorance of the history of your own political whiteness.
posted by liza at 11:40 AM on July 31, 2010 [7 favorites]


Look, before White English Spanish speaking occupiers invaded Arizona, there were Mexicans indigenous peoples living there.

So it's ok now to harrass them because they look Mexican?

No, no it's not. But let's not pretend that land wasn't originally stolen from someone else.
posted by MikeMc at 11:56 AM on July 31, 2010


No, no it's not. But let's not pretend that land wasn't originally stolen from someone else.

That's always a good idea in this discussion. Arizona was taken from Native Americans. The southern portion was purchased directly from Mexico.
posted by Brian B. at 12:11 PM on July 31, 2010


Any sales tax is offset by remittances.

Explain, please, how money passing from private hands to private hands takes money away from the government.
posted by kafziel at 12:34 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


All the talk of "if companies would pay a fair wage to workers, more American citizens would want those crappy jobs," while true, is also kind of a pipe dream. The reality is that Americans wouldn't (and can't afford to) pay $8 for a head of lettuce--and if agricultural labor was paid $20+ per hour, that's what we would have. Eric Schlosser covered this ground quite thoroughly in his outstanding Reefer Madness.
posted by LooseFilter at 12:39 PM on July 31, 2010


The reality is that Americans wouldn't (and can't afford to) pay $8 for a head of lettuce--and if agricultural labor was paid $20+ per hour, that's what we would have.

I would argue that a) the $8 head of lettuce is a huge exaggeration, and b) whatever extra we would pay for that head of lettuce we pay already in other ways. Externalities is the word that is important, here.
posted by chimaera at 12:52 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


The reality is that Americans wouldn't (and can't afford to) pay $8 for a head of lettuce--and if agricultural labor was paid $20+ per hour, that's what we would have.

That doesn't ring true to me. It's sort of a vicious cycle, the wages have to be low to keep the prices low and the prices have to be low because the wages are low. The people in the middle and upper classes benefit greatly from this cycle but the workers themselves...not so much. Of course this doesn't take into account that an endless supply of cheap labor retards advances in our processes. Why bother researching ways to do something more efficiently when you can just throw a ton of cheap labor at it?
posted by MikeMc at 12:55 PM on July 31, 2010


Explain, please, how money passing from private hands to private hands takes money away from the government.

It never reaches the government, but is being sent abroad, amounting to a labor export because that's what it was paid out for by US companies. Most labor purchased in the US becomes cycled into a spending economy, over and over. The trade deficits are already negative in almost all cases here, such as Mexico.
posted by Brian B. at 1:23 PM on July 31, 2010


I recommend Schlosser's book on this, tons of data and fairly convincing numbers.
posted by LooseFilter at 1:24 PM on July 31, 2010


It's funny how the immigration issue brings out the bigots. This exact same kind of talk we heard around the civil right era, when people still felt it quite OK to express what today would be clearly seen as viciously racist views. Fear not, in due time, the same will be seen here - the bigots clumsily hiding behind "law and order" and other tired conservative shibboleths. For now we have the bigots who somehow see brown people as "dangerously pregnant" and think it's a "debate" about how we can actually unconstitutionally deny citizenship rights to babies born on U.S. soil. It's a debate you see - "law and order", somehow the constitution here is up for grabs, law and order and all. Next debate: should we make a constitutional amendment to bring back slavery for black people. Hey, it's a "debate"! "Debate" among racist scum. Don't worry, they too will pass on in history. The future belongs to multi-ethnic America, where brown is the majority. Bigots will lose - again.
posted by VikingSword at 1:25 PM on July 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


For now we have the bigots who somehow see brown people as "dangerously pregnant"

I used that term to refer to pregnant women crossing from Mexico. If you don't care, then you're a misogynist. I noticed others seized on it too, as though it was a great program or something.
posted by Brian B. at 1:31 PM on July 31, 2010


In all fairness, I read that to mean "so close to delivery as to make travel, let alone border crossing, unwise."
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:25 PM on July 31, 2010


It never reaches the government, but is being sent abroad

You understand that a lot of illegal immigrants get FICA and all that taken out and will never see a penny of it, right? The idea that all illegal immigrants are paid under the table is false and out of touch with reality.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:51 PM on July 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


You understand that a lot of illegal immigrants get FICA and all that taken out and will never see a penny of it, right?

Obviously, that's how we know how many are in the official labor market and how much they make (less than 56 billion in 2005). About half of that was sent home. The immigration can be minimized if one balances it to the nation as a whole, but that conveniently ignores how hard it hits border states, and not just governments, but as rents go up and wages go down, even slightly. It appears that most people aren't capable of realizing that this issue becomes a local concern more than a national one in those places because of the higher numbers involved. It is fun to watch the racial baiting though, as an exercise in bandwagon self-righteousness.
posted by Brian B. at 3:25 PM on July 31, 2010


I used that term to refer to pregnant women crossing from Mexico. If you don't care, then you're a misogynist. I noticed others seized on it too, as though it was a great program or something.

Keep digging. Very typical move. We've seen it many times before - bigotry disguised as "concern". "We're not against blacks having voting rights, but we're concerned that they don't have the education to vote for their interests and could be easily misled by provocateurs from the North". "We're just worried about the poor immigrants who cross the border illegally". Bullshit.

Why only "crossing from Mexico"? How about people on airplanes between Europe and the U.S.? And do you have statistics backing up your claims that Mexican women are more likely to be late in their pregnancy when they cross into the U.S., than for example, women from Japan? Because unless you can back up that statement, you're singling out Mexican women. Really, though, it's all BS. I'm sure your concern is over the women's health/roll eyes/.

Here's a lovely statement from you - and it smells like typical racist drivel we've heard before:

A serious demand-side concern among people who debate this policy is the US law that hands out citizenship for any baby born in the US, regardless of parental status. This draws many women to come here dangerously pregnant to county hospitals, and the baby's citizenship can then be used to draw immediate welfare benefits for the household.

Right. Citizenship is "handed out" regardless of parental status. It isn't due and constitutionally guaranteed a baby born here regardless of status as has been since the constitution was written - it's "handed out" presumably by pinko liberals to those filthy brown races. Odd how many tea baggers discover that the don't actually like the constitution much in this case - right after arguing how all they want is strict adherence to the constitution. And odd how many of these scumbags had parents or ancestors who came here illegally and had "anchor babies" - only they were white, so they weren't called that. All of a sudden, racist scum sees room for "debate" on a constitutional right which their ancestors enjoyed, but now that brown people might be affected - out the window goes concern over strictly adhering to the constitution, instead let's darkly muse about how we need to revoke that right to those heavily and dangerously pregnant Mexicans who sneak in here to take advantage of our citizenship laws and immediately thereafter our welfare benefits.

It's not even disguised particularly well. It's right there, straight from the gutter rhetoric used by right-wing racists all over: "they come to live off welfare". Here's the quote: "This draws many women to come here dangerously pregnant to county hospitals, and the baby's citizenship can then be used to draw immediate welfare benefits for the household."

Right wing racist scum rhetoric to a "t". The undesirables "drawn here by our overly generous laws" - check. And why do they come here pregnant? So that "the baby's citizenship can then be used to draw immediate welfare benefits for the household" - check. Note the "immediate". That's right. Not only do they take all our jobs that good solid Americans crave, but they "immediately" go on welfare.

Your words describe you, and we've seen your kind of rhetoric before. What's amazing is not that someone would hold such views - there is plenty of racist scum out there. What's amazing is that after all this time, they're still so clumsy about disguising their bigotry.
posted by VikingSword at 3:28 PM on July 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


Keep digging. Very typical move. We've seen it many times before - bigotry disguised as "concern"

It's like a Pink Panther movie now.
posted by Brian B. at 3:37 PM on July 31, 2010


Explain, please, how money passing from private hands to private hands takes money away from the government.

It never reaches the government, but is being sent abroad, amounting to a labor export because that's what it was paid out for by US companies. Most labor purchased in the US becomes cycled into a spending economy, over and over. The trade deficits are already negative in almost all cases here, such as Mexico.


The claim was that the taxes levied in the form of sales tax are offset by sending money abroad.

Which money is unfairly not reaching the government in this situation? People who live here have to buy stuff, on which they pay sales tax.

If you choose to stuff the rest of your unspent money under your mattress instead of buying stuff with it, we don't accuse you of undermining the US economy. Remittances aren't the only way that money is going unspent.
posted by desuetude at 3:58 PM on July 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


VikingSword: Odd how many tea baggers discover that the don't actually like the constitution much in this case - right after arguing how all they want is strict adherence to the constitution.

You see that kind of inconsistency all the time from the right wing. One of the more egregious examples, to my mind, is the support for severe Federal drug penalties and enforcement, while simultaneously championing "states' rights".

With that California legalization bill in the works, this will be a good litmus test for anyone you know who talks about state sovereignty. If they think that California shouldn't be able to do that, then they're probably racist..... they hold the principle only insofar as it will make them freer to discriminate against nonwhites.

There are, however, definitely good arguments for states' rights that have nothing to do with racism. The phrase is, unfortunately, often used as a dog whistle for white supremacists, so you have to be careful with it. But if you meet a states' rightser who thinks that California is totally within bounds to legalize any medical substance it wants, you may be dealing with a principled thinker, rather than a racist.

For what it's worth, I'm in the 'strict originalism' camp on the Constitution; it means what it meant when it was written, and if we want that to change, it needs to be done through the political process, not through nine guys with no accountability to anyone.

As such, I'm horrified by this obscenity of a law. It infuriates me. These people aren't strict constructionists, they're fucking fascists pretending to be. And I hope with all my heart and soul that they end up caught in the nightmare of bureaucracy and simple malice that is the modern American penal system... with the hope that they might finally understand that it's not okay to put people through that hell just for having brown skin.

We are ALL Americans, dammit. As far as I'm concerned, if you got your shit together, left your entire life and everyone you know behind, and came to America to seek a better life for yourself, you're more American than most natives are these days. I want every one of those people we can goddamn get. If they wear turbans or pray to Mecca three times or a day or like siestas.... that's just fine. That's cosmetic. If you've got the gumption to get here, especially with all the forces arrayed to prevent you, I'm happy you're here, and I hope you prosper.
posted by Malor at 4:11 PM on July 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


The claim was that the taxes levied in the form of sales tax are offset by sending money abroad.

Rent and groceries are tax exempt in CA and AZ. I'll leave it to your imagination what remittees retain for their own use and pay tax on. Fun fact, remittances are 1/3 of Tonga's economy.
posted by Brian B. at 4:16 PM on July 31, 2010


The reality is that Americans wouldn't (and can't afford to) pay $8 for a head of lettuce--and if agricultural labor was paid $20+ per hour, that's what we would have.

or we'd have a lot of people growing their own
posted by pyramid termite at 4:28 PM on July 31, 2010


We are ALL Americans, dammit.

"Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!"
posted by MikeMc at 4:36 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Brian B., I'm wonder what you think about the following, in order to address your claim, which I'll accept for the sake of argument for the moment, about how undocumented immigrants use U.S. medical resources (the dangerously pregnant ladies, e.g.)

Why don't we give them an opportunity to buy health insurance on the exchanges when they are set up in a few years? Would you agree that this is a good idea (not asking whether it's politically feasible, I know it's not). If not, why?
posted by angrycat at 4:38 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rent is not tax-free in Arizona, I paid taxes on my rental there for the past two years.
posted by LooseFilter at 4:40 PM on July 31, 2010


I was talking with some family friends about immigration, and one lady brought up that in the 1960s, the field work jobs were often filled by college students in the summers.

I grew up in Oregon in the 60's (Born in 1947). We (white kids) spent the summer picking Strawberries, pole beans, peaches, cane berries, etc. for something less than minimum wage. These days it's nothing but brown faces in the fields, even though they are guaranteed minimum *State* wage ($8.40/hr). Work is open to anyone willing to work. Not many white faces out there.
posted by jgaiser at 4:50 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, this law really smacks of posturing, allowing businesses to continue to exploit cheap labor while allowing lawmakers appear tough on crime. A far more effective solution is to penalize business owners for knowingly employing undocumented workers--if it were $100,000 per violation, I bet a lot of those jobs would go to citizens and other legal workers pretty quickly.
posted by LooseFilter at 4:54 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Angrycat, my claim? I think you are missing the point. Regardless, I advocate a more Canadian style system. The so-called "anchor baby" issue is a very hot topic by the way, and it will steal many votes in the fall.

Rent is not tax-free in Arizona, I paid taxes on my rental there for the past two years.

I think you're talking about a 1% to 2% municipal rent tax.
posted by Brian B. at 5:08 PM on July 31, 2010


How many of you accusing Arizona of "racism" have ever actually been there?

I haven't, and it doesn't look like I'll go there anytime soon, which is too bad - AZ has some outstanding birding spots.

I'm not Latino but I look it. I'm a US citizen (well, I was born in Hawaii, which I guess calls my citizenship into question for some, since I don't know if they would consider my birth certificate "valid"), and so I don't have to carry proof of citizenship on me when traveling in my own country.

Undocumented immigrants are also unlikely to be carrying proof of citizenship.

So if I'm in Arizona and get pulled over with a busted tail light, and they ask if I'm a citizen, I can't prove that I am. I can't prove that my parents didn't bring me here from a foreign country when I was two, and that's why I don't have an accent. My non-Latino name is also not an English name.

How long should I be held while the local cops try to figure out if I'm a citizen? Does 13 months sound good?
posted by rtha at 5:44 PM on July 31, 2010 [8 favorites]


Immigration is absolutely essential to maintain the economic ,intellectual, scientific, technical and "spiritual" growth of this (any) country. Let alone the fact that diversity is simply fun--expanded choices in food , arts expand, more holidays, fashion benefits--the list goes on. Illegal immigration is bad--period. It trivializes laws, it becomes a breeding ground for racism, it drains valuable resources (youth, workers, risk takers etc) from the country of emigration, it weakens organized labor markets, it undermines confidence in established institutions (even popular and good ones). There is no organism, whether living or socially constructed, that does not need to regulates (manage) its own borders (boundaries) if it is to survive and adapt through out time. This is simple Darwinian evolution. Legal immigration good(adaptive)-Illegal immigration--bad(maladaptive). Name one country that has been able to survive without effectively regulating its borders--or does not regulate its borders. Name one organism or group of organism that has a high survival value that does not have an effective process for regulating what comes in and what comes out. The human body, as all social and biological organisms, have specific controls that permit and facilitate, but also limit and regulate, its interaction with the external environment. The same applies to clubs, churches, families, States, Cities, businesses etc. A constant and active exchange with the external environment is essential for growth, adaptation and survival. To rigid of boundary almost always means extinction in the long run. To permeable a boundary or faulty regulation almost always means death. The simple fact is that if immigration is to add to the quality of life for the host and immigrant it needs to be regulated. It absolutely needs to occur, it just needs to be managed. I have no interest in demonizing illegal immigrants and no interest in demonizing those opposed. Both fractions use hyperbole, anecdotes, strained data and self interest to justify their positions. I fully realize this does not solve the problem--but inflammatory rhetoric on either side is even less useful. We need managed borders, a thoughtful immigration policy based on national priorities and a Federal solution.
posted by rmhsinc at 5:52 PM on July 31, 2010


Name one country that has been able to survive without effectively regulating its borders--or does not regulate its borders.

U.S.A. - these borders are as effectively controlled as they ever were. And here we are, surviving. Nothing's changed. So, your point was? Are we now on the brink of destruction? May I suggest that once upon a time our borders were even more poorly controlled and yet we not only survived, but thrived.

If you want to make a concrete argument, go ahead, but I suggest that bringing in poorly thought out analogies, name dropping Darwin and cells and organisms is generating no real light. It's always best to be very specific in these situations, otherwise rhetoric is liable to bite you, as in the question above.

What we can agree on is the need for a rational discussion. Unfortunately, too much of the discourse is driven by one of the periodic moral panics this country experiences, with the consequence being a stupid racist law like the one passed in Arizona.

But we've had such moral panics and frank racism in the past - many times. With the Irish, the Italians, the Jews, the Chinese, the X, Y, Z. Often times, especially the further you go back - they came illegally. We survived it. And we'll survive this too. They encountered racist scum - same as Latinos encounter today. But the racists never won - and they won't win this time either. Latinos are growing. It's the reality. They too will become accepted.

And the political fallout of the "anchor babies" controversy? A boon for the Democrats. Because those who agitate against "anchor babies" and other racist dog-whistlers are in the main extremist right-wingers. Tea baggers. In other words, natural Republican voters. They already vote Republican. So it's not like those are votes stolen from the Democrats. Meanwhile the converse is certainly true. Those on the other side of the debate are disgusted by the naked attempt to subvert the constitution. And crucially, Latinos are taking note - the Republican party is a party of racists. The party that whips up hatred of Latinos and wants to actually destroy the constitution in the case of "anchor babies". And Latinos are flocking to the Democrats - just as other groups that were/are the object of vile hatred of the Republican party - gays, blacks, and so on. In fact, the Repub party in California already shot itself in the foot with prop 187 - which the Latinos never forgot. Now the fallout from the AZ law and the ugly nasty vicious Republican racism is spilling out for all to see. And Latinos all across the nation (certainly in CA) are taking note - and voting accordingly. I look forward to the day the Republican party is confined to the worst Southern states, and the worst kind of groups like the KKK (if you think this is an exaggeration, read up on who it is that this law attracted to Arizona to "patrol the border" - organizations that are openly Nazi in ideology). Hatred and lies will buy you a few votes from the bigots in the short term. In the long term, it will be the doom of your party - and I look forward to that.
posted by VikingSword at 6:41 PM on July 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


And the political fallout of the "anchor babies" controversy? A boon for the Democrats. Because those who agitate against "anchor babies" and other racist dog-whistlers are in the main extremist right-wingers. Tea baggers. In other words, natural Republican voters. They already vote Republican. So it's not like those are votes stolen from the Democrats. Meanwhile the converse is certainly true. Those on the other side of the debate are disgusted by the naked attempt to subvert the constitution.

58% Say No to Citizenship for Children of Illegal Immigrants. In Arizona it was 64%.
posted by Brian B. at 6:52 PM on July 31, 2010


It does seem Sisyphean and ultimately self-defeating for the Republicans to be so busily alienating the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S. It must have some short-term expediency, but it seems like it's a poor long-term strategy.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:56 PM on July 31, 2010


58% Say No to Citizenship for Children of Illegal Immigrants. In Arizona it was 64%.

Good thing the constitution protects the minority from the tyranny of the majority. You couldalways try to pass a constitutional amendment, but again, it seems like a mighty hard row to hoe.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:59 PM on July 31, 2010


What we can agree on is the need for a rational discussion.

Hard to do when some just spew crude insult fueled rants that could have come from the mind of your average 14 year old mouthbreathing /b/tard.

"Debate" among racist scum, They encountered racist scum, there is plenty of racist scum out there, All of a sudden, racist scum, odd how many of these scumbags had parents, Right wing racist scum rhetoric to a "t"

Scum, scum, scum...for Christ's sake buy a thesaurus!

Anyway, the main difference, as I see it, between the "then" of our great-grandparents and now is that the expansion of the U.S. is over. The wilderness has been tamed, the railroads laid and the cities built, it's incremental economic gain now. There is certainly a need for immigration, as there's always been, but what's changed is the type of immigration we need most. The day of needing masses of unskilled and semi-skilled labor to fuel our industrial growth and westward expansion are over.
posted by MikeMc at 7:00 PM on July 31, 2010


I think you'd find some objections disappear if you changed the system so that the only way family members could get any sort of status in the U.S. through that child is by having the child sponsor them when he/she turns 18.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:27 PM on July 31, 2010


"that child" = a child born in the U.S.

sorry, I deleted a sentence before posting that comment

posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:28 PM on July 31, 2010


Brian B., if you're not making the claim that that undocumented immigrants are draining U.S. medical resources, I did miss your point

But if you're saying, we need this law to protect the women who are making the journey -- well, I'll stop there. Is that your point, or am I totally misreading you?
posted by angrycat at 7:53 PM on July 31, 2010


But if you're saying, we need this law to protect the women who are making the journey -- well, I'll stop there. Is that your point, or am I totally misreading you?

If someone thinks that a pregnant woman deserves some reward for crossing a dangerous border to have a baby, then that person should examine their ethics. Why? Because they agree to the source of the problem which corrupts mothers and endangers their babies. How many people in this thread do you think are capable of morally figuring this out?
posted by Brian B. at 8:33 PM on July 31, 2010


What "reward"? Do you mean the Constitutional requirement that her child has US citizenship if born in the US?

Are you saying we should amend the Constitution in order to protect pregnant women and their unborn babies?
posted by rtha at 8:40 PM on July 31, 2010


I think you'd find some objections disappear if you changed the system so that the only way family members could get any sort of status in the U.S. through that child is by having the child sponsor them when he/she turns 18.

This would be more lenient than current law, which only allows US citizens to sponsor their parents after they are 21. Unless the parents were ever caught as illegal migrants, in which case under current law they can never be sponsored for residency.

Likewise, just in this was your next argument, under current law and regulation USCIS/ICE will deport your ass no matter how many minor children you have who happen to be US citizens. Since 2000, the US has deported 88000 legal residents (who committed various crimes) who had minor American children. If you're a minor citizen and both your parents are being deported, congratulations: you can go with them, or you can stay in the US and enter the foster system.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:48 PM on July 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Are you saying we should amend the Constitution in order to protect pregnant women and their unborn babies?

We should amend the Constitution to remove the incentive for people to make fools out of us.
posted by Brian B. at 8:51 PM on July 31, 2010


That's possibly the worst reason I've ever read for amending the Constitution.
posted by rtha at 8:54 PM on July 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


This would be more lenient than current law

So what's the basis for the belief that having a baby in the U.S. would permit you to stay?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:01 PM on July 31, 2010


Brian B.: Doesn't seem more likely that the result your arguing for will result in greater maternal and infant mortality? To back up for a second: What do you think motivates women to make the trip? Wouldn't it be the benefits they reap for themselves and their children?

I mean,I guess in your last post you sort of came out with your last post: We don't have enough so we should treat other folks in a fierce (or racist, to be explicit) way.
posted by angrycat at 9:05 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's possibly the worst reason I've ever read for amending the Constitution.

It's the only reason a fool ever needs.
posted by Brian B. at 9:06 PM on July 31, 2010


(sorry, you came out with the real basis for your argument -- I may or may not be impaired)
posted by angrycat at 9:07 PM on July 31, 2010


is this what trolling is? i don't know i've ever experienced it
posted by angrycat at 9:08 PM on July 31, 2010


So what's the basis for the belief that having a baby in the U.S. would permit you to stay?

Short answer: lies.

Less short answer: lies and half-truths built on the few cases where immigration judges have allowed a parent to stay to avoid imposing unconscionable hardship on the child. USCIS/ICE allows for "cancellation of removal" if:

(1) The person being removed has been physically in the US for 10 years or more
(2) Has been of good moral character during this time
(3) Has not committed any of the various offenses that get legal residents deported
(4) Removal would cause "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" to the person's citizen or permanent-resident spouse, parent, or child.

"You would have to move to Mexico" does not count as that sort of hardship; here's a case from 2007.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:48 PM on July 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why? Because they agree to the source of the problem which corrupts mothers and endangers their babies.

allowing brown-skinned Mexican (because am assuming you have no problem with Canadians) women have babies in the US "rewards" and "corrupts" them?

really Brian, really?

and going back to the days when only "approved" whites could have babies in this country and be recognized as citizens is a way to "remove the incentive for people to make fools out of us".

you know Brian, i already made a fool of you with my two brown boys. am gonna make sure that before my fertility runs out this very wise latina has a few more of those brown citizen babies while heartily encouraging my hermanas en latinaje to have a few or ten.

the more wise latina babies to make fools out of your "us", the mejor.
posted by liza at 12:06 AM on August 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


vikingsword "In the long term, it will be the doom of your party - and I look forward to that" I hope that was a generic you and not a specific you. I certainly do not mind you disagreeing but I find the much of the rhetoric and behavior of the Republican Party to be despicable if not often obscene--same for the "citizen border patrols" I do believe you have a sympathizer here--I just find much of the rhetoric on both sides tiresome and leading to policy dead ends. I do not think there is an historical precedent in the US for that which we are now dealing. Call me names, attack my analogies, charge me with name dropping but please do not refer the the Republicans as my party.
posted by rmhsinc at 2:14 AM on August 1, 2010


Here's an example of the true story behind the problem:
So the family organized her documents and brought her all the way to Seattle. But things were bad. Her duties far exceeded those of the job back home. She took care of a 2-year-old and a baby and all of the family's meals — cooking, cleaning, gardening and more. "I was responsible for everything, except only their body they washed by themselves. But I was responsible for everything," she says.She worked almost 100 hours a week. The couple paid her $70 a month and insisted that she talk to no one.
There are a lot of greedy, cheap-ass mofo's who call themselves Americans who will happily gorge on the energies of unfortunates without a moment's hesitation. Because while they like to get paid well, they see *no reason* what that should apply to anyone else. For another example see: Wall Street.

Somehow, while they grew up and were educated here, American values are invisible to these people. They seem to think that privilege entitles them to treat others in any way that their tiny minds can conceive.
posted by Twang at 4:23 AM on August 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


I wonder if the law wouldn't be better and less controversial if, instead of being targeted, it required police officers to verify the status of EVERYONE they stop. White, brown, asian, whatever. At least that way, it wouldn't read like it's a hate bill and would be applied to everyone. Of course, then suddenly AZ would have to figure out exactly how one proves such a thing. I suspect a lot of people would have to start carrying around copies of their birth certificate. But that would also be a boon to the state, as official copies of such documents cost money to acquire.

But as it stands, I think the law is strikingly unfair in its implementation.
posted by hippybear at 5:57 AM on August 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


American values are invisible to these people. They seem to think that privilege entitles them to treat others in any way that their tiny minds can conceive.

WTF, dude. Those ARE the new basic American values...
posted by umberto at 7:01 AM on August 1, 2010


Incidentally, if anyone is interested, my literary arts nonprofit has started a writers' boycott of Arizona called WORDSTRIKE. We've gotten more than 100 writers to sign up (and got another 100 writers in the first few hours of launching the campaign), including Salman Rushdie, Noam Chomsky, Russell Banks, Jhumpa Lahiri, Sharon Olds, Chang-rae Lee, Tariq Ali, John Waters and many others. If you're interested in signing the petition, whether as a reader or a writer, you can do so at the website.
posted by johnasdf at 7:07 AM on August 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


The day of needing masses of unskilled and semi-skilled labor to fuel our industrial growth and westward expansion are over.
Do you do this on purpose or do you have an irresistible unconscious compulsion to make unapologetic racist statements from the position of a self-entitled neocolonialist?
posted by mistersquid at 10:25 AM on August 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


is this what trolling is? i don't know i've ever experienced it

One of the most self-educational things I've ever done was move to a landlocked republican stronghold. You think this is trolling? They really believe this shit. They represent the single biggest threat to the Constitution, more than any Muslim or Latino bogeyman.

The real irony is that it's the Latinos that seem to best embody the hard-working spirit of the American dream. These are the people I want in my country. Bring the missus. Hell, bring the whole family. Because for some reason they seem to get it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:26 AM on August 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


The day of needing masses of unskilled and semi-skilled labor to fuel our industrial growth and westward expansion are over.

Do you do this on purpose or do you have an irresistible unconscious compulsion to make unapologetic racist statements from the position of a self-entitled neocolonialist?


Way to pull a sentence out of it's original context to make a personal attack. If you think the dynamics of our economy haven't changed from the late 19th-early 20th century to today then I don't know what to say to you. Then again I'm sure that you're so firmly cocooned in your smug sense of superiority that conversation is impossible.
posted by MikeMc at 11:22 AM on August 1, 2010


This discussion makes me wonder what people were talking about during other genocidal times.

Like in Rwanda pre-genocide, did people say words to the effect, these darn Tutsi are causing all our problems. And some guy would say something like, dude, that's not so cool. And then the other guy would say, how dare you call me a racist; those cockroaches are (doing x y and z). And then someone would whip out an anecdote. And maybe the not cool guy was beat up.

Humans kinda suck and we suck in some of the same predictable way: You are threatening my stuff. I will now harm you.

At least we're not as gross as ants.
posted by angrycat at 2:52 PM on August 1, 2010


We should amend the Constitution to remove the incentive for people to make fools out of us.

You think that people are moving here out of spite, to thumb their noses at what you consider a loophole?

I don't understand the inclination to take this all so personally, as if rhetoric is all meant to be taken absolutely literally.
posted by desuetude at 3:45 PM on August 1, 2010


Once those children are here, if we've decided as a society that they're entitled to a minimum living standard, they're just as entitled, just as American, as anyone else. The only foolishness is in thinking that somone that was born in America, whatever the status of their parents, is somehow a second-rate citizen, not worthy of support.

Whatever your opinion of their parents' motivations; those kids are going to be the ones feeding you via Social Security when you get old. Trying to make sure they have enough to eat and a good education strikes me as a very smart investment.

Some of those kids could grow up to be the next Einstein or Hawking. They have every bit as much of a chance as any other child, and failing to support them the same way we do the others is deeply stupid. If any child is worth that support, they all are.

Once they're born here, they're on our goddamn team. Stop thinking of them as Other.
posted by Malor at 10:53 PM on August 1, 2010


You think that people are moving here out of spite, to thumb their noses at what you consider a loophole?

Why would anyone move to Arizona out of spite?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:18 AM on August 2, 2010


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