AZ Authoritarian New Law Will Increase Crimes

In case you haven’t heard, the Arizona state legislature just passed a new law that will force the police to go after economic refugees (aka “undocumented immigrants”), even when that state’s Association of Chiefs of Police actually opposes this; therefore destroying any sort of confidence or working relations that the police might’ve had with the Latino and other immigrant communities in reporting and fighting crimes in Arizona. 


The National Day Laborer Organizing Network has issued the following statement, which encapsulates our emotions on this:

For Immediate Release / Please Distribute 
 
Contact: Marco Loera, 602-373-3859 and
 
newman@ndlon.org
 
Date: April 13, 2010
 
The following is a statement by Chris Newman, Legal Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network:
 
“Arizona is on the verge of enacting the most anti-immigrant legislation the country has seen in a generation. We are hopeful Governor Brewer will consult with her legal counsel, issue a veto, and spare Arizona the expense of defending an unconstitutional, unwise, and odious bill in federal courts. Arizona has long been a laboratory for anti-immigrant experimentation, and its demagogue leaders have become folk heros for white supremacists throughout the United States, but this bill ushers in a new chapter of disgrace for the state that resisted celebrating the life of Martin Luther King.”

This new Arizona legislation could become law as early as next week!  Here’s what you can do to help stop it (via the UFW):

1. Arizona’s Governor Brewer has not responded to any of the tweets that have been sent to her asking her to veto SB 1070. However, she is tweeting on other stuff and she just tweeted, “Don’t forget to sign up to be a fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GovJanBrewer.”

So, join her fan page and leave a wall message asking her to “say NO to racial profiling by vetoing the SB1070!”

2. You can also sign the UFW’s twitter petition by tweeting the following message:
petition @GovBrewer Veto AZ’ SB1070. Say NO to racial profiling. http://act.ly/1wg RT to sign #actly #ufw
 
[The petition to Arizona’s Governor was actually the #2 tweet of the week at one point].
 
3. Call the Governor’s office at: 1800-253-0883 or 602-542-4331.
4. TAKE ACTION. The UFW has an action alert up on this that sends a fax to the governor asking her to veto this bill at http://action.ufw.org/az410

Update # 1CREDO Action has sent out this action alert to 21,000 members in Arizona. In less than two hours, they generated 623 faxes to the governor’s office! 

Here is the direct link to the fax action.  Below is the email that was sent out:

Tell Gov. Jan Brewer: Stand up for civil rights and veto SB 1070
Don’t let Arizona become a police state.
 

Dear [friend],

Yesterday, we received an email from our friends at the United Farm Workers. They wanted to alert us to a chilling new Arizona law that has been passed by the legislature and will soon land on the desk of Gov. Jan Brewer for her signature.

If signed into law, the bill would create a unique and frightening police state within Arizona’s borders. A state where anyone who forgets to carry identification or papers proving immigration status could be picked up by police. A state where someone who appears to be a Latino or speaks English with an accent will be at constant risk of being stopped and interrogated by police.

It’s up to Gov. Jan Brewer to put a stop to this law. Send a message today urging her to veto the bill.

As Alessandra Soler Meetze, president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, says, “A lot of U.S. citizens are going to be swept up in the application of this law for something as simple as having an accent and leaving their wallet at home.”

And its not just the Arizona ACLU and civil rights groups that are raising the alarm. The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police opposes the bill because it will deter immigrants who are witnesses to crimes from coming forward and helping police.

Not only does the bill make it a misdemeanor not to carry proper immigration paperwork in Arizona. It would also require police officers to demand verification of immigration status whenever they have “reasonable suspicion” that someone is undocumented. Under current state law, officers can inquire about immigration status if an individual is a suspect in another crime, but the wholesale racial profiling required by SB 1070 is not condoned.

Gov. Jan Brewer has not taken a public stand on SB 1070. She needs to hear from us that we expect her to stand up for civil rights and veto SB 1070. Send her a fax today!

Thank you for standing up for civil liberties.

Becky Bond, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Update # 2: in case you haven’t been paying attention to Arizona’s growing authoritarian trends towards terrorizing the Latino community, check out what Rep. Luis Gutierrez just published on Huffington Post.

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.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Update # 3: just got word of the following.

Since Thursday, CREDO members in Arizona have sent 1991 faxes to Gov. Brewer. [They’re] hoping to be at 2,000 by Monday morning.

The UFW’s advocacy campaign at http://action.ufw.org/page/speakout/az410 has generated 4,845 faxes from folks to Gov. Brewer.
 
[Their] Act.ly twitter petition at http://act.ly/1wg is at 153 tweet that have been re-tweeted to 68,897 followers.  It is the # 1 act.ly twitter petition campaign of the month in “who’s in the hot seat”.  If you have not yet signed it, you can by tweeting the following message out:  

petition @GovBrewer Veto AZ’ SB1070. Say NO to racial profiling. http://act.ly/1wg RT to sign #actly #ufw

If you make changes it’s important to keep the @GovBrewer and the http://act.ly/1wg RT to sign or to take action directly from http://act.ly/1wg or the signs won’t count towards the total.
 
…and for a while the front of the Gov.’s facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/GovJanBrewer was covered w/anti SB1070 comments.  **this is no longer true.  Currently her supporters have put up a lot of comments encouraging her to sign the bill, so now might be a good time to post more comments asking her to veto it.

Update # 4: Adam Luna over at America’s Voice sent this great e-mail to his organization’s supporters asking “do I look undocumented to you?”

Remember Joe Arpaio, the Arizona sheriff who paraded immigrants in shackles through Phoenix to a tent city in the desert? The renegade sheriff who is being investigated by the Justice Department for racial profiling?

I’m sorry to say that the Arizona legislature has passed a bill that would tell every police officer in the state to do their jobs just like Sheriff Joe: stopping anyone who “looks” like they could be undocumented — or risk getting sued. It’s pretty horrifying.

The bill has made it past the Arizona legislature, but the governor has the power to stop it. Help us make the case!

Please sign the petition to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer asking her to veto this bill now:

http://www.AmericasVoiceOnline.org/Veto

The question is: who judges what an undocumented immigrant “looks” like? Do I “look” undocumented just because I have brown skin, eat guacamole, and listen to Carlos Santana? Do you? I’m sorry, but that’s called racial profiling. That’s discrimination, period.

Police chiefs across the country are already speaking out against the bill, S.B. 1070, which they say will ruin trust with local communities. Tracking down real criminals gets even tougher when witnesses are afraid to come forward and report crime. The Arizona ACLU has come out strongly against it, citing major privacy concerns.

Time is short to stop this unconstitutional bill, so we will hand-deliver your petitions to the Governor early next week alongside major civil rights organizations and our partners in Arizona. We have a chance to stop it, but only if we raise our voices now.

Tell Governor Brewer to veto this awful, un-American bill:

http://www.AmericasVoiceOnline.org/Veto

It’s time for real, federal reform that brings our immigration system back under control.

Thanks for raising your voice to stop this madness and helping to spread the word.

Adam Luna
America’s Voice

Update # 5: looks like police unions, chiefs, and cops are starting to speak out against this legislation because they recognize it will impair their ability to do their jobs-going after actual criminals.  Via the EastValleyTribune.com:

Calling it an “unfunded mandate,” East Valley police departments are concerned about their ability to enforce a sweeping immigration bill that could be passed by the Arizona Legislature as early as this week. […] 

Police unions representing the rank-and-file officers, although not opposed to the bill, believe it could create manpower challenges during a time of budget reductions and are also concerned about potential lawsuits the law could bring, according to Bryan Soller, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Mesa Lodge’s No. 9, which represents 600 officers.

“If we’re getting hammered with calls, is a misdemeanor (trespassing by an illegal immigrant) more important than a stabbing or shooting?” Soller said. “No. The problem with this law is that it’s an unfunded mandate and could eat up a lot of manpower and cost a lot of money.”

You can read more and digg that story here.

Update # 6: to keep informed about all that is going on regarding immigration policy in Arizona, stop by altoarizona.com.