Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > Arizona’s new law makes it “open season” on the state’s Latino population

Arizona’s new law makes it “open season” on the state’s Latino population

LatinaLista — A disgusting story has emerged from Paris, Texas. It seems at a company called Turner Industries it was “open season” on black workers. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found evidence that black workers were harassed with Confederate flags, nooses and death threats by some white employees.


“I’ve been called colored boy, coon, monkey,” said Dontrail Mathis, 33, a painter’s helper at the plant in Paris who began highlighting racist conditions in December 2006. “When Obama won, they went off. My superiors said ‘If he ain’t white, it ain’t right.’

What makes this story even more unbelievable is that those white employees who didn’t go along with the harassment — were fired.

Jason Milligan, who is white, said he was fired from Turner in August after he refused to sign a false affidavit that claimed one of the employees who had complained about the company was stealing at work.

“Not all the employees there were bad,” said Milligan, a 37-year-old father of three. He said that since he was fired, he has had to take a job out of state to support his family. “As a company, they need to stop living in the 1950s,” he said. “These people all have families, and it doesn’t matter what color they are.

“Enough is enough,” he said.

Obviously, if it hadn’t been for the implied support of the management of this Paris, Texas facility none of the participating white workers would have felt empowered to act out these hate crimes. When the authority supports abuse like this, it doesn’t just violate a person’s civil rights, it endangers their well-being.

This story has a lot of parallels with a developing story from Arizona. Come Friday, the biggest example yet of an authority entity giving the green light to single out a minority group may be Arizona — if the governor signs into law a bill that in essence is declaring “open season” on the state’s Latinos.

The unfortunate reality is that unlike these black workers, the Latinos impacted by this law would have no legal route to take to defend themselves.

The Arizona bill is known as Senate Bill 1070 and it would require:

Anyone whom police suspect of being in the country illegally to produce “an alien registration document,” such as a green card, or be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor and pay a minimum $500 fine.

An act that immediately criminalizes an undocumented immigrant and impacts their chances of ever returning to the United States. This is problematic since many undocumented have lived in the country for years and their families are of mixed-status.

Makes it illegal to seek work from a road or sidewalk if doing so slows traffic. It also makes it a crime to pick up someone if a driver “knows or recklessly disregards the fact that the alien is here illegally.”

Basically, like Oklahoma, the other state that wants to terrorize people from helping the undocumented, giving someone a lift to the hospital, school, store, etc. and the driver knows they are undocumented criminalizes the citizen being a Good Samaritan.

A law enforcement officer, without a warrant, may arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.

While no one would like to believe police officers would abuse their positions, unfortunately that’s not the case, especially in Arizona which is home to the infamous Sheriff Arpaio.

This section of the law could be abused in going after Latino citizens. If a warrant is not needed that gives the officer the first excuse of getting his foot in the door to look for other signs of, real or imagined, violations of the law.

A law enforcement agency may securely transport an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States and who is in the agency’s custody to a federal facility in this state or to any other point of transfer into federal custody that is outside the jurisdiction of the law enforcement agency.

Basically, this allows for the “disappearance” of undocumented immigrants. Since these immigrants are not afforded the opportunity to contact family members to let them know what has happened to them, this “transport” to facilities outside the region and/or state is a cruel act to perpetuate on a family worried to death about where their husband, wife, mother or child is.

A person may bring an action in Superior Court to challenge any official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state that adopts or implements a policy that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law. If there is a judicial finding that an entity has violated this section, the court shall order any of the following…

This section may actually be one of those things that comes and bites the state of Arizona in the ass. It allows for everyday citizens — in addition to the Minuteman, Tea Party and other racist extremists — to bring to court any law enforcement agency or city official deemed not enforcing the full extent of the immigration law.

For those people who are so prejudicial that any Latino is one too many, they would now have recourse to legally exhibit their discrimination — without fear. The way the bill reads on about what would happen to the person who brings the charges is that they would be rewarded by having their court costs and attorney fees covered.

It goes on to say how the “entity” would be punished for not complying with the law if it was found to be guilty but nothing would be done to the person for bringing the charges, other than they would have to pay the court costs and attorney fees.

It’s a blatant attempt to encourage citizens to turn against their neighbor and their local city and law enforcement officials — and it serves to not only destabilize the social fabric of Arizona but make it such an unfriendly place by empowering the person on the street to challenge law enforcement that this bill redefines what the Wild West is in the 21st Century.

Petitions have been set up by such organizations as the National Council of La Raza and the United Farm Workers urging Arizona Gov. Brewer to not sign into law a bill that has the potential to harm both citizen and non-citizen Latinos in the state.

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  • Juliee
    April 14, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Why is this open season on Latino’s? Legal Latinos are still a part of this state. Illegal Alien is NOT A RACE and it is offensive to keep playing this out as racism. I cheapens the message and is part of the reason Americans are fed up and not listening anymore.
    Look around, Americans are brown, black, white and yellow. No one is picking on a race.

  • Nicholas B Couch
    April 14, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Arizona’s SB 1070 is patently unconstitutional. “Anyone whom police suspect of being in the country illegally” – this is an invitation to abuse of police authority. What constitutes probable cause with respect to such suspicions? Is carrying on a conversation in Spanish in public sufficient?
    The answer is that there is no probable cause unless an individual has been investigated or is under surveillance. This law opens the door for the police to stop anyone on the street and demand to see their “papers,” an abomination of the Fourth Amendment.

  • Texan123
    April 15, 2010 at 8:01 am

    The only non-citizens that would be hurt by this law are the families who aid and assist illegal activity. Federal law already exists to deport every illegal immigrant. The fact that the Federal Government refuses to adequately enforce the law forces the states to protect themselves.
    Latinos are not singled out. All illegal immigrants are in violation. Just because 80% of illegal aliens are Latino is a situation Latinos have caused by their own actions.

  • cookie
    April 15, 2010 at 8:21 am

    What utter hogwash! This bill is about open season (so to speak) on illegal aliens, not Latino citizens.
    When are Latino citizens going to be outraged at the number of illegal aliens in our country and be on the side of the rule of law instead of fighting the enforcement of our laws, tooth and nail? I really question their loyalty to this country as a group.

  • cookie
    April 15, 2010 at 9:32 am

    I find it interesting how the pro-illegal advocates try to springboard the Civil Rights Era and racism against blacks with the illegal immigration issue.
    Sure, racism still exists in this country and particularly in the south but it isn’t anywheres near what it use to be and most Americans no matter where they live are not racists these days. It isn’t only whites that can be racist these days either. Why even bring the issue of racism against blacks up in the same topic as illegal immigration? Illegal immigration isn’t about racism no matter how the pro-illegal advocates try to blur them together.

  • Indiana Bob
    April 15, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Texan123, cookie
    This law is unconstitutional, at least the provision where law enforcement can arrest someone without a warrant.
    And before you start slinging the “Constitution only protects US citizens” canard around, it protects all “persons” within the Jurisdiction of the US, which AZ, at least until the Minutemen convince folks to secede, is US territory. The Constitution is very clear on what rights apply to “citizens” and what rights apply to “persons”. The 14th amendment decided who was a citizen, since blacks were not allowed to vote, but then also in the same clause declared that all “persons” were entitled to equal protection under the law.
    You may go ahead and try to argue that undocumented immigrants are not persons, ala the Dred Scott decision, but then you would rightfully be called racists, just like Judge Taney.

  • Emma
    April 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Rumor has it that the Democrats think that “appearing” to be supporting immigration reform without actually passing anything in 2010 will be enough to get the Latinos to the polls in Nov.
    After the midterm elections when the Republicans have won 5-8 more Senate seats, the Democrats can say, “sorry, we are so committed to immigration reform, but the votes are not there…but if you support Obama for reelection, we will try again after 2012….”.

  • Karen
    April 15, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    If they pass a law that legalizes racial profiling and lets them harass anybody with brown skin, then we should boycott businesses in Arizona, especially anything headquartered in Phoenix. (U-Haul, Petsmart, Best Western)
    Arizona has an ugly history. Former Justice Renquist decades ago engaged in campaigns to prevent Latinos from voting in Arizona.
    They also resisted making Martin Luther King’s birthday a holiday.

  • Cindi Jane
    April 18, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Arizona is up-in-arms about the federal government’s approach to illegal immigration because they hear rhetoric like the following from their representatives. Lonewacko criticizes Luis Gutierrez, congressman from Illinois…………….
    “Rep. Luis Gutierrez offers “Obama Must Act To Ease Arizona’s Deportation Panic” (link), showing for the millionth or so time that the far-left has little or no interest in immigration enforcement. The far-left is strongly behind comprehensive immigration reform, something that would supposedly contain increased enforcement. Yet, they support that part of “reform” in completely bad faith: if “reform” passes they’d oppose any enforcement it mandates just as they do now, leading to an eventual repeat of the current situation.
    After hyperventilating against an Arizona bill that isn’t even law yet, Gutierrez says:
    “Then Thursday, the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency compounded the panic with one of the biggest Arizona enforcement actions in history, taking down an alleged state-wide smuggling ring. Let’s be clear, I support targeted enforcement against smuggling rings exploiting our broken immigration system and preying on vulnerable immigrants, but the timing of this show of force could not have been more destructive.
    Television screens across the state flashed images of 800 federal officers unleashed in Phoenix and Tucson, taking people to jail and multiplying the sense of siege in immigrant and Latino communities. After years of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Latino neighborhood sweeps, harsher and harsher state laws that target Latinos and immigrants, and escalating federal deportation, I’m afraid we have turned a very dangerous corner in the war on immigrants.”
    There’s always a “but”, isn’t there? Of course he supports enforcement, just not in this case (or any other case).”
    LW is right. It doesn’t matter whether the government restricts its efforts to the smugglers, Gutierrez manifestly believes that anything the government does will be condemned as wrong if it is actually successful in countering illegal immigration. Gutierrez and his advocacy friends expose their real agenda, one that has no interest in enforcing our laws. Gutierrez’ tragedy is that can’t see that making such statements exposes him for the deceiver that he appears to be, and that he thinks that the people are fooled by his duplicity.

  • Texan123
    April 19, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Indiana Bob, Why do the states have the right to enforce every other federal law, but not immigration? It is the states and taxpayers that pay to educate and incarcerate illegal aliens.
    Many laws exist to deal with illegal immigrants. The law must be enforced. It would be pretty obvious that the fact that there are 12-20 million illegal aliens here, proves that enforcement is seriously lacking. If the states and citizens can not force the Federal government to protect us, what recouse do we have?

  • Eric
    April 20, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    I have gone over the bill and in my opinion as well as the opinion of the ACLU, this bill is a clear violation of the 4th and 14th Amendments of the Constitution of the United States of America. This will violate existing federal law pertaining to unreasonable searches and seizures as well as violations of the equal protection clause in the constitution. This will be overturned on the federal level and I wouldn’t be surprised if the justice department looks into the matter as well.

  • Mario De Leon
    April 21, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Los Latinos debemos ejercer nuestro poder de votar y de comprar para boicot estados donde se nos descrimine.
    No viajemos, ni compremos cosas hechas en estados como estos.
    Usemos el poder de nuestro voto para cambiar a politicos que estan contra nuestros intereses y nuestra raza.
    Necesitamos educarnos y organizarnos.

  • Marco Rosas
    April 26, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Yes the law is racist. Even though is directed against any illegal inmigrant no matter where they come from, i am sure that if a Canadian or German person without a work permit or with an expired tourist Visa is walking down the streets of Phoenix, this person will not be stopped by the police for questioning. Gringos are so arrogant, racist and selcentered. I use th word ‘gringo’ which has no derogatory meaning in Spanish. The word ‘American’in my country and in my language refers to any person from The Americas, so, Iam an American, a North American and a Mexican. I feel free here in MY country,at my desk writing in my computer. The funny thing is that if gringos hate us so much why do Spring breakers keep coming and show how badly a gringo can behave , how disgusting a drunk young girl looks lying on the street intoxicated and semi naked, if they hate us so much why do they retire here? if they hate us so much why do they eat ‘Mexican? food at fast food restaurants such as Taco Bell? NO wonder many otehr countries hate you so much, remember 09/11? well, inocent people in NY were killed thanks to the arrogance of the foreign policies and military interventions of the USA in other countries, ask Chileans what does September 11th mean for them? not the WTC atacks, but they remember the coup d’etat in 1973 when their president who was elected democratically was overthrown and killed because he was not convenient to USA interests

  • Kali Mendez
    April 27, 2010 at 2:24 am

    esta ley no es contra los ilegales,es contra los latinos,al menos que parezcas anglosajon i tu acento no te delate estaras relativamente fuera de lo contrario deberas traer tu green card o pasaporte colgado en el cuello. por que esta Ley fue hecha para nosotros los hispanos,latinos ,mejicanos como nos llamen.”eres Hispano,eres ilegal”.

  • Johanna
    April 29, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Will i think that is A STUPID LAW ever that ever has happened We the MEXICAN ARE the one how do All the job the American do like like farm jobs you guys don’t know who or what to do with that…. You guys need us here to do your jobs that you guys do like to do…. But One thing i do tell you that we are not leaving the state we are in you like or not we are staying here cause the same way we let you guys come to are country and the way we receive you there you guys should do that to and we do not tell you guys to leave we ask you to stay AT ARE COUNTRY do the same with yours we are all the same god made all of us together and to stay together all the way in till we are out of here…..

  • Tiny
    May 1, 2010 at 1:13 am

    I do not believe the law is racist, and I am black. If you are in the country illegally it is a crime. I went to Mexico as a American Citizen and they wanted to see my papers while traveling and if I had a legal right to be there. That happens in every country you travel to. Everyone has rules people need to respect ours. If you are here legally show your papers, so what they will probably stop many people. They always have stopped people other than white. The law is just enforcement of the law already. ALSO ITS IN ARIZONA NOT ALL OF AMERICA, THIS NEW SPECIFIC LAW!

  • Evelyn
    May 3, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    The reason the KKKers in Nazizona say they need the law that racially profile brown people is because a rancher was killed by a gun shot. If it was a drug runner that killed the rancher then blame ALLLL the U.S. citizens who consume drugs. In the first place immigrants never travel alone, they alwayse travel in groups. This killer was traveling alone.
    The people who belong to these hate groups get on websites posing as Hispanics, they also pose as Hispanic immigrants on the border, commit murder and blame immigrants.
    I believe the rancher was killed by a member of one of the hate groups like the illegal vigilante minutemen KKKers. It is to their convenience so they can blame immigrants.
    The border patrol agent that was killed a few months ago near “Campo” minutemen camp was also killed by a member of one of these hate groups. Then they turn around and blame immigrants.
    They hated the rancher for helping migrants. They brag openly about killing people in Southern Nazizona. LOOK HERE
    They have also been caught killing people. The smoking gun points directly to these right wing hate groups on the border. Remember Shanda Forde? Member of the Illegal vigilante hate group mniutemen Shanda Forde and her band of murderers that killed an 8 year old child named Brisena Flores and her father while the wounded mother watched and had to shoot it out with this trash in order to save her own life. All American citizens of Hispanic heritage but the minutemen didnt give a damn. They killed them anyway. Their plan was that the crime would be blamed on immigrants.
    Dont even attempt to say the law doesent come from the KKKers. Heres proof

  • charly
    May 3, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    have you forgot how blakcs where treated 50 years ago do you remember martin lutherking.stupid it is for you tiny

  • marcus brown
    May 5, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I believe the majority of Americans agree with the Arizona immigration bill. I myself and my wife agree with the overall idea of enforcement of the current Federal immigration law that is blatantly not being enforced. My wife is Latino, and her family came here LEGALLY in search of what every immigrant comes to America for; A BETTER LIFE!!! I also believe it is a slap in the face to those who waited patiently for proper legal status. When our border states are being over run and the crime rate continues to rise endangering our “LAWFUL” American citizens, it’s a shame more Americans are not up in arms. My wife and I are fed up with the left and people that condone illegal immigration “WHINING AND COMPLAINING” about enforcement of what should be enforced in the first place. Why should we be any different than any other country that borders ours. ENFORCEMENT IS ALREADY LAW!!! If the federal gov’t will not enforce the immigration laws then it’s the individual states Constitutional right with proven American Citizen support, to enforce those laws. LOOK AT THE POLES!!! The majority of Americans support this bill!!!

  • Frank Bartonie
    May 5, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    My opinion as to why there is so much frustration against the new Arizona Law. Every time I wean a colt from his mom’s milk; ( which is free and easy to get to ) the colt runs around whinnying as loud as possible, paws the ground, kicks the fence, throws his ears back, looks very angry and keeps trying to jump the fence to get back to his free lunch. Up until then he was able to run free and do what he wanted.(even if it was not good manors he always forced his ignorance on the other animals) After a period of time he calms down and starts eating on his own. He then rejoins the heard as a part of the solution not the problem. If you are illegal, I hope you are smarter than the colt. Go back to the other side of the fence, wean yourself, get a green card as my wife has( had to prove she was not a criminal, did not have aids was not carrying a baby and had to prove understanding of the English language) and become part of the solution and not the problem. If not, go back to your country and protest and change that government, not ours. For those against this law give me reasons why this is not the proper way to legally immigrate to any country (unless you have a plan to take over). If you care about this country ( not just what you can take), and you must to some degree, are you would not be here. DO THE RIGHT THING, BECOME A LEGAL PART OF AMERICA, JOINS US IN PROTECTING HER, FROM THOSE WHO WANT TO DESTROY HER…
    And as for racial profiling ,…
    Clerk.. Officer a black man just robbed the bank. Officer..We can not discriminate, you must say a person just robbed your bank. Officer…We will arrest everyone that has money in their pocked. Officer.. We arrested these 4 persons that had money in their pocket. Clerk..But officer they are all white.. Officer.. You must not say white, you must say none of these are the one that robbed your bank.
    I do not think we are having a overload of illegal white of black people crossing the border. So lets stop the BS….If it is a weed and not grass, pull it out..
    This is not to much to ask…

  • Mike
    May 29, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    There is unfortunately alot of misinformed Citizens screaming about this new law and how it should be passed in all states. U.S. citizens will be the first ones to complain when the get their car or home searched without a warrant or cause because of fear of finding their illegal drugs, guns or the fear of someone seeing the bad conditions the keep their children in. Please wake up a try to use your head. Rush Limbaugh shouldn’t be hoe you get your information. Use your brain and try to read. People complain that government is controlling everything from car industry to banking industry then feel free to give them more freedom to violate your constitutional rights and in the words of Dr. Phil tell me “How’s that working for you”?

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