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Special Latina Lista Post: Why Does the Nation Remain Silent While One AZ Sheriff Conducts Immigrant Manhunts?

LatinaLista — From all accounts, Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a calculating law enforcer. Just the kind high-crime cities want in combating drug dealers, murderers, rapists, robbers, pedophiles, etc. Except those kinds of criminals are not Arpaio’s specialty. He prefers the nonviolent type — people who actually have not created a criminal offense but a civil offense by being in the country illegally.
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Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio

For some reason, Arpaio feels undocumented immigrants are more dangerous than those who actually do physical harm on society, and that’s why he’s tied up his force to descend on a particular section of Phoenix, in broad daylight, to “enforce” those who were “driving brown.”

Yesterday, on Good Friday, Sheriff Arpaio decided it was a fitting day to persecute a group of people who decided Arizona was a state where they could find work, live and raise their families.
While it’s true that these people don’t have the proper paperwork authorizing them to live in the country, neither is it true that these people deserve to be subjected to the massive profiling that was conducted in the name of the law.
At the end of what was known as the Good Friday operation, 13 people had been arrested, nine of those suspected of being in the country illegally and four U.S. residents with either outstanding warrants or other offenses.

One of Sheriff Arpaio’s posse arrests an undocumented immigrant during a Good Friday operation. Arresting people who are not committing any visible criminal activity, and are being handcuffed for not being in the country with the proper paperwork, sends the wrong message to our Latino youth who feel the law is only “out to get” Latinos.

The Sheriff said he brought his operation to the area because local business owners had asked him to do it because of the day laborers who hang out in the area. Yet, if that was the case, why didn’t the business owners call on their own local police to patrol the area?
In other parts of the country where day laborers have proven to be an annoyance to local businesses, a consistent patrol of the area has been enough to deter day laborers from congregating too heavily in certain areas.
However, the local business owners called on the Sheriff to bring his “posse” because he is known to go specifically after undocumented immigrants. Last year, he did the same operation but at a furniture store.
In a town where Latinos comprise a significant portion of the population, no visual determination can be made whether or not someone is a legal resident or not.
So it seems odd that a city, county or state government, would allow the dollars for such a blatant manhunt for nonviolent, noncriminal offenders while the murderers, robbers and rapists are having a field day because of one man’s obsession with undocumented immigrants.
However, what’s worse is that the rest of the country remains silent while one man, under the guise of wearing the badge, conducts his own brand of justice that has nothing to do with making the city safer but ridding it of people who have a hunger to work.
Where is the justice in that?

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  • Frank
    March 22, 2008 at 10:50 am

    “Driving while brown”? Oh, that’s hilarious! Uh, many “citizens” are brown. As long as they can produce a valid DL nothing more becomes of them than to pay a traffic fine like everyone else.
    It is ridiculous to cry racial profiling when the majority of illegals in this country are from Latin countries. Is it racial profiling when a white guy commits a crime and all white guys in the area are questioned? I don’t think so! It is called criminal profiling.
    We need more Sheriff Joe’s in this country. A thief is still a thief whether he stole something out of a store or he robbed a bank. Should we let the former go and only go after the latter? Someone was still the the victim of either crime and we have laws against both.

  • Marisa Treviño
    March 22, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Frank, you’re making assumptions that the undocumented stole something. You may think they all “steal” social security numbers but the truth is many buy manufactured ones that are false. The few, compared to the overall 12 million, that do take advantage of real people’s IDs are not the majority that people are led to believe. And yes, “driving while brown” or black is a very real problem. Just because it doesn’t happen to you doesn’t make it a falsehood.

  • laura
    March 22, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Thank you, Marisa !!
    You are describing very precisely one of the reasons why racist scapegoting of undocumented migrants will end up severely hurting not just the migrants, but the racists too.
    For example, it is not only because I am revulsed by the human rights violations in the detention centers that I think they are horrendous policy. It is also because I don’t think we have millions of dollars to spend on imprisoning thousands of people who have hurt no one. (Just like we don’t have trillions of dollars to spend on an occupation to control other people’s oil.)
    And: among so many other horrendous consequences of the acts of people like Arpaio are the emotional scars of the “deputies” (vigilantes) that carry out these acts.
    Violence against a helpless person leaves indelible traces in a person’s mind. I know this from an old man who was a foot soldier in the German army in World War 2. He is a very decent man. What he saw and participated in hurt him for the rest of his life. And mind you: it was none of the extraordinary atrocities that have become known as war crimes. It was the “ordinary” atrocities that are always part of a war of aggression.
    As the hundreds of thousands of Americans who gladly went to Iraq, returned with horrible scars whose consequences will play out over the next decades, so the Arpaio vigilantes are creating their own emotional devastation that will play out over the next decades.
    They don’t know it, but it is real and terrible.

  • Frank
    March 22, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Marisa, let me clarify my post. It wasn’t an accusation on my part that all illegals commit other crimes besides entering our country illegally, (although some do commit more crimes.) My response was to the notion that the Sheriff or any other law enforcement shouldn’t be going after illegals whose only crime was to enter our country illegally but should be going after more serious criminals. IMO, we should be going after both those who are only violating our immigration laws and those who commit more serious crimes. That was why I made the analogy about petty theft and bank robbery. One crime is more serious than the other but both are crimes and both should be dealt with. I hope I clarifed what I meant now.
    No matter what skin color you are, if you are stopped by law enforcement as long as you have a valid DL, there is nothing to fear. So why make an issue out of it unless one has something to hide?

  • Frank
    March 22, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Oh and by the way, I feel so much better that many illegals are not stealing SS numbers but buying fake ones. I am sure there is some law in there that is being broken using a fake SS number, isn’t there?

  • Horace
    March 22, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Marisa said: “Frank, you’re making assumptions that the undocumented stole something. You may think they all “steal” social security numbers but the truth is many buy manufactured ones that are false. The few, compared to the overall 12 million, that do take advantage of real people’s IDs are not the majority that people are led to believe.”
    Oh, really, what proof do you have aside from wishful thinking? Just what percentage are we talking about here? Aren’t you only making assumptions based upon your bias?
    Also, it seems to me that you have agreed with the Mexican government that drug smuggling across the border is mainly a U.S. issue, arguing that it wouldn’t exist except for our citizen users. How about this, the forged document issue is a Mexican problem because the enterprise wouldn’t be nearly so common if it were not created for the benefit of illegal aliens. Without a market, we wouldn’t have identity theft, would we? You’re being an apologist for illegal aliens and Mexico while being hypocritical in your judgment of U.S. ctizens.

  • Horace
    March 22, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    “Why Does the Nation Remain Silent While One AZ Sheriff Conducts Immigrant Manhunts?”
    Why do so few Americans march in the streets with illegal aliens, or write their congressmen in support of illegal immigrants? The reaons are the same for all such questions. There is strong support by a small number of Americans, tenuous feeble support by somewhat more, moderate oppositon by another segment and great vocal opposition from the rest. It’s obvious that Americans haven’t bought the argument that this is the new civil rights movement that the advocates of illegal immigrants have asserted it to be. In playing such a hand, they have discredited their position.
    While most people would not agree with some of Arpaio’s tactics, they do agree with his stand against illegal immigration and that Arpaio is a man of action who is results oriented. Such traits are admired by Americans.
    Sorry, Marisa.

  • Publius
    March 22, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Frank, it is the dream of all advocates of illegal aliens that law enforcement, including ICE and the Border Patrol, ignore the immigration laws, something they have in common with the relations of common criminals wanted for misdeeds. They’re permitted to have their dreams, so don’t spoil Marisa’s.

  • Frank
    March 22, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    laura, we don’t need scapegoats for what is plainly in front of our eyes or for wanting our immigration laws enforced. I don’t care if these illegal have been annointed with sainthood by some, there is the undisputable fact that they are in this country in violation of our immigration laws. No more catch and release as they never show up for their hearings. That is why they are put in detention centers. If I had my way, they would have 7 days to produce papers verifying their legality in this country and if they couldn’t they would be deported. It would cut the costs of detaining them. It costs us money to incarcerate anyone who has broken our laws but so what? It is a necessary evil of fighting and detering crime.
    Helpless people? Oh, come on you are edging on the bizarre now. Illegals especially of the Hispanic persuasion have a dozen or so advocacy groups fighting for them all the time. Please define “helpless”.
    The illegals caused their own emotional devastation. They knew what they were doing and what the consequences were of jumping our border. What happened to personal responsibility for one’s actions in this issue?

  • Liquidmicro
    March 22, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    Why Does the Nation Remain Silent While One AZ Sheriff Conducts Immigrant Manhunts?
    Because the people of the county keep voting him in to his position. It really is that simple.

  • Lydia
    March 23, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    The fact that Arpaio’s press release says that he will be going after day laborers just makes you think what kind of law man this guy is. First of all, day laborers are found in the mornings standing on sidewalks and not at night driving.
    Secondly, in Arpaio’s press release he said he’s going there because he’s addressing the concerns of businesses that claim they were broken into by undocumented people (how do they know this? unless they were already caught?) so if they weren’t caught to know the thieves identity, and the assumptions is that the theives are undocumented.. then that means that he would have to be GOD to know who is undocumented and who is not from a someone driving in the street in the evening.
    I have lived in this country all my life and many times in areas where there is a high-Latino population and I can’t tell who is a citezen and who is not just by looking at them. The only way Arpaio can tell, is he stops the people he suspects are here illegaly, and you can’t do that unless you racially profile.

  • Evelyn
    March 23, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    This is for all the racists who have no morals, and somehow managed to loose the capacity to feel compassion for other people.
    sermon prep for April 15 on breaking the law
    (Getting ready to preach April 15 I sent this to the Goshen News, they published it, now I’m waiting for some replies. I like sermon prep:)
    I’m surprised that in discussions about our broken immigration system some Christians say the law of the land should always be obeyed. If they have Isaiah 10 in their Bibles, that would make it clear that the law can be wrong, unjust, immoral, oppressive . . . And I hope they are in church April 15 when the lectionary reading includes Peter and the other apostles breaking the law, then breaking the law again, then explaining simply, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.”
    I’m trying to remember if any of the disciples and apostles DIDN’T break the law. Give me that old-time religion … Paul and Silas did their jail time. Keep your eye on the prize . . . Oh, yes, of course, the civil rights movement, and I guess even the signing of the Declaration of Independence, those broke the law, too. On the other hand, everything Hitler did was legal.
    When the law is immoral, breaking the law is the right thing to do; our current immigration laws are immoral. Our immigration law discriminates on the basis of race and wealth, no one denies that. The problem with illegal immigration is not immigrants wanting to break the law, it is a law that doesn’t allow a legal option for too many people in desperate poverty. We don’t need amnesty for the immigrants so much as we need repentance for our own lack of compassion.
    It’s wrong to say “they should come legally” when we whites (immigrants ourselves) have invaded, colonized, drawn the border and changed the laws to make legal immigration for the poor of Mexico and Central America all but impossible. Laws aren’t fixed, they change all the time, and what is illegal today may be legal tomorrow. It’s time for us to be changing the law so that they can come legally, and get drivers’ licenses and car insurance and jobs legally. Registering and legalizing migrants would cost far less and be more humane and Christian than our current harassment approach, and would be better for the economy – allowing undocumented immigrants to register and become citizens would be in our national interest.
    This entry was posted on Tuesday

  • Evelyn
    March 23, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Money Shot
    If Maricopa County supervisors wanted to go after Sheriff Joe Arpaio, they could. They could focus on his office’s finances
    By Sarah Fenske
    Published: December 27, 2007
    Sheriff Joe Arpaio has long maintained that he’s accountable to the people — but the people’s accountants are a different story.
    County Supervisor Andy Kunasek
    Subject(s): Sheriff Joe Arpaio After 15 years in the job, Arpaio has yet to endure a comprehensive audit of his office’s finances. Limited audits examining Arpaio’s payroll, his travel policies and the county’s jail enhancement funds have found plenty of problems. But despite that, and even though the sheriff’s $241 million budget is the biggest in the county, Maricopa County supervisors have failed to order a look at the bigger picture.
    Compounding the problem, issues identified in the limited audits have been virtually ignored by the Sheriff’s Office.
    Consider overtime. This fall, the county revealed that Arpaio spent nearly $2 million more on overtime in the fiscal year’s first quarter than he had been allotted for the entire year. That spending binge, the county manager concluded, was “not sustainable.”
    Arpaio’s solution was drastic: He stopped transporting prisoners to court hearings. Forty-six inmates never made it to court on November 6 — even though getting defendants to hearings is one job the sheriff must do under state law. (Suffice it to say that rounding up illegal immigrants and sheltering abused animals are not state mandates, but Arpaio has yet to run out of money for either venture.)
    Judges and defense lawyers erupted over the plan, and Arpaio was forced to backpedal, blaming the lack of transports on miscommunication. But his next cost-cutting solution was no less controversial. Arpaio announced that jail visiting time would be limited to the hours of 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Again, the court fell into chaos, and now, Arpaio faces a lawsuit from attorneys unable to meet with their clients. Though the sheriff lost round one, he’s appealing — which, observers note, is hardly the way to save money.
    But the most stunning thing about Arpaio’s budget problems isn’t that he overspent so badly. It isn’t even his cockeyed remedy for his financial woes.
    The real shocker is that it took this long for overtime to become an issue.
    A New Times analysis of financial records show that overtime has been a huge problem for Arpaio for years. Even as the county increased the sheriff’s overtime budget by 85 percent over the last four years, Arpaio has continued to exceed the amount he has been allocated. In fact, in the last four years, the sheriff’s expenditures on overtime have increased 635 percent.
    In the 2004 fiscal year, Arpaio spent twice the amount budgeted for overtime. In 2005, he spent more than four times what the county had allotted — overspending by $6.6 million. Last year, Arpaio set a new record: He overshot his overtime budget by a whopping $10.4 million.
    In May, the county completed a 25-page audit of the sheriff’s payroll. That report outlined the overtime problem, making specific recommendations to fix the root causes.
    The auditors did not suggest slashing jail hours. Or stopping inmate transport. Instead, they pointed out “a need for better management.” That, clearly, was a suggestion Arpaio wasn’t willing to emulate, and his overtime spending continued to swell until it reached crisis proportions six months later.
    Such stonewalling has been a pattern when it comes to the sheriff. During his 15 years in office, Arpaio has endured investigations, lawsuits, and audits. He’s cost Maricopa County taxpayers $41.4 million solely in legal fees, insurance premiums, and payouts to the people who’ve sued him. His budget has doubled, his jails have been condemned by the U.S. Department of Justice, and he has never faced an audit that didn’t reveal genuine problems.
    Those things, of course, pale next to the list of people who have died in Arpaio’s jails: people awaiting trial who were denied proper medical care or who were abused or ignored by guards. Law enforcement officials and lawyers believe that records on inmate deaths have been destroyed and criminal investigations into those deaths thwarted.
    But Arpaio, the Teflon prince of Maricopa County, has outmaneuvered everyone who’s attempted to hold him accountable.
    No wonder all the racists like him. He is just like them. He believes in lying, stealing, and he cant be counted on to enforce the law according to the constitution. He is also a hypocrite and very unpatriotic, he shows that by hanging out with the KKK.

  • Publius
    March 23, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    “Our immigration law discriminates on the basis of race and wealth, no one denies that.”
    I do deny that our immigration policies are race based. If you’ll check the demographics of immigrants currently entering this country (other than illegal ones of course) as identified in the 2006 Year Book of Immigration Statistics, you’ll find that you just blowing smoke up people’s butts. See and click on the pdf hot spot for this report.
    As far as wealth is concerned, yes, that’s true, such people are given preference, but why shouldn’t this country give preference to people who can contribute to the growth of our economy, including investment in job creation. These people are generally exceptional in intelligence, a trait that’s respected. These people are certainly prefereable to poor, illiterate and unskilled who will likely pose a burden on our country. I suppose you prefer to pay the high taxes associated with bringing such people above the poverty level.

  • Frank
    March 23, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    We cannot take in the whole world’s poor to prove we are a compassionate nation. We take in the number of immigrants that we do based on our needs and based on population growth. There is nothing immoral or unjust about our immigration laws unless one’s is of the opinion that we should put foreigners above the welfare of our own citizens.
    “We” whites living in this country “today” for the most part are not immigrants, we are American citizens by several generations now. Latino immigration is second only to Asian immigration into our country and only by a few percentage points. Latinos get more than their fair share of a quota for legal immigration into our country.
    There is nothing racist or unjust about our immigration laws and most Americans who understand this and want our immigration laws enforced are not racists.

  • laura
    March 23, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Evelyn I agree with you. It is time to change these unjust laws that give cowards like Sheriff Arpaio an excuse to vent their neediness to exert power on harmless and defenseless people.
    We are permitting this country to elevate thugs to power. We all will be worse off for it. Sadly, not only the people who voted for Arpaio, but all the rest of us will suffer.
    Yes, there are situations where thugs are supported by the vote of big segments of a population. Look at Governor George Wallace of Alabama in the 60s. Look at Congressman Tancredo today. That is why we have a Constitution and we have international law. Laws that protect the civil rights and human rights of all people exist, and are being violated by Mr. Arpaio, by ICE, and by large parts of our present immigration law.
    The big question is: what are we going to do about it? How are we going to defend these civil and human rights ?

  • Jax
    March 23, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    When did civil liberties begin to accue to illegal immigrants?

  • Evelyn
    March 23, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Here is the proof you wanted Horace. Just because you and all the other racists lie you think Marisa does too? How funny!
    New hiring law spurs identity-theft fears
    Authorities expect ID thieves to target real Social Security numbers
    Daniel González
    The Arizona Republic
    The fake-document trade is booming in Arizona. It’s about to get even bigger.
    Hundreds of operations around the Valley churn out fake green cards, Social Security cards and driver’s licenses by the thousands, authorities say. Their chief customers: illegal immigrants. Some are trying to land jobs in Arizona. Some are passing through Phoenix, a major smuggling hub, on the way to other states.
    Most of the fake documents bought on the street by undocumented immigrants are made with bogus numbers.
    But authorities fear the industry will grow as migrants look for ways to circumvent the state’s new employer-sanctions law and a new Bush administration crackdown on illegal workers.
    The push for more documents, especially with authentic numbers, is expected to spur more identity theft.
    A quick and easy buy
    Buying bogus documents is easy – and cheap.
    Within hours of crossing the border, illegal immigrants can buy them from “runners” on street corners in communities all over the Valley, authorities say.
    “Mica, mica,” runners brazenly say to potential customers while flashing a C-sign with the thumb and first finger. Mica (pronounced MEE-ka) is Spanish slang for the green cards issued to permanent residents, allowing them to live and work in the U.S.
    Other dealers are more discreet. They pass out business cards for auto mechanics, yard work, taxi cabs and other services that are really fronts for makers of fraudulent documents.
    Some of the business cards are more cryptic.
    “These cards will say simply something like ‘El Gordo’ and a phone number,” said Edward Ochoa, an undercover investigator who buys fake documents as part of the Arizona Fraudulent Identification Task Force. The task force comprises local, state and federal agencies.
    The strip mall on 16th Street and Thomas Road in central Phoenix is one popular spot for buying fake documents. The mall’s security guard chases away men peddling micas in the parking lot all the time. The peddlers just walk away and start selling at the mall across the street. A few hours later, they are usually back. Sometimes, the security guard finds fake documents in flower planters and discarded passport photos in garbage cans.
    To get a fake ID, a buyer provides a passport photo then waits while a runner takes the image to a “manufacturer,” usually another undocumented immigrant holed up in an apartment nearby. Don’t have a photo? The runner can usually snap one for you behind a store or carwash with a Polaroid camera.
    Authorities say a “two-pack” – a green card and a Social Security card – costs as little as $70 on the street. A “three-pack” – a green card, driver’s license and Social Security card – goes for $140 to $160. Those prices buy documents with randomly generated numbers. Sometimes the numbers invented by a manufacturer coincidentally belong to actual people.
    Buying fake documents made with government-issued ID numbers and a matching name stolen from someone else is far more expensive. Those documents are more difficult to get and cost three to five times as much as ones using bogus Social Security and immigration numbers. Some numbers are stolen, but the majority belong to people who sell their SS numbers. Others belong to children or to people who died.

  • Liquidmicro
    March 23, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    We honor America, but we do not worship America. We recognize that this nation, or any nation, is not the kingdom of God. We acknowledge that our ultimate loyalty is to God, and that ultimately we must obey God rather than any human authority. Because we must obey God, and because we love America, at times we must question and even criticize our government. That’s why the separation of church and state is so important. Look at the countries in the world today where religion and government have become intertwined—Saudi Arabia, Iran, even Iraq and Afghanistan. Look at what happened in Germany when the church and the state became intertwined. The church must remain separate from the state to keep the state honest. The church must remain separate from the state to preserve its own integrity. But the genius of America is genuine religious liberty, and its corollary, the separation of church and state. Every religion is protected, and no religion receives preferential treatment. That is America’s great legacy to the world.
    Bruce Salmon, Pastor,
    Village Baptist Church, Bowie, Maryland

  • Liquidmicro
    March 24, 2008 at 12:04 am

    “The New Testament makes it clear that believers are to obey Governmental authority (Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-17), but not when the authority requires believers to sin.”
    What is the sin that deems the laws immoral? The “Illegal Aliens” are not deprived of Life, Liberty, or the pursuit of Happiness. There is nothing stopping them from continuing their religion.
    “We don’t need amnesty for the immigrants so much as we need repentance for our own lack of compassion.”
    Join your local missionary, give all the compassion you want.
    The poor do have a way to come, blame our farmers for not using the H-2A Visa, it has an unlimited cap, all the worlds poor can come here with one.
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or respecting the free exercise thereof.”
    By the way, this pretty much sums up your Peter and the Apostles argument, 10 points if you can name where it comes from.

  • Evelyn
    March 24, 2008 at 2:47 am

    More trash.
    March 23, 2008
    Texas City Council Member in Hot Water for Racist Comment on Public Document
    A Texas city council member is under pressure to resign from office after he published a racist comment in a public document, according to a report on
    Mustang Ridge City Council member Charles Laws referred to a proposed immigrant detention center as a “holding pen for wetbacks” on the March 12 meeting agenda, reports.
    When first asked for comment, Laws told the TV station, “I’m 74 years old, and that’s what we called them when I was growing up. I don’t care about political crap.”
    Laws later softened his stance, saying, “I wasn’t thinking when I put it in there. I didn’t mean to offend anybody, I was just passing on the information.”
    Mike Martinez, a city council member from nearby Austin, is leading the movement to remove Laws.
    “When I asked him to explain himself, his explanation was ‘That’s what it is, and that’s what they are,'” Martinez told

  • Frank
    March 24, 2008 at 8:07 am

    I have a proposal for all of the members in here who really want to seek solutions and want civil debate. Stop using the word “racist” on any member in here. It don’t believe it applies to most of the members in here and it serves no purpose but to create animosity. It is childish an immature. No one knows anyone in here personally to pass that kind of judgement on them just because they hold certain views. Thank you everyone.

  • Lalo
    March 24, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    We all have biases either in favor or against undocumented immigrants. We then find ways of justifying our positions.
    Those against, privilege existing laws; those who are sympathetic, privilege the people in question.
    My dream is to eradicate hate.

  • Frank
    March 24, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    One can justify their postition on illegal immigration without resorting to personal attacks and that is my point. It only makes your point less believable and less convincing if you use those kinds of tactics.
    Hate and racism has very little to do with opposition to illegal immigration for most Americans. It is about our laws and enforcing them. Illegals don’t come from just one ethnic group so it can’t be a racist issue. Yes, Mexicans are spoken of more often in this issue but that is only because they make up the majority of illegals in our country.

  • Evelyn
    March 24, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    I refuse to lie and call racists by another name. I think people who lie are scum, they cant be trusted. I decided to leave the comments attached, so the racists can see how racism is not accepted by normal Americans.
    Anti-Immigration Cross Breading With Hate Groups
    Heading towards San Francisco from work (I load big rigs at the San Bruno UPS hub) at around 3:15 a.m. I heard a great NPR (National Public Radio) piece that absolutely infuriated me. I heard it about ten days ago but didn’t get a hold of the audio piece until today.
    I started listening to the piece about a few minutes in during my 15 minute drive to San Francisco. In the piece Mark Potak, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said that hate crimes directed against Latino immigrants (legal and undocumented) are not isolated cases by a few wackos but that, instead, “he’s tracked a 40% rise in hate groups since 2000. At the same time there’s been an explosion in anti-illegal immigration groups, Potak says some 250 created within the past two years.”
    This type of “cross-fertilization” bleeds over into the mainstream realm and “before you know it,” Potak says, “you end up seeing it on places like CNN television.”
    Some other parts of the piece that highlight this troubling patern is an interview with Gordon Baum, the leader of the Council of Conservative Citizens, which is a group that is opposed to all “non-European immigration” and states that Blacks are a “retrograde race.” In the interview Buam said that after the pro-immigrant rallies of last year there had been “a spike in interest” in his group.
    During the interview Baum said. “The very heart and soul of it is: do we want to keep America as it is…or do we want it to be changed into a third world country.”
    Another sickening highlight comes from a radio program that was broad casted in front of a live audience in Nashville of last year:
    An anti-immigration activist was speaking in front of a live audience about her visit with boarder patrol agents. She told the conservative talk show host how the boarder patrol may repeatedly deport the same Mexican migrant if a check shows he or she has no criminal record.
    Telling her story to the host. “I said, ‘How many times are you going to do that.’ He said, ‘Seven.'”
    “Seven?” The host interrupted.
    “Seven times,” she answered back indignantly. “This is policy. I said, ‘What do you do on the eighth time.'”
    “SHOOT HIM!” The host interrupted. This elicited loud cheers and applause from the audience and laughter from the woman.
    Now, if this had been in a normal radio studio and he said that comment and she laughed that it would still sicken me to no end. But the fact that it was in front of a live audience (of what sounds like more than a few hundred people) and the fact that nearly the entire audience (normal every day folks) erupted in loud cheers and applause, that is truly disturbing.
    These groups and these types of people are the ones who are fueling the anti-immigration debate and these are the ones that are organizing all sorts of people, in grassroots efforts, against the Latino (and Latino immigrant) community.
    As the NPR piece ended the reporter said:
    For analyst Mark Potak that audience reaction shows the reach of extreme rhetoric about illegal immigration. And yet he admits, you can’t blame it all on hate groups. Potak says what’s happening is not a debate anymore but a full scale nativist backlash.
    Not something that exactly warmed me after a long and hard shift at work.
    Posted by Jack Stephens at 15.3.07
    Subjects: Contemporary Racism, Latino Issues, Racism, White Supremacy
    Y. Carrington said…
    Anti-immigrant groups uniting with white nationalists isn’t really surprising, unless you truly believe that “stopping illegals” is a legitimate political position. The core of this movement is white supremacy, no matter how much the Minutemen and the CCC want to dress it up in the sheep’s clothing of “homeland security.”
    Save Our State tried to disown their white nationalist connections when they were exposed last year, even as the nationalists were speaking enthusiastically about groups like SOS and showing up at their rallies. But all this is to be expected. What I’m disappointed about is the seeming inability of everyday folks to make the connection.
    March 20, 2007 3:36 AM
    Jack Stephens said…
    Yeah, I know, my sentiments exactly. Since the first waves of immigrants coming to America American “Nativists” have tried to cloak their opposition to immigration as something just and not what it trully is.
    March 20, 2007 6:24 PM

  • Frank
    March 25, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Well so much for civil debate and “assuming” that anyone in here is a racist even though they don’t know them personally.

  • Frank
    March 25, 2008 at 8:56 am

    This bears repeating:
    Does this sound familiar posted in the Hispanic Business Forum?
    “O my, you have already started…….to make a fool of yourself, that is. Name calling shows you are about as mature as a five to nine year old. LOL! It also shows you have nothing left to debate with.”
    This very same person who says that name calling is immature and is akin to a 5 year old minset with nothing left to debate,(of which I agree) is the very same person in here that was the first to call those of us for the rule of law, racists, bigots, etc. in this blog.
    Hypocricy anyone?

  • Liquidmicro
    March 25, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Evelyn, posting another’s blog article hardly accounts for anything. It has only 1 comment from a PRO- person. The other comment is from the author.
    Now, do you have any proof that any of us ANTI’s in here are members of any such groups? Or is this your version of “guilty by association”?
    We all agree that the KKK and the Aryan Nation, and other White Supremecist groups are RACIST, but to be guilty by association is a very far reach. Your difference of Opinion from mine, is just that, differences of opinion. I challenge you to argue the points instead of yelling RACIST to everyhting, use/interject your own opinion to argue the point.

  • Evelyn
    March 29, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    If more Americans thought the way you do, or agreed with you, we would be voting for D. Hunter or T. Tancredo for president. Dont you think?

  • Liquidmicro
    March 30, 2008 at 11:53 am

    There are many other issues that played roles that Hunter and Tancredo didn’t have the answers to, how many Presidential candidates began, how many are left. The 3 choices we are left with do not have the answers I feel I could vote for either. All 3 of their positions leave a lot to be desired on any of their issues.
    The “guilty by association” ploy is useless, it’s a fallacy.

  • Alex
    March 30, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Well said, Evelyn.

  • Horace
    April 3, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    “Anti-Immigration Cross Breading With Hate Groups”
    Cross Breading?
    “started listening to the piece about a few minutes in during my 15 minute drive to San Francisco. In the piece Mark Potak, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said that hate crimes directed against Latino immigrants (legal and undocumented) are not isolated cases by a few wackos but that, instead, “he’s tracked a 40% rise in hate groups since 2000.”
    Actually, adjusted for numbers of illegal aliens since the 1995 baseline date for this comparison, there has been an actual decline in the hate crime rate. Also, the comparison is skewed by the fact that at the time of the baseline, the capacity for reporting of hate crimes was more limited than today. If the numbers were actually higher than reported, the change in rate is even lower. This assertion has been discredited entirely, being a product of the corrupt and now discredited SPLC. Unfortunately, advocacy groups don’t have the decency to to retract the big lie. Their philosophy is to repeat the big lie often enough so it becomes the truth.

  • Frank
    April 3, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Calling Americans who respect our immigration laws, racists is where the real lie lays.
    Not being able to debate the issue without childish name calling and false accusations is just plain childish and immature.

  • Evelyn
    June 12, 2008 at 4:49 am

    Supporting immigration laws that harm families because they were never inforced leaves no doubt in my mind that you are a racist without morals.

Comments are closed.