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What AZ judge didn’t strike is cause for continued SB1070 protests

LatinaLista — News coverage today of the civil disobedience happening in Phoenix had most newscasters puzzled, especially since the judge’s ruling was seen as a victory for opponents of SB 1070.


In covering the protests, news anchors were asking why people still felt the need to protest since the most damaging elements of the SB 1070 were stopped from being enforced.

Even some of the people protesting when posed the same question didn’t answer it completely right. Some said they were there to show their solidarity with the Latino community of Arizona protesting the bill and others just repeated that it was a bad law.

Activist and Latina Lista news partner, Alfredo Gutierrez, is arrested Thursday in front of the federal courthouse in Phoenix on the first day of the new immigration law. (Photo: Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic)

There was only one young African American woman in answering a CNN reporter who got it right. She said the protest wasn’t about striking the most egregious parts of the bill down but in eradicating the bill altogether. She said that this bill in any form shouldn’t be on the books at all.

And she’s right.

While yesterday’s ruling was a big step forward in addressing those elements that could bring real harm to the civil rights of legal immigrants and Latino citizens, the fact of the matter is the bill is still a bad bill and criminalizes mixed-status Latino families.

As one protester posted on Facebook:

The judge DID NOT strike down the parts of the law that make it a criminal act to provide transportation to anyone who is known to be or there is a reasonable suspicion to believe is undocumented.

This makes it a crime in Arizona for the thousands of mixed immigration status families to travel together and for houses of worship or humanitarian aid organizations to provide assistance to immigrants.

To arrest someone for being a Good Samaritan goes against the grain of most decent and rational people — just as SB1070 still goes against the grain of people who don’t see the sense in creating a police state and criminalizing people for fulfilling the most basic tenet of what makes a person human or a family a family by being together.

SB1070 isn’t a law in the traidtional and judicial sense of keeping people safe and protected from harm. SB1070 is nothing but a law to persecute and the saddest fact is that those who support this bill know it.

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  • Middle Aged Citizen
    August 2, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    I am sincerely asking this question, so please don’t dismiss it out of hand. I’ll carefully weigh a response, if there is one, and it may change my mind. I’m fair. I don’t know what you mean by ‘mixed status’ families. Do you mean some family members are here legally and some are not? Could I respectfully suggest that the solution to this dilemma — and the point of the AZ law (and existing Federal laws) — is that the unlawful residents return to their country of origin (whether Canada, Mexico, Germany, Guatemala, etc.)? Anyone who voluntarily leaves has instantly removed the threat of criminal sanction against those legal residents who transport them — a noble and selfless act. You may also have noticed that American citizen families are separated all the time — when one or more parents goes to war and children remain at home. Sometimes those parents don’t come back, so yes, U.S. citizens experience separation hardship too. My wife and step kids were immigrants. We obtained visas, paid fees, and went through a lengthy process. While in legal immigrant status, they were required to carry documents at all times, so they did. While lawful permanent residents, they were required to carry their green cards at all times, so they did. During this period, we notified the INS of any address changes within 10 days, as required by the law. My wife recently naturalized as a citizen, but it was a long road. Can I ask — again respectfully — why Latinos resist this process? We did it, obeying inconvenient rules every step of the way. Why do Latinos expect to be exempt from the rules? Do they want special treatment? Are they owed something we’re not aware of…? Is there a reason proud Latino citizens don’t just improve the political and economic climates in their countries of origin and become the new envy of the western hemisphere? Speaking of ‘origins’, I’ve heard a lot about Aztlan lately. Certainly you know that the geographic region called Aztlan belonged to native North Americans first, was claimed by Spain for 300 or so years, and was under a Mexican flag only from 1821-1846. 25 years does not an inviolate claim to North America make. I’m sorry to raise these annoying points of logic, but I would have enormous respect for anyone who could answer them honestly and honorably. I’m still waiting for that person to speak up.

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