Posts Tagged ‘Illegal Immigration’

I’m sure you’ve already heard by now that Maricopa County residents voted back into office Tea Party darling, Sheriff “People die in my jails” Arpaio.  And he’s speaking out of both sides of his mouth, saying he’d like to get closer to the Latino community while at the same time continuing to perform illegal round ups, detentions, and traffic stops targeting anyone who looks Hispanic.  That’s like having a bully that beats you up every day say, “I’d like to be your friend” meanwhile he is STILL beating you up every day.

We’re still waiting for the outcome of a civil rights lawsuit (one among many I believe). Still waiting for someone in law enforcement to investigate him for criminal charges regarding his involvement with persecuting political enemies with and for his friend, the debarred ex-County Attorney, Andrew Thomas.  The Feds gave up on that one.  Is there anyone else out there that gives a damn about the abuse of power in that case?  Any law officers who still have enough pride in their profession to say his behavior and his Office’s behavior was unacceptable?  Any professional organizations that provide certification to Arpaio and his officers who would consider revoking those certifications because of such known unprofessional behavior?  Anyone want to try to get back all the money ($50 million last I saw) the public has had to pay out to the family members of the people who died in his jails, the victims of civil rights abuses, the mismanaged investigations, the defense of that idiotic SB1070 law?  Anyone want to charge him for taking money from the City of El Mirage to investigate 432 serious felony cases of rape, murder, sexual assault of children and NEVER actually doing the investigations?  No?  Didn’t think so.

How could you do it Maricopa County voters?  Seriously how?  For the sake of the children who were sexually abused and killed (who were, many of them, brown)…how could you vote him back into office?  I’m thoroughly disgusted by your willful ignorance to his blatant corruption and racism.  I take some small comfort that the demographics of AZ is changing so that someday the Arpaio’s of the world won’t be rewarded time and time again.  On that day, I will be mighty pleased.

 

 

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The GOP released it’s platform in advance of their convention next week and it is VERY extreme.  Here’s some of the planks:

  • Women banned from combat – yet another right and responsibility they want to take away from my gender.
  • Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – what will happen to all those soldiers who have already come out?  Some have been promoted into the High Ranks.  Will we lose these highly trained and exceptional soldiers because of this?
  • Deny any legal recognition of Same-Sex Marriage–even a lot of moderates think Civil Unions are ok, but not the GOP.  And what about state rights?  If a state wants to allow Civil Unions or Marriage, why does the supposedly “small government” GOP want to prohibit states from doing that?
  • Salute to Forced Ultrasounds – remember the VA bill that made it legal for a doctor to force a woman to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound WITHOUT THE WOMAN’S CONSENT?  That particular gem was specifically praised.
  • No abortion in cases of rape or incest – this speaks for itself
  • Replicate AZ Immigration laws – what do they not understand about the concept of constitutionality?  What do they not understand about the Feds constitutional  responsibility for maintaining our borders?  Why the HELL don’t they advocate for a complete Immigration overhaul so that the Feds can do their job?
  • No new taxes except for war – what if we have several major natural catastrophes that are unplanned for?  What if we have a largescale epidemic for which no funds or not enough funds were appropriated?  If those are too remote a possibility for you, here’s one that is already occurring.  What if population and thus the need for basic services increase without a corresponding equal increase in tax revenues to cover the cost of those services?  This is happening now with the Baby Boom generation.  The wealthy have not paid their fair share of taxes since Reagan was in office reducing revenues to historic lows while our population has naturally grown through birth and legitimate immigration and combine all that with the aging Baby Boomers who will need more and more services as they age.   An increase in revenue MUST occur or our debt and deficit WILL become dangerous.  One more point.  Republicans (and Dems) allowed President Bush to start two unfunded wars.  They are not fiscal conservatives and this plank is utter bullshit.

Source:

http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/08/22/723241/gop-approves-most-conservative-platform-in-modern-history/

Can I tell you just how much I despise Arizona’s governor?  Well, let me start by talking about her most recent sabotage.

Today was a big day for many young illegal immigrants.  They turned out in the thousands to apply for a new deportation deferment and work permit, in hopes of avoiding deportation for at least a period of two years. Many of them meet the criteria (having come here before the age of 16, graduated from High School or have a GED or have served in the U.S. military, and no criminal record).  Some of them didn’t completely qualify.  Those who haven’t graduated  from high school are now very motivated to do so via GED programs, so they can then apply.

We’re not talking about the tens of millions of illegal immigrants.  We’re talking about a very small subset of them–about 800,000 in the U.S and about 80,000 of that total in Arizona.  The reality is they will likely stay here regardless of Federal and State policy.  The U.S. is, for the majority of these youth, the only home they have ever known.  This deportation deferral / work permit program is a way to allow them to come out into the open, become legal to a certain degree and as a result, to better themselves and contribute to society.  And let’s face it, since they are here to stay doesn’t it make sense for the rest of us that they do get legal and do better themselves?

Here  are some of the benefits the U.S. will get out of allowing these young people to work legally here.

1.  They will no longer have to work in the “cash only” underground economy for extremely low wages, being taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers (which are legion in AZ).  Being legal, they can work in the real economy, making higher wages, which means paying more in taxes (both income and sales) and having more purchasing power. All to the good for the AZ economy.

2.  If they make more money, they will be more likely to be able to afford healthcare instead of burdening our ER’s for routine visits. They will also be more likely to go to the doctor for preventative care instead of waiting until something reaches a crisis point.  These things save money for us all.

3.  We will be helping to keep families together (because some of these people are already married with kids).  Families together means more potential income for the family and quite frankly, much better mental health outcomes, for their American children.

4.  It also means they are more likely to be involved in their child’s educational and social lives–also a big benefit.

5.  They will be more likely to report crimes and interact with the police to help solve crimes.  This is a well known problem in law enforcement and affects us all when a crime goes unreported because that criminal will strike again and next time it won’t be an illegal immigrant.  It just might be Mrs. Whitey White citizen and resident of Paradise Valley or Snottsdale, your grandmother, who might have been saved if the original victims weren’t scared out of their minds of being deported and therefore hiding from the police.

6.  They are more likely to be educated or in the process of improving their educational status.  This helps in so many ways and so obviously, I shouldn’t even have to explain why this is good for us all.

7.  They are more likely to carry insurance for their home/apt and their vehicles.  One of the reasons that car insurance is so darn high in AZ (besides all those blue haired snow birds that descend upon us every winter) is because of the high number of uninsured drivers.  And it’s not just the illegal immigrants, there are plenty of poor citizens who don’t have insurance too.  But if these young people are legally recognized and financially better off, then insurance becomes likelier and the rest of us benefit (hmmmm, sort of like healthcare, but I digress).

Sounds like a pretty good deal all the way around, right?  Well, not according to Gov. “Leather Face” Brewer.  She doesn’t like the President’s deferred deportation order, so she decided she would create her own order in response and she would sign it on the very day that all those hopeful young people were first eligible to apply for the new federal program.

Her Executive Order tells state agencies that they are not to provide driver’s licenses or other public benefits to this population of people.  This means the likelihood of their being able to obtain car insurance without a drivers license is not good.  So there goes that positive outcome.  It also means they are less likely to get a legitimate job or open a bank account.     It means that if they wanted to get a GED they would not be eligible for any of the free GED programs offered by the state and local governments.  Yep, keeping them ignorant is a brilliant idea.  Furthermore, some of them were actually going to college and paying in-state rates.  But no more of that…they will have to pay out-of-state rates, meaning many will have to drop out of college.  That’s absolutely, fucking brilliant there, because who wants more college graduates in AZ?!  They can’t get a business or professional license so they can forget about moving up the social ladder.  Their children, who are American citizens, won’t qualify for any state subsidized child care or health care because of this Order.  Makes it pretty hard to work an 8 to 5 job when you can’t afford to pay for child care (and believe me, it is VERY expensive).   So they are back to using the ER as their kid’s primary care physician.

So now with the stroke of a pen, Gov. Brewer has undone many of the things that the President’s executive order hoped to accomplish–things that, in the long run, would be good for Arizona.  I’m sure she and her conservative cronies are very pleased with their cleverness.  It’s just too bad that young men and women who only want to come out into the light, be a legal worker and contribute to the country and state that they love, some of whom actually risked their lives in the U.S. military for the rest of us, won’t be able to see any of the positive outcomes that being a legal worker entails.  The rest of us won’t get to enjoy the benefits of those positive outcomes either.  Instead, we will have to continue to watch these young people live in the shadows and pay the price for a lack of basic human decency on the part of Arizona politicians.

May the Good Lord, the Goddess or the FSM, if you prefer, save us from short-sighted, narrow-minded, petty, vindictive, hateful conservative politicians like Jan Brewer.  Arizona just can’t win for losing with her in charge.

Sources:

http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/20120815arizona-brewer-bars-public-benefits-illegal-immigrants.html

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/15/us/immigration-deferred-deportation/index.html

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2012/08/governor_jan_brewer_issues_exe.php

Like a tick on the body politic, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has been pretty hard to remove. Yesterday, he might have been extracted, at least partially. Arpaio was called to the stand to testify about whether his agency, the MCSO, engaged in racial profiling. Like his testimony during the Ethics Hearing against his partner in corruption1 Sheriff Joe was subdued, clearly not his normal cocky and defiant self.

That’s because Arpaio ain’t stupid. He knows that judges are Gods in their courtrooms and he knows that witnesses that grandstand and act arrogant appear less credible. In other words, Arpaio knows that to misbehave in court, the way he does when he is facing down reporters in carefully orchestrated press conferences, would likely result in negative consequences for him. If Arpaio can get away with treating reporters, protestors, inmates, political opponents, and innocent people like crap he will, because that’s what he does.  He is a bully.  But yesterday, he couldn’t get away with it.  The bully recognized that he was under the thumb of a bigger power and so he reined in his usual over-the-top shenanigans.  Unfortunately, his respect for the power of the court did not aid him in telling the truth.  Either that or his age is finally catching up to him and he is lucky to remember his own name.

It’s hard to tell what was really going on with Aprpaio since cameras aren’t allowed in Federal Courtrooms.   We have to rely on the MSM filter, which has made a pattern of ignoring Arpaio’s blatantly racist behavior and statements by functioning as stenographers for Arpaio’s pre-determined narrative.  Even now after all the accusations, cases against him, deaths of inmates, un-investigated crimes, settlements given out to victims’ families, etc, decent, investigative and informative stories about Arpaio in the MSM are hard to find2.   The major news channels did brief stories on it and a few have some brief video and/or picture slideshows, but a fully researched and factual article that really airs out the filth? Only one does, the best investigative paper/magazine in Arizona, The Phoenix New Times.

The facts of this case, initiated by a Hispanic tourist who was here legally by the name of Ortega Melendres, needs to be widely distributed. The voters of Maricopa County should know exactly what the Sheriff is saying and doing on their behalf.  Here is one little example from his book:  “….second- and third-generation Mexican-Americans were not part of the American “mainstream.”   Wow, I bet that would surprise the hell out of them!  Using this kind of logic my own mother, who is a third-generation descendant of our illegal Irish immigrant3, shouldn’t belong.  Or is she okay because she’s white?

If that doesn’t incense you, how about the letters from supporters that encouraged him to come do a sweep of their area.  In one, the very angry, bigoted writer requested that he come to Mesa and he did about a month after receiving and writing a handwritten note on that same letter that he filed and kept for our edification.  All of sudden I am thinking of petards and hoisting for some reason, but perhaps I digress….

My point is this.  The white, middle class voters who keep putting Arpaio in office haven’t gotten the message yet. They’ve set him loose in the down and out neighborhoods that tend to be predominately brown. And so long as he stays in those neighborhoods, out of sight and out of mind, and the MSM doesn’t do their job in showing us ALL of this ugliness, then they will continue to vote him into office and he will continue to roam, hurting innocent people, and spreading his particular brand of disease–hate.

Notes:

1.  this is former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas who was disbarred as a result of that hearing
2. granted Arpaio creates all kinds of press on his own and the amusing thing about it is that attorney for the plaintiff in this case, Stanley Young, has been using Arpaio’s own words against him, hoisting him on his own petard
3 AND he was Catholic, the kind of people that we used to refer to as “white apes” http://suite101.com/article/stereotyping-the-irish-from-the-16th-century-to-the-present-day-a394227, note the pic on this page of John Bull and Uncle Sam discussing whether democracy can survive the influx of “Fenians” and freed slaves…..sounds pretty close to Arpaio’s view of things, doesn’t it?

SCOTUS ruling on SB1070….I am not surprised, are you?  They upheld the “Paper’s Please” portion and struck down the rest.

This Court has ruled in such a way as to wait until harm has been done instead of the traditional approach used by Courts in the past to see to prevent harm.  In other word this Court believes it is better to wait and see if anyone’s rights are violated, then wait for those parties to sue and if that suit makes it to the Supreme Court, they would then have to find a pattern of abuse that was due directly to the law itself and then they might rule it unconstitutional.  What I don’t understand is how they think that abuse, i.e., racial profiling and violation of habeas corpus rights, won’t occur.

Let’s look at it logically.  The Court has ruled time and time again that if a police officer pulls you over for one violation (e.g., speeding or a taillight is out), the officer cannot perform further searches (I.e., fish for evidence of other crimes) unless they have reasonable suspicion that some other crime has occurred and suspicion must be based on something in plain sight or by a voluntary admission of the driver.  So in the case of speeding, if the officer sees smoke pouring out of your window and smells the strong odor of pot, the officer has the right to search further.  Same goes for lots of alcohol bottles and cans in the car, the presence of blood on the seats, loaded weapons in view, burglary tools in view, etc, etc.

So what is going to be in plain view and what other things can an officer legitimately ask for that will provide reasonable suspicion that the driver and/or the passengers are illegal immigrants?  Well, you can bet your bippy (whatever the heck that is) that they won’t be voluntarily admitting such a thing.  The officer can look and try to see what is plain view but what are they going to see?  Mexican Flags, I heart Mexico bumper stickers, what?  The officer can ask to see their driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance.  Now the DL and registration are not a sign of illegal status and should not be enough to satisfy the standard of “reasonable suspicion”, UNLESS the license is a very obvious fake.  Even the lack of insurance isn’t enough to point to illegal status as many American citizens are caught every year without having insurance.  So how do they determine reasonable suspicion…because they don’t speak English or because there are way too many people in that tiny dilapidated car or because they happen to be brown…..

This Court is taking the classic ‘free market approach’.  What I mean by that is…the attitude that we don’t need safety regulations to prevent businesses from doing the wrong thing, so instead let the buyer beware.  If harm comes to the buyer, they can sue and THEN a law, if the harm is egregious enough and widespread enough,can be put into place to regulate something.  The only problem with that is, people (and usually many, many people) have to suffer egregious harm AND they have to be able to sue or have someone sue on their behalf before the business is punished and their behavior gets regulated.  This kind of “free market” approach will always favor the wealthy since access to our Justice system is, and make no mistake about, severely limited if you don’t have the funds.  I will regale you on another day about just how unfair our justice system is on another day.

I think the question that the conservative reporter shouted at the President in a very boorish manner the other day needs to be addressed and it needs to be addressed every time it is asked.  Because believe me, we have been hearing and we will continue to hear it until a Republican is elected to the White House (and then these same critics will fall silent, funny how that happens even the policy doesn’t often won’t change).  So the following information is something that you can use to good effect whenever someone claims that the President’s policy regarding immigrants is “not good for American workers.”

First define what the damn policy is about so as to set a baseline somewhere beyond the retarded rhetoric that our own Governor is spewing.  It is NOT amnesty.  It IS about giving those that qualify  a worker’s permit–note, “those that qualify”.  So not everyone of them will get a permit.  Here’s a summary of the new policy:

.…people younger than 30 who came to the United States before the age of 16, pose no criminal or security threat, and were successful students or served in the military can get a two-year deferral from deportation (CNN)

So the policy change is mostly about the young, ranging from the very young up to age 30.  Of course the very young are not in competition for jobs and they wouldn’t have yet had a chance to prove themselves in high school or have served in the military.  BUT it will give them tremendous incentive to stay in school, avoid all the pitfalls for young, disenfranchised people and if they don’t do well in school, they have incentive to serve in the military1.  So the very young now have incentive to succeed and are currently no threat to American workers.  In fact, I’m pretty darn sure that the little 6 year old girl that Arpaio detained is a threat to no one2.

Now, lets look at the teenagers who don’t do well in school and don’t go to college.  They won’t be getting cream of the crop jobs, not even once they get work permits because NO ONE with only a high school education is making a livable wage (unless they have special training in a specialized field, which is rare at age 18).   I mean, what do Americans have to fear from this subgroup of the immigrant population affected?  That they have to compete for the ‘Do you want fries with that?’ jobs that most teens get (or used to get that are slowly being taken over by adults who are desperate to support their families any way they can)?

The next segment of immigrants affected will have gone off to college and will be struggling with debt and the dearth of jobs that all the other college graduates are facing.  There are countless  stories of immigrants that have done very well and distinguished themselves in higher education.  Those students have a much better chance today of competing in the American job market than they did before.  So, yes, American college students MIGHT have something to fear from these grads.

The reason I say “might” is because the average American student STILL have one HUGE advantage…they’re not here on a permit that will run out.  They don’t have to “get in line” and navigate the long, complicated and expensive process of trying to become  an American citizen.  They will never have to worry about whether an employer might turn them down because they aren’t “permanent” yet.  Plus, the “line” that cons are always talking about doesn’t even exist.  It’s more of a convoluted, incomprehensible knot.  For example, if one of these immigrants marry an American, they often have to wait several years to even apply for citizenship and in the meantime still have to go back to their country of origin for a couple of years (regardless of whether they speak the language, have any family there, or have any memory of ever living there).  So being married to a U.S. citizen shortens the process but it is not a panacea.  And since most of these people will have to take the longer road and apply on their own, that’s not quite the advantage that so many cons want you to believe it is.    Ultimately, I have no sympathy for American  students take their citizenship for granted and sit on their asses, continuing to “party hardy”.  They will deserve getting their butts kicked in the job market by these ambitious, tenacious and worthy immigrants in the end.  Give me the person who hungers to be an American over someone who is born to it with a “meh” attitude, or worse yet, an entitlement attitude.

Furthermore, what about those young men and women who join the military and literally risk their lives for the U.S.?    They can’t be illegal and enlist…technically, they have to have a green card first, but there have been special exceptions made.  Some are directly recruited and others manage to slip through the cracks using false documents. Those who sneak in or were not properly identified during enlistment are almost never kicked out4 of the service.  Should American workers fear their competition in the workforce?  Yes, because if anyone has the single mindedness of purpose, the bravery to endure difficulties and come through triumphant, it is these people.  They will have an innate tenacity and a learned discipline that the average young American simply does not possess. IMHO, it is the height of insanity not to grant citizenship to them when so many natural citizens avoid military duty like the plague. We need more of these kind of people, not less.

However, when all of this reasoning doesn’t work and there is a good likelihood it won’t….there is one more HUGE fact you can bring up.  After Arizona passed S.B. 1070 approximately 200,000 immigrants (most of them Hispanic) left the state (some claim a reduction as high as 23% but I can’t be sure of their sources).  Arizona was struggling job-wise like every other state (and it continues to struggle today).  Even if we only assume that half of that population worked….that’s 100,000 job openings that should have appeared.  Hell, let’s be even more generous, let’s assume that only one-fourth of that population worked. That would have been 50,000 jobs openings, right?

In 2010 the year that S.B. 1070 was passed into law, unemployment in AZ peaked at 338.072 people.  So, 50,000 new job openings would have been a 15% improvement within a year or two and 100,000 would have been a 33% improvement.  That’s pretty damn significant, especially in light of the fact that people get excited when the ENTIRE country only gains over 200,000 jobs in a month.  Think about it….even spread out over a two year period of time and in light of the fact that Arizona, like the rest of the country, is slowly recovering anyway (the number of unemployed has dropped by about 64,000, same source as above).  Imagine what that 50,000 to 100,000 job gain on top of the 64,000 j0b gain should have done for AZ.  But it didn’t and that’s the point.

The illegal immigrants left and left behind a ton of jobs that no Americans took up.  That’s a stone cold fact.  So next time a conservative tells you about how illegal immigrants take jobs away from Americans, ask them about the 50,000 to 200,000 jobs that opened up in Arizona in less than a two year period and ask them why Arizona’s unemployment remains so shitty. It should have been enough jobs to make Arizona have one of the lowest employment rates in the country, but that didn’t happen.

Turn the questions on them.  Why didn’t Americans want all those cleaning, roofing, brick laying, child care, crop picking, etc jobs that got left behind?  If they were competing for those jobs, then why didn’t Americans jump at the chance to fill those positions when the immigrants fled?  They won’t have an answer.   So don’t let people tell you those immigrants will take jobs away from deserving Americans because its simply not true as Arizona’s experience has so well proven5.

Notes:

1. Although there is a good argument to be made that making the military one of the few ladders out of poverty isn’t all that great since they are always the ones dying in droves in wars started by the “one percenters”, who’s children never serve–but that’s another discussion for another day

2. the Phoenix New Times is saying that MCSO didn’t arrest the child but simply turned her over to I.C.E. You know what’s sad? That Arpaio’s reputation is so bad, that we all believed with little convincing that he had arrested her in the first place. I mean, he’s known around the world for doing whatever the hell he wants, whenever he wants that no one really thought it impossible for him to have done such a horrible thing. That’s sad on so many levels.

3.  And to that, I say good.  Too many American students rate their college by it’s party reputation or by “things to do” in the community.  Which of the two following stories represents what America is supposed to be:  A) the immigrant who triumphed over adversity, went to Harvard and/or served the U.S. before they were ever even citizens, or B) the average American hungover, C student at a state college who has never done a damn thing for anyone, anywhere.   If you said choice B, then this country is in deep, deep doodoo in regards to the job market.

4. They get recruited for their foreign language skills and understanding of their native culture in some instances. Others are recruited because we need bodies in the ranks and citizens are burned out on war….it’s as simple as that.

5. Have you seen or heard of any one in the MSM talking about these facts? I haven’t and it chaps my ass….seriously, why should someone like me have to engage in journalism in my limited spare time at cost to me while all those pandering TV pseudo-journalist personalities get to smile their pearly whites and feed Americans their red meat of hatred and their pablum of carefully tailored GOP lies all the while earning a damned good living.

I suspect that this is politics to get the Hispanic vote,” Arpaio said. “It’s sad to use the kids as a political tool to get a certain segment of our society’s vote.

Sheriff Joe “Soulless” Arpaio said this on Friday after learning of the President’s change in policy regarding Illegal Immigrant children and announcing that he had arrested a 6-year-old girl for being here illegally.  Arresting helpless children will undoubtedly make him more popular with glibertarians and Tea Party members.  Oh the irony and teh stoopid, it hurts.

 

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2012/06/16/20120616mcso-illegal-immigration-ar#ixzz1yAsqgeDZrest-girl.html