Arizona’s Immigration Bill is a Social and Racial Sin – Are We Ready for a Boycott of Arizona?

by on April 23, 2010 · 28 comments

in Civil Rights, Popular, San Diego

latinos mass rally

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 21: Some 200,000 immigrants' rights activists - according to one estimate - flood the National Mall on March 21, 2010 to demand comprehensive immigration reform.

Economic Boycott of Arizona Is Called – see below.

Arizona’s Immigration Bill is a Social and Racial Sin

by Jim Wallis / Christians for  Immigration Reform /04-21-2010

I got up at 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday to fly to Phoenix, Arizona, to speak at a press conference and rally at the State Capitol at the invitation of the state’s clergy and other leaders in the immigration reform movement. The harshest enforcement bill in the country against undocumented immigrants just passed the Arizona state House and Senate, and is only awaiting the signature of Governor Janet Brewer to become law.

Senate Bill 1070 would require law enforcement officials in the state of Arizona to investigate someone’s immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” that the person might be undocumented. I wonder who that would be, and if anybody who doesn’t have brown skin will be investigated. Those without identification papers, even if they are legal, are subject to arrest; so don’t forget your wallet on your way to work if you are Hispanic in Arizona. You can also be arrested if you are stopped and are simply with people who are undocumented – even if they are your family. Parents or children of “mixed-status families” (made up of legal and undocumented, as many immigrant families are out here) could be arrested if they are found together. You can be arrested if you are “transporting or harboring” undocumented people. Some might consider driving immigrant families to and from church to be Christian ministry – but it will now be illegal in Arizona.

For the first time, all law enforcement officers in the state will be enlisted to hunt down undocumented people, which will clearly distract them from going after truly violent criminals, and will focus them on mostly harmless families whose work supports the economy and who contribute to their communities. And do you think undocumented parents will now go to the police if their daughter is raped or their family becomes a victim of violent crime? Maybe that’s why the state association of police chiefs is against SB 1070.

This proposed law is not only mean-spirited – it will be ineffective and will only serve to further divide communities in Arizona, making everyone more fearful and less safe. This radical new measure, which crosses many moral and legal lines, is a clear demonstration of the fundamental mistake of separating enforcement from comprehensive immigration reform. We all want to live in a nation of laws, and the immigration system in the U.S. is so broken that it is serving no one well. But enforcement without reform of the system is merely cruel. Enforcement without compassion is immoral. Enforcement that breaks up families is unacceptable. And enforcement of this law would force us to violate our Christian conscience, which we simply will not do. It makes it illegal to love your neighbor in Arizona.

Before the rally and press event, I visited some immigrant families who work at Neighborhood Ministries, an impressive community organization affiliated with Sojourners’ friends at the Christian Community Development Association. I met a group of women who were frightened by the raids that have been occurring, in which armed men invade their homes and neighborhoods with guns and helicopters. When the rumors of massive raids spread, many of these people flee both their homes and their workplaces, and head for The Church at The Neighborhood Center as the only place they feel safe and secure. But will police invade the churches if they are suspected of “harboring” undocumented people, because it is the law? Will the nurse practitioner I met at their medical clinic serving only uninsured people be arrested for being “with” the children of families who are here illegally as she treats them?

At the rally, I started with the words of Jesus (which drew cheers from the crowd gathered at the state Capitol), who instructed his disciples to “welcome the stranger,” and said that whatever we do to “the least of these, who are members of my family” we do to him. I think that means that to obey Jesus and his gospel will mean to disobey SB 1070 in Arizona. I looked at the governor’s Executive Tower and promised that many Christians in Arizona won’t comply with this law because the people they will target will be members of our “family” in the body of Christ. And any attack against them is an attack against us, and the One we follow.

Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles just called this Arizona measure “the country’s most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless immigration law.” On CNN, I defended the Cardinal’s comments, which likened the requirement of people always carrying their “papers” to the most oppressive regimes of Nazism and Communism. I wonder whether the tea party movement that rails against government intrusion will rail against this law, or whether those who resist the forced government registration of their guns will resist the forced government requirement that immigrants must always carry their documentation. Will the true conservatives please stand up here? We are all waiting.

Arizona’s SB 1070 must be named as a social and racial sin, and should be denounced as such by people of faith and conscience across the nation. This is not just about Arizona, but about all of us, and about what kind of country we want to be. It’s time to stand up to this new strategy of “deportation by attrition,” which I heard for the first time today in Arizona. It is a policy of deliberate political cruelty, and it should be remembered that “attrition” is a term of war. Arizona is deciding whether to wage war on the body of Christ. We should say that if you come after one part of the body, you come after all of us.

Jim Wallis is the author of Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street – A Moral Compass for the New Economy, and is CEO of Sojourners. He blogs at

+Click here to take action for immigration reform!


by Herman Baca, President, Committee on Chicano Rights / April 22, 2010

Arizona lawmakers under the auspice of dealing with the so-called immigration issue have approved SB 1070, a law that directs police to determine the immigration status of persons of Mexican ancestry based solely on “reasonable suspicion.” If signed by Republican Governor Jan Brewer the law for any person of Mexican ancestry will:

• Make it illegal to be present in Arizona whether undocumented, legal or U.S. born,

• Legally mandate “de jure racial segregation,”

• Create a police state to rival the practices of racist states such as Mississippi in the segregated South of the last century, and a police system of oppression that Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin would have been proud of,

• Re-institute the “Jim Crow” system that legalized separation of the white and black races from 1876 to 1965 in the ante belle South, a system outlawed after the Afro-American civil rights movement of the late 1960’s,

• Lay the foundation for a South African type “apartheid” system in the U.S. Southwest.

Unbelievable those responsible (by their silence) for re-instituting both the “Jim Crow” and “apartheid” systems are the Democratic Party controlled Congress and the U.S. first Afro-American President, Barack Obama!

The American Heritage Dictionary defines:

• Jim Crow- The systematic practice of discriminating against and suppressing Black people. 1. Upholding or practicing discrimination against and suppression of Black people: 2. Reserved or set aside for a racial or ethnic group that is to be discriminated against:

• Apartheid- 1. An official policy of racial segregation practiced in the Republic of South Africa, involving political, legal, and economic discrimination against nonwhites. 2. Any policy or practice of separating or segregating groups. 3. The condition of being separated from others; segregation.

So the question now that President Obama, the Democratic Party controlled Congress, along with Nazis in CA, politicians, radio/TV hate entertainers, Minuteman, KKK, and white supremacist have legalized denying to all persons of Mexican ancestry,

• Equal protection and due process under the law,

• Rights supposedly guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

What are we as a people going to do to oppose and stop the Arizona law?

In our opinion, Arizona has to be dealt with like one would deal with a schoolyard bully, punch him in the mouth.

Unlike the 1950’s and 60’s our population in 2010 is no longer small. Presently in the U.S there are close to 50 million Chicanos, Latinos and Mexicanos, and growing. We need to:

1. Call for an ECONOMIC BOYCOTT of Arizona by our community (the nations fastest growing ethnic group), the millions of citizens of Mexico, and all people of good will,

2. Utilize every legal, political, and social options, including civil disobedience to oppose and stop the proposed apartheid system for persons of Mexican ancestry in Arizona,

3. Communicate to President Obama and the Democratic Party (who our people voted in overwhelming numbers) that our vote will no longer be taken for granted by the Democratic Party, or any other political party come the November 2010 elections.

Lastly, our community needs to understand the reasons and causes in the on going public “illegal” immigration debate,

• The “immigration problem” is systemic and historical (since the end of the U.S./Mexico War) and like the Afro-American slave system (early 1600 to middle 1800) was created because of this country’s economic historical addiction (along with oil, drugs, and pornography) for FREE and CHEAP labor,

• The issue is international, social, economic and political, and not a law enforcement or military matter as defined by white supremacists and vested interests that seek to maintain the status quo.

• The existing immigration system is a labor issue and exist because Mexican workers are in a right less condition… this is the pervasive reasons for the Arizona law and other similar proposed law enforcement/military proposals,

• Fear of the changing demographics that will make persons of Mexican ancestry the largest ethnic population in the Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, California, Colorado, etc.) and largest so-called minority in the U.S.

However for our generation the issue remains how do we organize ourselves to stop the Arizona law, and similar proposals to end the historical exploitation of Mexican labor and the violations of our people’s human, civil and constitutional rights?

In closing, we need to heed the words of the great abolitionist Fredrick Douglas who stated,

“Find out just what any people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue til they have resisted with either words or blows or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they sup¬press.”

Committee on Chicano Rights – 710 East Third Street • National City, CA 91950 • (619) 477-3800

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

OB Joe April 23, 2010 at 11:12 am

Yeah, sure! I’m ready for a boycott of Arizona! F*ck those Zonies! Perhaps we should give zonies a piece of our mind when they come traipsing through OB this Spring and Summer. Tell every AZ tourist you come upon that this sucks!


PSD April 23, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Go up to everyone you see getting into or out of a Zonie-plated car this summer and demand to see their birth certificate.


Frank Gormlie April 23, 2010 at 12:15 pm

LOL there ya go


Goatskull April 24, 2010 at 8:02 am

A bit overkill I think. Not all Zones are a bunch of right wing kooks. If you visit another state and the inhabitants don’t like Californians would have a problem with them giving you “a piece of their mind”? Just a thought. I am not from Arizona but have good friends who are transplanted from there.


Molly April 23, 2010 at 11:21 am

How dare those Arizonians discriminate against our maids, gardeners, baby-sitters, our common laborers at HomeDepot, and those who pick our salads! We Californians NEVER discriminate against OUR Mexicans!

(Okay for those of you who wonder, this is sarcasm.)


Frank Gormlie April 23, 2010 at 11:36 am

Cesar Chavez died this day -April 23 – in 1993.


Abby April 23, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Clearly, the only solution is to build a big fence to keep the Zonies out!


Frank Gormlie April 23, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Hey, this could be the kernel for a great article in satire! Who wants to take it???


Abby April 26, 2010 at 7:44 am

I think the joke is a one trick pony. I tried to expand it, but all I could come up with is the zomies are just drinking the beers OBecians don’t want to drink.


BillRayDrums April 26, 2010 at 8:22 am

Eating the burgers that Obecains can’t get (because the f’n line is too long) ….


Abby April 26, 2010 at 10:55 am

Damn them! They’re stealing our burgers!


Frank Gormlie April 23, 2010 at 3:50 pm

News Alert: Ariz. governor just signed this controversial immigration enforcement bill.


BillRayDrums April 23, 2010 at 6:26 pm

What if Hodad’s required proof of citizenship for a burger, LOL.


Ernie McCray April 23, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Now, I remember why I moved to California.


JMW April 23, 2010 at 8:49 pm

I think we should all put on sombreros and head for Phoenix; couple million extra people without papers ought to slow down the machine a bit. By the way, I read recently that it is or soon will be legal in Arizona to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. You can carry a gun, but can’t have dark skin? I think the sun’s gotten to them.


john B. April 24, 2010 at 12:27 am

never have i felt more shame to be from the hateful state of arizona. since former governor napalitano has taken on duties of national importance, there is no political opposition to the bigoted hatred towards the mexican AMERICAN. as a LIBERAL in my final years in highschool i have witnessed disgusting infringements of the peoples rights at the hands of sheriff joe and his cronies. But now it is LEGAL for them to harass mexican americans (make no mistake they did this for years but now they are encouraged to do so BY LAW). what disgusts me the most is that several of my closest friends may move for fear of brutality and harassment. What arizona is doing is CRIMINAL and needs to be treated as such.

(on a side note please do not view all arizonans as bigoted racists even in the most rightwing oppressive states there are still decent people)


Ian Rammelkamp April 24, 2010 at 9:29 am

First of all, let me say that I am pro-legal-immigration. I think that our system for letting in new Americans needs to be fixed. It is too hard as it is. Immigrants are the life blood of our country, they are a necessity if we want to continue to progress as a nation.

But I fail to see the problem with having local law enforcement enforce immigration laws. I think that local law enforcement is the best suited to find those who are breaking the law, and who are here illegally.

And I don’t see it as racial profiling if a cop asks someone who speaks broken English for documentation. It is more like language profiling. Immigrants should view it as a necessary side effect of the privilege of becoming an American Citizen.

What is the point of having laws if we don’t enforce them?


lane tobias April 24, 2010 at 1:18 pm

the point is that legal or illegal, we shouldn’t be forced to carry around proof of legal status in our pockets at all times. the bill is meant to target illegal immigrants from mexico and further south, but it also means that technically, EVERYONE should have to carry around proof of citizenship. unfortunately, that’s not what the end result is going to be. realistically it only applies to anyone with darker skin then the rednecks and hicks that populate the border region of arizona. lets not forget that according to census numbers and the amnesty movement’s numbers, close to 75% of people of mexican, caribbean, central american, or south american descent in this country ARE here legally. now, these “legals” are going to feel the effects of this bill through harassment by local law enforcement.

this bill is about as close to fascist rule as it can get. think about other places where proof of a certain status through paperwork was/is required: nazi germany, apartheid south africa, rwanda during genocide, germany during the cold war, palestine/israel, and now, Arizona. let me ask y0u this Ian: do you carry around your birth certificate and passport at all times?

it just opens up a ridiculously huge can of worms. do we need immigration reform? yes, certainly. but instead of turning our border region into a police state, we could use it as sort of processing point to monitor and track new emigres to this country, a la Ellis Island.

lets not forget that this is less about jobs and more about fear of the violence in mexico spilling over into America. if instead we focused on reforming drug policy (ie ending prohibition of certain drugs, or decriminalizing) then there would be less and less capital for the cartels and eventually they would fade away.


Ian Rammelkamp April 24, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I pretty much agree with all of your points. One shouldn’t be required to have identification at all times, but a law enforcement agent should be allowed to ask for identification, and legal status, and should be allowed to follow up with regards to legal status.

Believe me, I think that the citizens need to be protected from the authorities, more than they do from illegal aliens. But I think that we need to be a bit more reasonable with regard to enforcing laws (like being here illegally) that are already on the books.

I don’t know if illegal aliens can get drivers licenses, or identification cards in AZ, but I don’t think people who are here against the law should have such privileges. And if a cop comes a cross a person who cannot speak English, and doesn’t have identification, they should have the tools to remove the person from the US, so that those immigrants who are using the legal channels to become citizens have a better chance.


annagrace April 24, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Ian, I am also pro legal immigration. I also believe that immigration is a federal issue and should be addressed on a federal level. It is also a very complex issue that must address people who are here as well as people who want entrance. We must honestly assess our economic dependence upon immigrant labor and the nature of our relationship with other countries, which is not exclusively limited to Mexico. Think Cuba. Think Iraq. Which is to say, think political refugees.

Arizona’s action on immigration is a continuation of the state right’s posturing that has been going on since Barack Obama was elected. We have heard from Tenthers and elected politicians talking secession and now a whole bunch of states want to overturn health reform because it violates state rights. This is a pretty slippery slope.

As a response to the need for immigration reform, Arizona’s recent law can’t and wont work because it does not address the underlying complexities. It will and already has stirred up a real hornet’s nest of rage. Just what this country needs.


Ian Rammelkamp April 24, 2010 at 7:14 pm

I don’t think that the Federal Government is equipped to deal with illegal immigration. They don’t have the man power and are not in contact with the citizenry like local law enforcement.

There are a few good things about the law, like putting pressure on employers to not hire illegal immigrants, and creating fines for the transportation of illegal immigrants.

I don’t think that law enforcement should be able to detain someone because they don’t have identification, though. That is a violation of civil liberties.


Frank Gormlie April 25, 2010 at 11:26 am

Ian, when is the last time you drove east on 94? If you have done so recently, you would have literally seen more ICE, sheriffs and border patrol cars and vehicles than civilian ones.


john B. April 24, 2010 at 11:11 am

the problem is that the law states that with “reasonable suspicion” a cop can ask for papers. in arizona that essentially makes any one with brown skin a suspect. and if they forget there drivers license (you can say they never forgot their wallet at home) they can be arrested for suspicion of being illegal.


Abby April 26, 2010 at 10:56 am

I have a hispanic last name, I think I’ll stay out of AZ just to be safe.


Editordude April 26, 2010 at 11:16 am

Vigil to Stand in Solidarity With The People of Arizona.
San Diego Communities Express Solidarity With The People of Arizona & Denounce the New SB 1070 Law
When; April 26, 2010, 6:00 p.m. Monday
Where; The San Diego Federal Building, 880 Front Street, San Diego, California 92101 (Downtown San Diego)



annagrace April 27, 2010 at 1:18 pm

The Onion has provided a video on how Mexico is responding by building its own border wall.,14349/


john May 26, 2010 at 5:41 am

Ummm….. if a hispanic Arizona cop asks a hispanic for his ID.. is he racist profiling?
A better question, is are all of you people so inexperienced in this matter that you cannot differentiate between your fellow US citizens who happen to be latino and an illiegal alien from thousands of miles away? You think Arizona cops are so dumb they can’t? I’d say 9 out of 10 times I can from 50 ft away.
do you really think Arizona cops have so much time on their hands they want to keep mistakenly pulling over brown people unjustly just to get embarrassed at their error and let them go?
this is all common fricking sense people, but we know why it’s not suracing much. Extreme leftists are indulging that truly disturbing desire they have for guilt and self loathing and want the illegals here for global wealth distribution. Just as they don’t care that Kyoto made GG emissions WORSE as it brings up China and India’s standard of living.
Moderates are scared silly of being called racists and are letting the fringe steer the argument rather than inject reason.
I’ll show you a racist. One who thinks all illegals are latino and can’t get away from tying their skin coler together.


Frank Gormlie May 26, 2010 at 7:55 am

Hmmmm… was this comment made late at night? It got a little hazy near the end, just saying ….


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