Governer Jan Brewer’s immigration law SB 1070 will go into effect in 90 days unless the federal government and concerned citizens intervene and challenge this bullshit attempt to scapegoat immigrants and deny them opportunity for a better life. This new legislation in Arizona requires law enforcement officers to stop everyone who they believe have “reasonable suspicion” of being undocumented immigrants and arrest them if they fail to provide papers. The bill does not prohibit police from relying on race or ethnicity when deciding who to question and I highly doubt Canadian or European immigrants will be detained and asked to show papers.
Undocumented immigrants in Arizona will now face six months in jail and a $500 fine for the first offense and an additional $1,000 fine for the second offense, in which the charge then becomes a felony. I understand people are concerned with the dangers associated with the wave of drug cartel crimes but this bill does nothing to address human smuggling, the drug cartels, or arms smuggling, all issues that lie on both sides of the border. Migration is a social and economic issue that has been accelerated by imperialistic policies of the U.S. NAFTA, signed by President Clinton in ’93 and developed and negotiated by George Bush Sr., enabled many big corporations in the US and Canada to profit in Mexico and displaced millions of workers. NAFTA’s failed promise to provide opportunities to the majority of Mexicanos or to lessen the income disparity between Mexico and the United States caused a great wave of migration in order to survive.
California Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter spoke to his conservative base this past weekend and called the law “a fantastic starting point” and said he would even support the deportation of children born in the U.S. to “illegal” immigrants. Deportation of American citizens and children is next on the agenda, are you fucking kidding me! It is appalling to hear such ignorance from the mouths of elected officials who ignore the fact that these eurocentric ideals are as foreign as their ancestors.
When social issues need to be addressed you can always count on the likes of Public Enemy to step up and empower citizens to take action. Earlier this week Chuck D and Gaye Theresa Johnson wrote a piece via the Huffington Post encouraging entertainers to boycott Arizona.
“The Arizona immigration bill — which Governor Jan Brewer has decided to sign into law — is racist, deceitful, and reflects some of the most mean-spirited politics against immigrants that the country has ever seen. The power that this law gives to police to detain people that they suspect to be undocumented brings racial profiling to a new low. Brewer’s actions and those of Joe Arpaio, Russell Pearce, the Arizona State Senate are despicable, inexcusable, and endorse the all-out hate campaign that Joe Arpaio, Russell Pearce, and others have perpetrated upon immigrants for years. The people of Arizona who voted for this bill, as well as those who crafted it, demonstrate no regard for the humanity or contributions of Latino people. And for all of those who have chosen not to speak up, shame on you for silently endorsing this legislated hate.
In 1991 Public Enemy wrote a song criticizing Arizona officials (including John McCain and Fife Symington) for rejecting the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The same politics written about in “By the Time I Get to Arizona” are alive and well in Arizona today, but this time the target is Brown people.
These actions must stop. We are issuing a call to action, urging fellow musicians, artists, athletes, performers, academics and production companies to refuse to work in Arizona until officials not only overturn this bill, but recognize the human rights of immigrants. This should include the NBA playoffs, revisiting the actions of the NFL in 1993, when they moved the Superbowl to Pasadena in protest against Arizona’s refusal to recognize Dr. King. We all need to speak up in defense of our brothers and sisters being victimized in Arizona, because things are only getting worse. What they’re doing to immigrants is appalling, but it will be even more damning if we remain silent.”
Artwork source: Obey