It's being suggested that conventioneers, entertainers, even spring training for major league baseball boycott Arizona because of the unprecedented immigration law that just passed. Given the number of Latino players from Mexico, South America, Puerto Rico, etc., it should be interesting next spring, particularly if any of them are stopped at random. Any thoughts from writers? Should we avoid events, signings, etc., in Arizona as a protest? I recently blogged my thoughts about the law at: http://open.salon.com/blog/christopher_valen
If the Arizona law was expressed stated in our Constitution, I'd feel differently; it's not. American citizens have never had to carry identification with them to prove who they are, except for now, in Arizona. Unless you believe Arizona cops will just intuitively know who are citizens and not request their papers.)
If Arizona wants to crack down on illegals AND stay true to the spirit of the Fourth Amendment, let them go after some of the employers in the state who provide the jobs the illegals cross the border for.
I think change will happen through economic sanctions like it did In 1987 when Arizona governor Evan Mecham rescinded MLK Day because he was openly opposed to such a holiday. “I guess King did a lot for the colored people, but I don’t think he deserves a national holiday,” he remarked.
The public went on to vote against a holiday in honor of King. Then in 1991 the NFL moved 1993 Super Bowl XXVII site from Phoenix to Pasadena. Arizona missed out on a boat load of state revenue that year.
Oddly enough Arizona citizens voted to enact MLK Day. The Super Bowl was held in Tempe in 1996. In 2000 South Carolina was the last state to make the King Holiday a paid one for all state employees. It’ll be interesting to see how this turns out.
I could be wrong, John, but if the law isn't overturned, I'd be very surprised if Boucheron or any other major literary or art's organization schedules an event in Arizona. I suspect the all-star baseball game might be changed and even spring training may be affected as well. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was quoted in the paper the other day saying he would not attend the all-star game if it's in Arizona. I think a majority of the Latino ballplayers feel the same. Although in Ozzie's case, if the Sox don't start winning, he may not have to worry about playing ball in Arizona because he'll be out of a job. Too bad. I like Ozzie 'cause he always says what's on his mind.
Yes, Mike, I do know, but Mexico is not the only country that has laws like that. I know from experience how little the average American citizen knows about anything foreign in laws or rules, never bothers to learn, yet goes off assuming they can do anything they want and the constitution will protect them.
Christopher your '12 year old daughter' scenerio seems like a justification of ten years of an illegal act that for some reason the government should be blamed for. The parents are guilty of the illegal act and what has played out for the negligence of their responsibilites is the consequenses of their actions. And your example has occurred several times.
And you don't have to be illegal to refuse to talk with the police even when it will benefit you.
I believe the naive days for Americans is coming to an end, and frankly the need to carry identification should be something we all should feel an obligation to do. A simple support for the law in Arizona (and all laws eventually need tweeking) would be to always carry ID. I always have my driver's licence, and my state issues an ID card for non-drivers that looks exactly the same. I'm here to tell you, I would never even go into Canada without my passport.
I wish some Europeans or Australians would weigh in on this carrying ID thing.
Dan with, "The racist component being the the overwhelming reaction to it" you’ve just laid out in detail a opinion that those of us living just north of the Tijuana border can understand and identify with completely. Living close to the border we experience life differently on a regular basis than people in other states. The San Diego/Mexico border is the busiest and other parts of the country may not be affected by the influx of drugs, robbery and unreported crimes against illegal immigrant victims. Leaving our borders unprotected for anyone to enter is would be a disaster. Arizona does need to protect herself, but not by being an instrument of terror.
Hmmm. What powerful vested interests would have a stake in keeping Mexican workers poor, undocumented and desperate? Hmmmmm.... What powerful vested interests would have a stake in keeping the Mexican government weak, corrupt and ineffectual? Dang, I'm totally stumped.
It's also the ag business in U.S., Dan. And the construction industry. And the food processing industry, and the restaurant and hotel industries, and light manufacturing, and landscaping, and any other sector of the economy in the SW that requires low cost, low-to-mid skill labor. The people who run those industries are betting billions of dollars that a steady stream of cheap, easily exploited workers will keep flooding into the country year after year, keeping overhead down and profits high. If the undocumented workers go away, it's a catastrophe for them--they don't want to solve or even seriously address the issue, and they're willing to spend big bucks to make sure that doesn't happen. At the same time, they don't want undocumented workers getting too many rights in the US; nobody's going to report your ass to OSHA or turn you in for labor law violations if doing so will get them deported. The people who thrive on cheap labor from undocumented workers want to keep the flow coming in, and at the same time keep those workers feeling insecure and powerless. Those are the guys that are helped by Arizona's racist (and it is racist) immigration law--it will do exactly nothing to keep undocumented workers out of Arizona, as long as jobs there are plentiful.
Dan--it doesn't seem racist, it is racist. The law targets a specific ethnicity, and mandates racial profiling of persons of that ethnicity--there aren't a lot of European illegal immigrants in Arizona, I'm guessing. Any person detained by police who can't verify his legal immigration status could be jailed and/or deported--including U.S. citizens, both naturalized and natural born. I don't know about you, but I could not easily verify my citizenship on demand--I don't have a valid passport, and I'm not sure where my birth certificate is (it's around here somewhere, though, I think). My Wisconsin driver's license says nothing about my immigration status. The fact that I'm an anglo, though, means that it's highly unlikely that anybody's going to ask me, even in crazy-ass Arizona. Not so if I was Latino--the police could demand that I verify my status at any time, whether I was doing anything illegal or not. I'm no legal scholar, but that sure sounds like a clear-cut violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which says "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Note that it does not say "to any white person." It just says person--and if you read the whole amendment it makes it pretty clear that it's not just talking about citizens. You can't treat one ethnicity or class of people differently under the law than any other ethnicity or class. The fact that some people want to do exactly that does kind of make them racist, yes.
Right on Johnny. Those along the northern border and its reasonable attitudes have no concept of what those living along the southern border go through.
And Dan, please enough already about that hippy dippy Big Brother junk.
BB has been snoring away so long that's why we have this mess. Not only immigration and illegal aliens sucking dry resources, but the whole big finance institution thing feeling 'betting' against its country and citizens is a reasonable undertaking for high profits.
I'm stopping here to ask what any of this has to do with the writing crime and mysteries?
My own odd POV, says it is all POV and how differently people look at things. The adamancy of anyone thinking their's is the one and only and righteous should be seen as nutso by those of us who want to create individual and realistic characters.
I've done a little research on this Arizona situation and here's what I've learned.
If you are a legal immigrant, you are required by federal law to carry your green card with you at all times, just in case. This law goes back decades and it doesn't matter if you're from Mexico, or England.
In Arizona, under this law, if a cop has a reason to stop you, like a traffic violation, or an arrest, federal law asks the cops to ask immigrants, legal or otherwise about their papers. Most cities though passed laws in the 90s barring local police from doing anything to help federal immigration authorities, and the federal government gave up on enforcing this rule. The Arizona law is literally the bare minimum immigration enforcement the state can do under existing laws.
If you are a Guatemalan, El Salvadoran, or Costa Rican caught passing through Mexico to the USA without permission, you are prone to be assaulted, robbed, raped, and even killed by the Mexican police without any legal recourse.
The Mexican government actively promotes illegal immigration because the USA acts as a safety valve for their own unhappy citizens and brings in billions of dollars in remittance payments by immigrants to their relatives in the old country. As long as they can send off their excess population into the states, and get money coming in the powers that be in Mexico don't have to do anything about the corruption, incompetence, and violence that's currently making the country uninhabitable.
The legal immigration system in the USA is a bureaucratic disaster that can take years for law abiding tax-paying wannabe citizens to wade through. This means that skilled tradespeople, professionals, and entrepreneurs who want to be Americans have to struggle without a chance at any amnesty.
The current programs keeping immigrants, legal and illegal, from learning English and becoming full participants in the national fabric, is creating a perpetual serf-like underclass suppressing wages at the bottom of the economic ladder who don't have health insurance, pay no taxes to support the programs that support them, and are prone to victimization and exploitation by criminal gangs.
Currently Phoenix Arizona is the kidnapping capital of North America, and most of those kidnappings are being done by gangs from Mexico, who went into the USA illegally. The imported drug trade isn't big enough anymore to support the top gangsters in Mexico, so they're branching out and into the USA, into people smuggling, and then exploiting those same people once in America. Hundreds of thousands of these people, both victims and victimizers are in Arizona illegally.
So it's a much more complicated issue than the usual "Arizona is evil" arguments.