Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Arizona risks economy with anti-immigrant crusade
TUCSON -- It's a new year, but Arizona is still swiftly backsliding on fair treatment for undocumented workers. Not since the days of the MLK holiday denial has Arizona been so shamefully associated with boneheaded racism.
Our new 'get tough' employer sanctions law takes effect today. I agree with business and human rights advocates who are warning this law will only hurt the economy and the most vulnerable people in Arizona.
This bad law will serve as an attack platform for immigrant scapegoating politicians like Joe Arpaio, Russell Pearce and Andrew Thomas in Phoenix and Maricopa County.
Meanwhile, crops in Yuma County may rot in the field as there are not enough workers to harvest them. How is that good for Arizona or the USA?
Sadly, it appears Governor Napolitano and AG Terry Goddard are also firmly seated on the runaway anti-immigrant train. I understand Janet may be pushing the issue to show the harsh consequences, but this morning one of her top staffers was on the radio talking about the new law and 'illegal aliens'. He sounded kinda like Randy Graf.
Note to Govs. office: no human being is 'illegal', and 'aliens' come from space, not Mexico.
The Governor should have vetoed it, and smart leaders in the Legislature should look hard at trying to neutralize or repeal the bad law.
In Pima County, many are troubled by continued actions by some Tucson Police officers to racially profile immigrants and call in the US Border Patrol to have them deported, as recently happened with a pregnant woman in labor.
Chief Miranda's TPD already has deep trust problems across much of the poorer parts of the city, and this racial profiling and deportation partnership with the Bush/Cheney DHS is making it even worse. Good luck fighting violent crime when much of the city fears cops and won't talk to them with info or as witnesses.
Most people in Arizona care about fairness and humane treatment for all, but we are not well represented in government, and once again in the eyes of the nation and world Arizonans look like mean bigoted hicks.
2008 is time to rise up with compassion against immigrant bashing and put a stop to it with humane solutions.
When I am elected to the State House, I will fight for human rights for all in our state, and work to end these unwise attacks on our economy and the most at-risk people.
Arizona should have learned its lesson about racism with the MLK holiday debacle, but sadly it appears we have not.