Tag Archives: SB 1070

Excerpt: The Village Voice On American Hypocrisy And Mexican Food

Illustration by Justin Renteria. Courtesy: Village Voice

A couple of years back, I put four white supremacists in prison. They had made the mistake of going into the Slater Slums of Huntington Beach, the city’s traditional barrio, to kill a random Mexican. They got as far as stabbing a man before the Slater Slums smackdown began: The community came out from their apartments and kicked the shit out of the KKKlowns—a beatdown of wonderful, ironic proportions. Not a single Mexican was arrested; the Candy-Ass Gang, as we called them, went away for years, convicted of hate crimes.I discovered that the crime was premeditated, announced on a white-power Internet radio show just weeks before. But I also discovered that the attackers loved Mexican food: a bunch of pictures a source forwarded to me showed the pendejos in various states of devouring burritos and tacos from Del Taco, the Mexican fast-food chain that’s known for being better than that Taco Bell mierda.

Race traitors? Hardly. Just following American policy: Hate the Mexican, love the Mexican food, assault the Mexican, get your ass handed to you by Mexicans. This has been America’s experience with Mexicans, a cycle of justice that must be remembered when considering what’s happening to this country right now in the wake of SB 1070 and its many copycats. Those Know-Nothing politicians, judges and voters who pass law after law trying to stop Mexicans from asserting themselves in this country are like King Canute commanding the tide to stop: The game is already over. We beat you with our Mexican food long ago, and we’re going to beat you on SB 1070 as well.

- From “Love The Beans, Hate The Beaner,” by Gustavo Arellano

The Legal Battle Begins Against SB 1070

By Special Correspondent Arturo R. García

aclu1Yesterday, the ACLU and a coalition of civil rights groups announced the filing of a federal suit contesting Arizona’s recently-enacted SB 1070 before it takes effect, calling it “the most extreme and dangerous of all the recent local and state laws purporting to deal with immigration issues.”

“It will cause discrimination, hostility and suspicion based on color, accent and appearance,” said Lucas Guttentag, director of the ACLU’s Immigrant Law Project. “This law turns ‘Show Me Your Papers’ Into the Arizona state motto.”

The 14 plaintiff organizations named in the suit, filed in U.S. District Court, represent a variety of POC groups: MALDEF, National Immigration Law Center, the NAACP, National Day Laborer Organizing Network and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center.

Also represented are 10 individual plaintiffs., including Jim Shee, an American citizen who has been pulled over twice since SB 1070 was signed, and New Mexico resident Jesus Cuahtemoc Villa, Jesus Cuahtemoc Villa, who attends Arizona State University and alleges he could be arrested under the statute because the law only recognizes Arizona-issued identification.

Shee’s case seems to parallel the arrest of an Arizona truck driver who was arrested last week despite providing authorities with both a commercial driver’s license and a Social Security card, and incarcerated until his wife was able to provide his birth certificate.

Linton Joaquin, who serves as NILC’s General Counsel, said the law’s inevitable result will be less safety for everyone in Arizona.

“From beginning to end, SB 1070 is a misguided effort to legislate immigration control,” Joaquin said. Continue reading

On SB 1070 And What Happens When “Brown” Means “Illegal”

by Guest Contributor Jen, originally published at Disgrasian

What does an illegal immigrant look like?


From the Young Conservatives of Texas’ “Capture an Illegal Immigrant Day” in 2005

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who just signed SB 1070 into law last Friday–which allows law enforcement to stop and demand ID of anyone they have “reasonable suspicion” is illegal–has no idea.

And yet, isn’t that the premise of this law? That you have to know what “illegal” looks like? Provision 1 of SB 1070 requires:

…a reasonable attempt to be made to determine the immigration status of a person during any legitimate contact made by an official or agency of the state or a county, city, town or political subdivision (political subdivision) if reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S.

Now, “reasonable suspicion” is a legal standard that’s been around for over 40 years. In 1968, the Supreme Court ruled that a stop by law enforcement on the grounds of reasonable suspicion was legal if it met the following criteria:

…when a person possesses many unusual items which would be useful in a crime like a wire hanger and is looking into car windows at 2am, when a person matches a description of a suspect given by another police officer over department radio, or when a person runs away at the sight of police officers who are at common law right of inquiry (founded suspicion). However, reasonable suspicion may not apply merely because a person refuses to answer questions, declines to allow a voluntary search, or is of a suspected race or ethnicity. (Wikipedia)

But unless Arizona law enforcement actually catches someone in the act of crossing the border illegally, there’s no way to really establish reasonable suspicion except by race or ethnicity, which is why SB 1070 is being referred to by some as the “Breathing While Brown” law.

What I find myself wondering though is: How Brown? SB 1070 is racism, to be sure, but is it colorism, too? I can’t help thinking that the browner you are in Arizona, the more “suspicious” you’ll seem. Already, lighter-skinned Latinos in the U.S. make $5,000 more on average than darker-skinned Latinos. And it’s well-documented that dark-skinned African-Americans receive longer prison sentences than their light-skinned peers (not to mention whites). There are examples the world over–in Asia, the Middle East, Brazil–of color prejudice, where light skin is preferred, both interracially and intraracially, and where it equates to improved social standing, economic status, and marriage prospects.

Does this mean that more Hispanics and Latinos in the U.S. will be reaching for the Sammy Sosa-lightening cream in SB 1070’s wake? It appears it’s already happening. From the NY Times op-ed piece, “Shades of Prejudice,” published in January after Harry Reid’s comments surfaced about Obama being an ideal political candidate because he was “light-skinned”:

The Harvard neuroscientist Allen Counter has found that in Arizona, California and Texas, hundreds of Mexican-American women have suffered mercury poisoning as a result of the use of skin-whitening creams.

(Note that Dr. Counter’s findings were clustered in Arizona, California, and Texas, all border states.)

And in a 2003 story for the Boston Globe, “Whitening skin can be deadly,” Dr. Counter wrote of these same women:

Apparently, the patients reporting to clinics with mercury-induced disease believe that the health risks associated with bleaching their skins are outweighed by the rewarding sociocultural return.

With “brown” now equating to “illegal,” this may be truer than we’d like to think.

[Fact Sheet for SB 1070]
[NY Times: Shades of Prejudice]

Arizona Legalizes Racial Profiling, Sparks National Conversation on Immigration Law and Reform

by Latoya Peterson

Last week, before bill SB 1070 was signed into law in Arizona, Mario Solis-Marich wrote:

The bill sitting lightly on her desk and heavily on her mind is SB 1070. The bill would require that police officers ask for proof of citizenship should they suspect a person of being undocumented. In a single stroke of her pen Governor Brewer can set back her party even deeper into a demographic hole, transform her state into a national social pariah, and downgrade her political future to that of a speaker on the circuit forged by Tom Tancredo and Lou Dobbs. Is Brewer Tom Tancredo or is she Ronald Reagan? This week we shall find out.

Considering the efforts of some in the GOP to distance themselves from the anti-immigrant rhetoric that has found the party building the same reputation among Latino voters that it holds with African American voters, the political impact of Jan Brewer signing the 1070 cannot be overstated. Arizona’s Latino GOPers have openly promised rebellion and primary chaos if the bill is signed. Latino Independents and Republicans have been a critical ingredient for the success of John McCain and other Republicans in Arizona during general election cycles.

The state will suffer from a national and international backlash should Brewer sign the bill. The US census will probably put the US Latino population at 50 million. Add other ethnic minorities into the mix and it will not be hard to stage a successful boycott of the state, by simply explaining to Americans that their family vacation can be quite uncomfortable, in a state that requires anybody that looks like they may be undocumented to carry their birth certificates with them at all times.

After Brewer signed the bill, forcing all citizens to carry immigration papers/state identification cards and authorizing the police force to detain anyone suspected of being here without the proper documentation, the backlash was swift.  Everyone from President Obama to a vigilante group in Arizona expressed disapproval – the latter smeared the windows of the state capitol building with refried beans in the shape of swastikas.  I didn’t initially believe this report, but Towleroad had the video:

Obama, for his part, immediately made a statement against the bill.  The New York Times reports:

Speaking at a naturalization ceremony for 24 active-duty service members in the Rose Garden, he called for a federal overhaul of immigration laws, which Congressional leaders signaled they were preparing to take up soon, to avoid “irresponsibility by others.”

The Arizona law, he added, threatened “to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”

Steven Colbert made the bill a part of his “The Word” segment:

The Colbert ReportMon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
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I suppose you have to laugh, to keep from crying.

(Image Credit: New York Times)