Protest Stupid, Racist Laws

The U.S. Supreme Court and President Obama leave the undocumented and their allies no choice but to escalate civil disobedience.

All this makes it obvious that increased civil disobedience is necessary to get the point across to the Obama administration.

"There needs to be a show of force," says Soto. "Meaning we're not going to let [the government] operate the way [it] wants to operate. Whatever that means, whatever that looks like."

Isabel Garcia of the Tucson human-rights organization Coalición de Derechos Humanos agrees that Latinos and their supporters must ramp up public protests."At some point... there will have to be a call for mass disobedience," she notes.

Justin Renteria

Garcia fears that what she calls the "Tucson model" will become standard throughout the country. Tucson is 60 miles north of the border, within the Border Patrol's Constitution-free zone of operations. When Tucson cops run across someone they believe is undocumented, they call the Border Patrol, and the suspected illegal immigrants are carted away in trucks that look like dog kennels. "Here [in Tucson] you can be back across that border in an hour, and your family doesn't know anything," Garcia says. "It's really brutal."

If the Supreme Court rules as predicted, Arizona law enforcement will have an "absolute license" to practice racial profiling, she adds.

Pablo Alvarado, director of the Los Angeles-based National Day Laborer Organizing Network, says his immigrant-rights coalition will "push back, hard," if the Supreme Court upholds the "papers, please" portion of 1070. That push-back will take many forms: legally (Alvarado's group already is a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits against 1070); by supporting anti-1070 legislation, such as California's proposed TRUST Act; through political pressure to create new "sanctuary cities"; and by taking it to the streets. "We will create a [moral] dilemma for everyone, friends or foes," Alvarado promises of the coming wave of protest.

His organization plans a Freedom Ride-style bus tour through states with 1070-like laws. In the bus will be scores of undocumented families who will present themselves to local and federal authorities in different cities, daring law enforcement to arrest them.

Alvarado says the idea was inspired by students agitating for the DREAM Act nationwide. In Alabama, D.C., Florida, and Arizona, these activists, brought to this country when they were children, have declared themselves "undocumented and unafraid" while participating in acts of civil disobedience.

A demonstration by the Phoenix human-rights group Puente scheduled for June 23 will target Arpaio's infamous Tent City. Hundreds of Unitarian Universalists who will convene in Phoenix during that weekend for a national conference will participate in the protest.

The Unitarians and Puente teamed up in 2010 for a massive show of anti-1070 civil disobedience that rocked Phoenix.

Puente's Carlos Garcia cites the example set by the DREAM Act kids as one to emulate. "When undocumented people confront the system, it crumbles," he says. "And it becomes clear that they are more afraid of us than we are of them."

Given the status quo — a deadlocked Congress, an indifferent Supreme Court, and a president who's playing politics at the expense of his Hispanic constituency — what's needed this election year is the type of unrest this country hasn't seen since the 1970s, something on par with the 2011 student protests in Chile, where thousands of students took over Santiago to protest that country's unequal education system.

A refrain from the Shining Soul song "Papers" sums up the situation Latinos find themselves in — once again.

"Click-clack/Where your papers at?/We under attack/Fight back/It's war."

Stephen Lemons is a staff writer and columnist for Phoenix New Times.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
9 comments
scuncic
scuncic

First, State illegal immigration laws are NOT racist. They are the same as the Federal laws. Are they racist? If they are racist laws, does this mean we can not do anything about illegal immigration? OK. let's say they are racist laws. You tell me what you would do to get rid of the illegal aliens. Oh, one more thing. Are latinos the only illegal aliens in this country?

Drake Mallard
Drake Mallard

Sen. Rubio's grand father was an illegal immigrant. The Republicans not only don't have problem with that but call anyone who questions it names. If a Mexican was here illegally these same people would be screaming to kick him out of the country. Why two sets of rules?

PulseSamsara
PulseSamsara

Enforce the Law. Deport all illegals. National Employment Identification Card Now ! Imprison employers that illegally hire.

Action Now !

Ali Alexander
Ali Alexander

Illegal aliens who do the things the author suggests are acting as an invading army and should expect the appropriate treatment due to invaders. "Civil disobedience" is carried out by CITIZENS of a country.

Hispanic citizens of this country should really ask themselves why on earth they'd want to engage in these actions when the people advocating them don't have the guts to stand up for themselves in their own countries and make them into places they want to live. Mexico, for example, is a democracy, one of the richest countries in the world and home to the world's richest man. It's people also have a high tolerance for corruption. How is it Mexicans can't seem to clean up their own country? And bring their corruption with them to this one, then expect us to ignore it? Illegal immigration is part and parcel of corruption in this country.

Bbb
Bbb

let that garbage try and fight, they will end up back in that 2 bit shithole Mexico. The satin on the earth from where they cam

JOHN VALENTINE
JOHN VALENTINE

I DONT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ENFORCING LAWS,MY PROBLEM IS USING THE LAW SELECTIVE ONLY FOR LATINOS,IF YOU KICK ILLEGAL JEWS,LATINOS,ASIANS,AFRICANS,BRAZILIANS,CANADIANS,JAPANESE,CHINESE,AUSTRALIANS,GERMANS,ENGLISH.IRISH THAT IS A GOOD THING. BUT DONT USE THE LAW ONLY IN ONE GROUP AND SPARE OTHERS IN A DECENT SOCIETY THAT IS CALL RACISM.

PulseSamsara
PulseSamsara

It helps if you spell stain correctly. Satin ? Ewww... that's harsh !

RETUSAF
RETUSAF

Illegal aliens have a country, if they fought half as hard to clean up their country as they do trying to stay here, they wouldn't have to leave in the first place.

 
Miami Concert Tickets

Around The Web

Loading...