Bordering On Revolution

[Crossing the Line] A hostile Supreme Court. A feckless Obama administration. America's war on Mexicans has gone too far

According to Alonzo's research, things were even worse in the East. "The following year, in North Carolina," she wrote, "farm officials set up a statewide hot line to fill crop and livestock jobs. Two calls were received."

Things have only gotten worse with anti-immigrant legislation. In 2007, more than 90,000 migrants fled Oklahoma, causing a loss of $1.9 billion to the state's economy. Since the passage of SB 1070, Arizona has shed 200,000 migrants, who have fled to friendlier states.

Agriculture is the largest sector in Georgia's economy, yet lawmakers passed stiff anti-immigrant legislation projected to cost the state $391 million in lost crops. The governor suggested farmers hire ex-cons to work the fields; the ex-cons refused. More than 70 percent of Georgia's restaurants had labor shortages and lost, on average, $21,000 per eating establishment.

If Luche Libre wrestlers are against SB 1070, so should you be!
William Westfall
If Luche Libre wrestlers are against SB 1070, so should you be!

Last year, Alabama one-upped Arizona and passed a tougher, meaner anti-immigrant measure.

Research at the University of Alabama said the state could lose up to $10.8 billion and 140,000 jobs. The governor demanded the statehouse reconsider. Alabama legislators responded by making the law tougher.

* * *

Why, in the middle of a recession, would statehouses vote to cripple their economies by driving Mexicans to flee?

Why, with Obama deporting more Latinos than at any time in the nation's history, would legislators demand local cops inspect citizenship papers?

The inescapable answer: race!

The guiding proponent of these statutes is Kris W. Kobach, who helped to author SB 1070.

At the time, Kobach was senior counsel to the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

In 1986, John Tanton, FAIR's founder wrote, "As whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go quietly into the night? Or will there be an explosion?"

Not surprisingly, the Southern Poverty Law Center called FAIR a racially driven organization.

Alabama's copycat legislation was penned by state Senator Scott Beason, who has called blacks "aborigines" and declared that when it came to immigration, folks ought to "empty the clip."

In Arizona, the bill drafted by Kobach was sponsored by then-state Senator Russell Pearce.

In 2006, Pearce forwarded to his followers a screed he'd read titled "Who Rules America." The essay took exception to race mixing and a "world in which every voice proclaims the equality of races, the inerrant nature of the Jewish 'Holocaust' tale, the wickedness of attempting to halt the flood of non-white aliens pouring across our borders."

The essay, which originated from a neo-Nazi newsletter, went on to ask, "And who are these all-powerful masters of the media?"

The answer was obvious: "As we shall see, to a very large extent, they are Jews."

Eerily, the message Pearce forwarded to political supporters in 2006 foreshadowed coming bloodshed: "On the other hand, a white racist—that is, any racially conscious white person who looks askance at miscegenation or at the rapidly darkening racial situation in America—is portrayed, at best, as a despicable bigot who is reviled by the other characters or, at worst, as a dangerous psychopath who is fascinated by firearms and is a menace to all law-abiding citizens."

Last month, Pearce acolyte J.T. Ready slaughtered his girlfriend, her daughter and boyfriend, and a 16-month-old infant before turning the gun on himself. Ready was a neo-Nazi who was photographed at white-supremacist rallies in full National Socialist regalia. Following the passage of SB 1070, Ready formed an armed militia that hunted Mexicans in southern Arizona.

After the multiple homicides, Pearce tried to distance himself from Ready. This sleight of hand was complicated for Pearce: He'd endorsed Ready's failed run for the Mesa (Arizona) City Council and, in fact, had ordained Ready into the priesthood of the Mormon faith and attended his baptism.

These, then, are the miscreants who have stirred this nation's darkest prejudices.

None of this was grist in the Supreme Court. The Obama administration opted to argue only the narrowest of issues: state immigration laws trampled federal domain. With an election looming, the president chose to not confront nativist anxiety.

Latino groups and civil-rights organizations have filed lawsuits that challenge what Obama ducked. These suits recount what happens on American streets when brown people are detained, when Mexicans and Central Americans are crowded into detention centers, when families are ripped apart.

When law enforcement cordons off brown communities, the law, as applied, is apartheid.

Perhaps you can understand, after a wave of hateful legislation and a galling discussion by justices and attorneys in the country's highest court, that there are those not content with jurisprudence.

You see, all this legal eloquence comes after generations of families picked crops on their way to citizenship, only to encounter lawyers and lawmakers who are worse than any field boss.

Alonzo's father crossed the border from Mexico. His family worked in the cotton fields. They earned less, picked more and kept their mouths shut. Kids in school were slapped if they were overheard speaking Spanish.

"They mistreated the Mexicans the worst in El Mirage," says Alonzo. "Mexicans went straight to jail or were roughed up for minor offenses.

"They were made to feel like worthless people," she recalls. "Many Mexicans instilled in their children the importance of speaking only English. Not in my house. For my father, the treatment created a lot of resentment toward whites. We weren't allowed to speak English at home for some time. We would get in trouble if he knew we were mixing with the Anglos."

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9 comments
Bill
Bill

"What SB1070 does is criminalize the undocumented." Ah... that would be incorrect. SB1070 does no such thing. The act of crossing the border and staying in this country in violation of US law is what criminalizes the "undocumented". Changing the name from illegals to undocumented fools no one by yourselves. I look forward to the day when we set aside the rule of law regarding robbing (I mean, borrowing without permission) banks - after all, I'm just trying to make a better life for me and my family.

Eddie Willers
Eddie Willers

Of course, no one mentions that "undocumented migrants", who cross the Mexican-US border at anything other than an officially recognised crossing, are also breaking the MEXICAN law which requires all citizens and non-resident immigrants of the Mexican Republic to file an 'FME' (Forma Migratoria Estadistica) when leaving the country.

Gusano Amarillo
Gusano Amarillo

Justice Scalia, don't you know that SB 1070 was supposed to have been modified (HB 2162) to provide that police may only investigate immigration status incident to a "lawful stop, detention, or arrest." Where in the fuck did you, Antonin, get the idea that the legal arguments should involve any discussion about the legitimacy of HARASSING illegals/undocumented? "'But if, in fact, somebody who does not belong in this country is in Arizona, Arizona has no power?" asked the incredulous Scalia. 'Are you objecting to harassing the—the people who have no business being here? Surely, you're not concerned about harassing them?'" OK, Justice Scalia, you seem to like "slippery slope" arguments, especially when they suit your agenda (see, e.g., http://josephineensign.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/the-broccoli-possibility/) Here's one for you, Antonin. If we're not to be "concerned about harassing" the "people who have no business being here," then where do you, Mr. Justice, draw the line at "harassment"? Verbal abuse? Police misconduct? Sexual assault? Murder? Hey, they have "no business being here," so does that give Arizona law enforcement a free pass to beat a defenseless migrant worker to death like the miscreants on the Fullerton Police Department did with Kelly Thomas? What if the authorities are, in fact, WRONG about who "has no business being here"? Oh, that's right, the police NEVER gets it wrong: http://www.ocweekly.com/2012-05-31/news/moxley-confidential-nancy-butano-charles-henry-stumph-cory-haruo-martino/ Justice Scalia's ridiculous questioning during oral argument is disturbing, no matter what one's position might be on SB 1070, or about the concern that upholding the law will result in legalized racial profiling and discrimination against people of Mexican or Latino heritage.

James Crowley
James Crowley

Hasn't gone far enough. We need to find every illegal mexican, chinaman, and european (not a racist) and send them on a one way trip to mexico city. Drop them out of the plane with parachutes and give the mexicans a taste of their own medicine. See how they like the riff raff of the world coming to their country. Build a wall and mine the area and give troops brought home from the middle east shoot on sight orders. That's what needs to be done.

K martin
K martin

"Undocumented"? Don't you mean somebody that is here without the proper legal documents, as in they entered the country ILLEGALLY? By entering the country illegally, they are breaking the law, hence they are CRIMINALS. Quit playing the word game and admit that they are indeed here illegally and are therefore criminals. This applies to all illegal aliens, not just those from our neighbors to the south. I don't give a shit what color you are, but I do care if you are breaking the laws of our country, no matter how inconvenient they may seem to you. Furthermore, the only people breaking up families are the parents who are here illegally that decide not to take their children with them if they get caught for breaking the law and are deported. That is their choice, not the government's. Quit with the race baiting--you're as bad as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

BajaRat
BajaRat

Mexicans aren't the only illegals, pendejo.... just the majority.

Randy L
Randy L

The same racist article in another rag. Crawl back in you hole you racist. Illegal is a class of people, and illegal mexicans fall into that class. Typical race baiting from a holes.

 
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