Showing posts with label latino news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label latino news. Show all posts

Jun 11, 2014

The Lesson for GOP: Open Season on Immigrants

Update II: Buses carrying migrant families were rerouted to a U.S.-Mexican border station after being blocked by protesters waving American flags in a suburban Southern California city Tuesday.

Protesters, some yelling, "They're not born here!" and "Go back to Mexico!" stood in the street, blocking the buses as they were headed to the suburban border patrol station in Murrieta.

Update: For a glimpse into the racial politics of the Republican Party, see The Unelectable Whiteness of Scott Walker: A journey through the poisonous, racially divided world that produced a Republican star; by Alec MacGillis.

The defeat of House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor is being characterized as everything from the "Fall of an Apparatchik" (Krugman) to a signal that House Republicans will become even more unproductive and destructive than usual,(Cillizza) engendering a virtual cessation of House legislative activity.

What is omitted is the defeat of the massively outspent Cantor will result in a surge of anti-immigrant rhetoric from the White Party with the predictable consequence of open and deadly attacks on perceived immigrants who don't belong in 'our' country.

Republican forbearance on going too far in bashing darkly complected humans is gone.

Amy Goodman reports the U.S. has revived the federal Domestic Terror Unit shelved after 9/11 in the wake of the killing of two Nevada police officers by white supremacists.

Federal action is called for, because we are going to need it as the forces of white hate are loosed upon a population already targeted by the rightwing.

Someone perceived as a Latino will soon be murdered; you can count on it.

Jan 30, 2013

At the National Review, Republicans shoot down immigration reform

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on immigration
at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 29, 2013.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Update: On Morning Joe, Joe and the GOP's Dan Senor express dismay at the tone-deaf John McCain and the National Review, agreeing these idiots are bringing back the "47 percent rhetoric" that worked so well for the White Party in 2012.

Not even pretending not to be racist.

Rich Lowry and and the editors at the National Review are advocating defeat of President Obama's Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

I repeat here: The bigots in the Tea and Grand Ole Parties will kill this immigration initiative, blaming President Obama and play to the white parties' racist base.

Write the National Review editors:

And, if we are to take Hispanics at their word, conservative attitudes toward illegal immigration are a minor reason for their voting preferences. While many are in business for themselves, they express hostile attitudes toward free enterprise in polls. They are disproportionately low-income and disproportionately likely to receive some form of government support. More than half of Hispanic births are out of wedlock. Take away the Spanish surname and Latino voters look a great deal like many other Democratic constituencies. Low-income households headed by single mothers and dependent upon some form of welfare are not looking for an excuse to join forces with Paul Ryan and Pat Toomey. Given the growing size of the Hispanic vote, it would help Republicans significantly to lose it by smaller margins than they have recently. But the idea that an amnesty is going to put Latinos squarely in the GOP tent is a fantasy.

Jan 29, 2013

Updated—President Treating Latinos as Human; Will GOP Racists Follow Is Open Question

Racist business cards left at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Library event in 2009
- Racism lives on and on
Updates: "President Obama on Tuesday put the weight of his administration behind efforts to pass legislation allowing many of the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants to earn citizenship, seeking to build on a rapidly shifting political consensus around the issue." (Goldfarb. Post)

"Immigration remains tough, not doomed." (Bernstein. Post)

It is doomed. And there is no political consensus among the major political parties.

Bipartisan immigration reform is about as likely as a two-state solution in the Middle East.

The racists in the Tea and Grand Ole Parties will kill this immigration initiative, blaming President Obama and playing to the white parties' racist base.

But this is a political winner for President Obama. Obama retains options as an end game—Reagan-like amnesty as granted in 1986.

Ask yourself. Do you believe Republicans really want millions more minority voters in highly populated Latino states such as Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and America's 'urban areas'?

It's no longer acceptable to call Latinos, "spics," it remains in fashion in the southern states to refer to these human beings as "border bonnies," "cockroaches," "field rats" and "mexcrement."
"And when each new wave of immigrants arrived, they faced resistance from those who were already here.  They faced hardship.  They faced racism.  They faced ridicule.  But over time, as they went about their daily lives, as they earned a living, as they raised a family, as they built a community, as their kids went to school here, they did their part to build a nation."

So said President Obama advocating Comprehensive Immigration Reform in an inspiring address today.

Republicans suddenly appear to be not too far behind the president, at least in rhetoric on this issue.

This represents a sea change for the apparatchiks of the White Party, aka the Tea Party and its sick cousin, the Republican Party.

"There has always been anti-Mexican prejudice in America but it has gained a profoundly new intensity and self-confident sense of official support and sanction ever since the Republican-sponsored state laws were passed. This new level of grass-roots harassment and persecution of Latinos did not begin at the lower orders of society—and then filter upward. Quite the contrary, it was designed at the highest levels of Republican state government and the Republican policy infrastructure and then filtered its way down. In their own minds the grass-roots harassers no longer feel like fringe 'extremists.' They see themselves as supporting a policy designed and endorsed by the highest Republican officials in their state," writes James Vega just last year as the highest Republican officials and presidential aspirants did their worst to show who was the most hostile to Latinos.

Republicans remain the Party of racism and ignorance. Plain and simple.

I predict they will find some way of torpedoing immigration reform, and its cynical efforts at winning the hearts and minds will fail.

They just can't help themselves.

Reads a Democratic e-mail today: "Tea Party Republicans will do everything possible to obstruct immigration reform. Stand behind President Obama right away: Support comprehensive immigration reform and demand cooperation from Tea Party Republicans."

Aug 29, 2012

James Vega slams racists in southern US

Update: Two Florida Republicans Want Law Allowing Gun Owners to Shoot 'Illegal' Voters

James Vega reports on the disturbing trend of American white supremacist citizen enforcers who are one small step away from emblazoning their charges with brown shirts in the tradition of the NAZI sturmabteilung (SA).

"There has always been anti-Mexican prejudice in America but it has gained a profoundly new intensity and self-confident sense of official support and sanction ever since the Republican-sponsored state laws were passed. This new level of grass-roots harassment and persecution of Latinos did not begin at the lower orders of society—and then filter upward. Quite the contrary, it was designed at the highest levels of Republican state government and the Republican policy infrastructure and then filtered its way down. In their own minds the grass-roots harassers no longer feel like fringe 'extremists.' They see themselves as supporting a policy designed and endorsed by the highest Republican officials in their state," writes Vega.

Noting the utter lack of dissent in the GOP to self-consciously racist citizen councils, there is a lesson Vega does not touch upon: Never take shit from a racist.

By James Vega

"To get a flavor of what people like my (Latino) brother in law now increasingly encounter from self-appointed citizen enforcers of the (GOP's) 'make their lives miserable' policy, take a look at some of the terms they use for Mexicans":
  • border bunnies
  • cockroaches
  • crimigrants
  • field rats
  • gravel-bellies
  • greasers
  • latrinos
  • mexcrement
  • mexicoons
  • roaches
  • Spicannies
  • taco-monkeys

Apr 25, 2012

Papers, please, Arizona's SB 1070, Heard by U.S. Supreme Court

Arizona Immigration Law Threatens
Civil Rights and Public Safety,
say just about everyone
except Republicans, for real

The U.S. Supreme Court took up a major civil rights case today hearing arguments on a controversial Arizona law that targets illegal immigrants and civil rights.

Gov. Jan Brewer (R) wannabes have taken over Arizona as Arizona has apparently banned reason and justice along with ethnic studies and the First and Fourth Amendment.

By Nina Totenberg

As with last month's test of the Obama health care overhaul, the case pits the federal government's assertion of power against some states, and with some exceptions, it pits Democrats against Republicans.

The Arizona law before the court, known as SB 1070, has become a model for other states, particularly those dominated by Republicans. ... "Governor Brewer and the Arizona legislature have set Arizona apart in their willingness to sacrifice our liberties and the economy of this state," said Alessandra Soler Meetze, Executive Director of the ACLU of Arizona. "By signing this bill into law, Brewer has just authorized violating the rights of millions of people living and working here. She has just given every police agency in Arizona a mandate to harass anyone who looks or sounds foreign, while doing nothing to address the real problems we're facing." (ACLU)

In Arizona v. U.S.(11-182), liberty is truly at stake, the idea that we can walk around freely without a racist Arizona cop demanding: 'Your papers, please!' Though the case is one of federal law precluding state law; in this case fundamental civil rights are at the center of the question.

Lyle Denniston reports for SCOTUS Blog: Argument recap: A choice between radical and reasonable?
With Justice Antonin Scalia pushing the radical idea that the Constitution gives states clear authority to close their borders entirely to immigrants without a legal right to be in the U.S., seven other Justices on Wednesday went looking for a more reasonable way to judge states’ power in the immigration field. If the Court accepts the word of Arizona’s lawyer that the state is seeking only very limited authority, the state has a real chance to begin enforcing key parts of its controversial law — S.B. 1070 — at least until further legal tests unfold in lower courts. In an oral argument that ran 20 minutes beyond the scheduled hour, the Justices focused tightly on the actual operation of the four specific provisions of the law at issue, and most of the Court seemed prepared to accept that Arizona police would act in measured ways as they arrest and detain individuals they think might be in the U.S. illegally. And most of the Justices seemed somewhat skeptical that the federal government would have to change its own immigration priorities just because states were becoming more active. At the end of the argument in Arizona v. U.S. (11-182), though, the question remained how a final opinion might be written to enlarge states’ power to deal with some 12 million foreign nationals without basing that authority upon the Scalia view that states have a free hand under the Constitution to craft their own immigration policies. The other Justices who spoke up obviously did not want to turn states entirely loose in this field. So perhaps not all of the four clauses would survive — especially vulnerable may be sections that created new state crimes as a way to enforce federal immigration restrictions. If the Court is to permit Arizona to put into effect at least some of the challenged parts of S.B. 1070, there would have to be five votes to do so because only eight Justices are taking part (Justice Elena Kagan is out of the case), and a 4-4 split would mean that a lower court’s bar to enforcing those provisions would be upheld without a written opinion. It did not take long for Justice Antonin Scalia to side with Arizona, and it was not much later that Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., showed that he, too, was inclined that way. Justice Clarence Thomas, who said nothing during the argument, is known to be totally opposed to the kind of technical legal challenge that the government has mounted against S.B. 1070. That left Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Samuel A. Alito, Jr., as the ones that might be thought most likely to help make a majority for Arizona. Their questioning, less pointed, made them somewhat less predictable. However, they did show some sympathy for the notion that a border state like Arizona might have good reasons for trying to deal with what Kennedy called the “social and economic disruption” resulting from illegal immigration. The Court’s three more liberal Justices — Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor — offered what appeared to be a less than enthusiastic support for the federal government’s challenge, although they definitely were troubled that S.B. 1070 might, in practice, lead to long detentions of immigrants. They wanted assurances on the point, and they were offered some by Arizona’s lawyer, Washington attorney Paul D. Clement. Clement’s entire strategy (aside from an emotional plea that Arizona had to bear the brunt of the wave of illegal and often dangerous immigants) was to soften the seemingly harder edges of the 2010 state law that set off a wave of new state and local legislation to control the lives of foreign nationals living illegally in the U.S. To each question Wednesday about how S.B. 1070 would work if put into effect, Clement pared down the likely impact and insisted that Arizona was only seeking to be a cooperative junior partner in enforcing federal laws and policies against undocumented immigrants. But beneath the reassuring demeanor, Clement’s argument had a stubborn bottom line. He was not willing to endorse suggestions that the Court write its opinion in a way that would put some fairly tight limits on how Arizona chose to enforce specific provisions of its law — especially, the detention power that the state wants to hand to police officers when they stop anyone they think may be in the state illegally. He would, he said, embrace an opinion that said the Court would assume that Arizona police would not abuse the power they were given. Assuming that the Court does allow most, if not all, of S.B. 1070′s four sections to go into effect, that still would not amount to final constitutional clearance for any of the sections. The case reached the Justices in a preliminary state, and there will be ongoing challenges in lower courts when the case is returned to them. Moreover, there are challenges to some of those provisions that the Court did not cosnider on Wednesday, because they are not part of the federal government’s legal assault on the Arizona statute. The most important of those remaining challenges is the claim that at least two of the four sections give police authority to arrest and detain people just because they look like foreigners — in a phrase, “racial profiling.” While some of the amici in this case did raise that in their briefs, the federal government has studiously avoided the claim. And, the moment that Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., took his place at the lectern to make the U.S. challenge, Chief Justice Roberts sought to make sure that he did not talk about “racial profiling.” Roberts said: “Before you get into what the case is about, I’d like to clear up at the outset what it’s not about. No part of your argument has to do with rcil or ethnic profiling, does it? I saw none of that in your brief.” Verrilli said that was correct. But the Chief Justice wanted to be sure: “Okay. So this is not a case about ethnic profiling.” The Solicitor General answered: “We’re not making any allegation about racial or ethnic profiling in this case.” Although no observer could be sure what motivated Roberts to make that point, he was either trying to keep that question out of the case because it would remain an issue in lower courts, or else he was seeking to head off criticism that, if the Court did allow Arizona to enforce S.B. 1070, the Court was not endorsing racial or ethnic profiling.” Justice Scalia also seemed to want to leave that issue aside. When, later in the argument, Verrilli began making a point about the Latino population that would be affected by the Arizona law, Scalia interrupted to say that that sounded like he was discussing racial profiling. Verrilli did not pursue the point. When the Solicitor General then launched his argument, it was Arizona’s motive that he attacked frontally: its aim, he said, was to adopt its own immigration controls with the aim of driving illegal immigrants out of the state. The Constitution forbids that, he argued. When Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked him to reply to Justice Scalia’s earlier suggestion that Arizona could bar all illegal immigrants from ther state, Verrilli again said the Constitution would forbid that. But his national supremacy argument seemed regularly to falter, because the Justices as a group seemed much more interested in parsing just how the Arizona law would work in tandem with or, potentially, in conflict with federal policy. Verrilli, in fact, never quite got his point across about federal supremacy, and that showed in an exchange between him and Justices Alito, Kennedy and Sotomayor. Alito said he could not understand why Verrilli seemed to be saying that Arizona could not instruct its own state employees on how they should enforce the state’s own law, but rather that they should only do what federal authorities wanted them to do even though they don’t work for the federal government. The question seemed to indicate that Alito did not see that Verrilli was arguing that, since it was federal law that was at issue, federal priorities should govern. Verrilli replied that, if a state wanted to cooperate in immigration enforcement, they needed only to bring to federal attention the fact that a given illegal immigrant was in the U.S. But Kennedy shot back that Alito was only talking about whose law state employees should enforce as a state priority. The Solicitor General then repeated the idea that the federal priorities should govern what state employees did, in the immigration context. At that point, Justice Sotomayor said that the government argument left her “terribly confused.” She said she could not understand what was wrong with a system in which, if federal officials are contacted about an arrested immigrant and said they did not want that person detained, that person would have to be released. She was relying, of course, on attorney Clement’s assurance that that it what would happen if a federal official waved off the need for an immigrant to be detained further. Chief Justice Roberts, though, went the furthest to try to discount Verrilli’s core argument about the disruption of federal immigration enforcement if Arizona were allowed to have its own style of enforcing immigration law. All that Arizona’s law required, Roberts suggested, was that a state officer let the federal government know that there was an illegal immigrant in its midst, and that did not force the government to do anything; it could enforce its ban on such immigrants or not. Somewhat sarcastically, the Chief commented: “If you don’t want to know who is in theis country illegally, you don’t have to.” Moreover, the Chief Justice said, an arrest of an immigrant by an Arizona police officer simply had nothing to do with immigration law. It only becomes an issue of immigration law, Roberts said, when the state asks a federal official about the legal status of that arrested person. It was not apparent that any of the Justices was inclined to come to Verrilli’s rescue. Even Justice Sotomayor advised him, bluntly, that his main argument was”not sellling very well; why don’t you try to come up with something else?…What’s left of your argument?” In fact, it appeared, overall, that the only way an observer could find that any part of the Arizona law was at risk was to read between the lines, relying upon some hints that maybe the state had gone too far by creating its own new brand of crime for someone who violated a federal immigration provision. The separate crimes provisions of S.B. 1070, though, drew very little conversation.