Fair. Balanced. American.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Republicans love Hispanics! Behind bars or deported, anyway!

Their latest:
In 2007, [Arizona] passed first-in-the-nation penalties for employers who don't ensure their workers are in the country legally. The law led many illegal workers to conclude that they could never find steady jobs in Arizona.

Last year, the state made it a crime for state workers to give illegal immigrants unauthorized benefits, which scared many from applying for government assistance they are allowed.

The sweeping bill, SB 1070, passed by the Legislature on Tuesday makes it a crime to lack proper immigration paperwork and requires police, if they suspect someone is in the country illegally, to determine his or her immigration status. It also bars people from soliciting work as day laborers.

"The bill in its totality is designed to make life miserable for immigrants in the state of Arizona," said Chris Newman, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

Critics say the state's approach to combating illegal immigration doesn't work and only stigmatizes Latinos, legal and illegal.

The drop in illegal immigrants, they argue, is largely due to Arizona's cratering economy, which has racked up losses in immigrant-heavy trades faster than most other states.

"The law doesn't matter to someone who's willing to risk their life crossing the border," said Rep. Daniel Patterson, who represents an immigrant-heavy district in Tucson and voted against the bill.

As has happened with other official steps to deter illegal immigration here, Tuesday's party-line vote -- 35 Republicans backed the measure and 21 Democrats opposed it -- was greeted with populist applause from anti-illegal-immigration activists and a smattering of protests from civil liberties and immigrant rights groups. The state Senate passed a similar bill this year; after it approves small fixes in the House version, it will go to Gov. Jan Brewer.[...]

"There is a significant difference between pulling people over for drunk driving and passing laws that create incentives for job discrimination," Landfried said. "It's much more harmful to the broader society."

Critics say the law will lead to stepped-up racial profiling as police ask people who appear foreign to prove they are legal. Immigrants say they already face discrimination and expect it to get worse. Graciela Beltran, 43, of Tucson said she was asked for immigration papers while boarding a bus.

Perla Siquieros, 37, said she would hesitate going to a park patrolled by police should the bill become law. "They don't know if I was born here or married a citizen," she said through an interpreter. [...]

Among many Latinos, however, the overall sentiment was one of disbelief.

Adriana, 40, an illegal immigrant in Tucson, fears she won't be able to drive her two U.S.-born children to appointments without risking being stopped by police.

"I'm afraid. I can't do nothing. . . . My whole life is here. My dreams are here," said Adriana, who is taking English classes. "I'm worried about me and everybody. My family, my kids. We can't do nothing. We're trapped."
A recent University of Washington poll found that most Tea Party Republicans don't believe Hispanics are intelligent or trustworthy. It is their goal to see fewer of them in the United States. They will succeed, to some degree, in driving out some a small percentage of among who are here illegally.  They will also succeed in destroying their party's moral legitimacy among a group that was as co-optable as any in American politics. What Pete Wilson and Prop 187 did to Hispanic voting preferences in California,  the Republican Party will do nationwide during next year's immigration reform debate.

No comments :