Friday, May 7, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Birthday Wishes

Good friend and infrequent poster Zymurgian celebrates another trip around the sun today. I can't make fun of his age (I'm older), but he's reached one of those birthdays that end in "0", and may have to start acting like an adult someday soon. Nah...

This pic is kind of old, but it's one of my favorites - Atrocia coiled around Zymurgian's head.
Happy Birthday, dude!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Why the Arizona Immigration Law Will Fail

(pic from Lockwood at Outside the Interzone)

I had really hoped to avoid commenting on the odious, idiotic Arizona immigration law, also known as "Brown People-Your Papers Please", but the damn thing hasn't gone away yet. However, I do strongly believe that this racist piece of legislation is doomed to failure, and that the only question is which of its many flaws will be the initial cause of death. Consider:
1) The law as written is blatantly unconstitutional, clearly violating "probable cause" and "unreasonable search" provisions, as well as civil rights based on racial profiling. The lawsuits are already rolling in, and while the courts are usually slow they usually get it right.
2) Arizona's demographics will make the law unenforceable. The states population is roughly 30% hispanic, which isn't surprising since Arizona was originally part of Mexico. That's a lot of American citizens who look and sound like "immigrants", which makes profiling virtually impossible. Most people don't carry "proof of citizenship" in our wallets, so the probability of wrongful accusation is very high. And a high percentage of our law enforcement officers are hispanic themselves; already several police and sheriffs departments are refusing to participate in enforcing the law.
3) It's going to be an economic disaster from a variety of angles. Already, Arizona Faces Boycott Calls After Immigration Law, including from Arizona's largest trade partner: Mexico. The tourism industry is already suffering, and even the Major League Baseball Players Association calls for ‘repeal’ or prompt modification of Arizona law (the baseball all-star game is scheduled to be in Phoenix next year). And the Latino workforce is huge, and ranges from the stereotype laborer to the highest levels of professionals in Arizona; their dollars will have a major impact. For a state that is already in a budget crisis, it won't take long for the financial backlash to knock some sense into the legislature's head.
4) The law is destined to end the Republican's political control of Arizona. The state has been trending more "purple" in recent elections, but Republicans had held a small majority of hispanic voters. Retaining those votes would mean walking a fine line, and the GOP isn't walking this fine line very well. So, don't be surprised if there are wholesale changes come November.
I've said it before, but the simple fact remains that the only way to fix "illegal" immigration is to fix "legal" immigration. The process for getting a work visa (a "green card") has become so cumbersome as to be virtually impossible. But people are amazingly resourceful when it comes to survival of themselves and their families, so they will keep coming. The vast majority would rather do so legally; it's the system that fails them. This law does nothing to address the causes of the immigration problem, it only increases the level of racism. It wont work (although a lot of people will be hurt in the process).
Added: There is going to be a lot of ugliness before this law is repealed.

Now, a neo-Nazi group is trying to help Arizona crack down on illegal immigration, encouraging people to “Report An Illegal” on Cinco de Mayo:

The National Socialist Movement, which is considered by many to be a neo-nazi hate group, is passing out fliers to coincide with Cinco de Mayo. According to a flier received by ABC15 and the group’s website, the National Socialist Movement is calling May 5th, “Report An Illegal Day”.

The one-page flier calls on people to fax or email Congress and demand that the border be secured. It also wants people to ask local businesses to participate in e-verify and to turn in people to DHS and ICE. [...]

According to the group’s website, the National Socialist Movement wants each member to hand out 25-fliers.