Boycotts Galore as Arizona’s Immigration Law Readies to Take Effect

Senate Bill 1070, Arizona’s notorious anti-immigrant law, is set to go into effect on July 29. With days left to go, Organizers are in a race against the clock to minimize the bill’s impact on immigrant communities. Meanwhile, legal experts are examining the strategy behind a federal Department of Justice suit recently lobbed against the Arizona law, and other immigrant rights supporters continue to pressure the state via boycott. All of these acts are contributing to a tumultuous fight that’s escalating by the day.

A top concern is that SB 1070 will increase racial profiling and harassment against Latinos due to a provision that requires local law enforcement to check an individual’s immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” that a person is undocumented. The bill also requires immigrants with documentation to carry papers at all times.

At ColorLines, Jamilah King reports that “activists nationwide are stepping up their protests against the measure.” As part of a new campaign called “30 Days, 30 Events for Human Rights,” a variety of actions including works shops, concerts, and protests have been planned for each day leading up to July 28, the day before the bill is set to become law.

Border governors boycott Arizona

GRITtv has more coverage of the Arizona debacle, including commentary from Arizona state lawmaker Kyrsten Sinema and Suman Raghunathan of the Progressive States Network.

On top of that, ColorLines’ Daisy Hernandez also writes that an annual meeting of Mexican and US governors set to take place in Arizona has been canceled over the controversial law. “Six governors of Mexico’s border states have basically said there’s no way in hell they’re stepping foot in Arizona,” Hernandez reports.

This year it was Arizona’s turn to host the meeting, which has taken place for the last 30 years. But Arizona Governor Jan Brewer 86′d the event, citing lack of attendance.

Another lawsuit?

One might think Arizona officials have enough to worry about after spurring international outrage, boycotts, and countless lawsuits with the passage of one law. But now there are reports that the state may get sued by the Justice Department again if documented cases of racial profiling occur after SB 1070 takes effect.

As Gabriel Arana at The American Prospect explains, the Obama administration’s suit against Arizona centers around the legal question of “whether the state is pre-empting the federal government’s constitutional authority to regulate immigration,” not the potential for civil rights abuses.

But New America Media notes that “in six months or a year, the Department of Justice plans to study the impact of the law on racial profiling,” and if civil rights violations are found, Attorney General Eric Holder won’t hesitate to take action.

Still hope for the DREAM Act

While media outlets direct their attention to Arizona, other immigrant rights supporters are actively working to support the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act on the national level. The DREAM Act is a federal bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for young immigrants who were brought into the United States as children and have no control over their immigration status.

Feministing reports on the Campus Progress National Conference that took place in Washington DC last week, which featured David Cho, whose parents immigrated from South Korea when he was nine. Because he is undocumented, Cho, through no fault of his own, is barred from most schools and jobs.

Trapped in an ‘invisible prison’

“My dad believed that my two younger sisters and I could fulfill the American dream,” said Cho, who would like to be able to serve in the US Air Force. “But I feel like I am living inside an invisible prison cell. Because there are these invisible bars in front of me that limit me from doing the things I want to do.”

The DREAM Act would benefit people like Cho, by allowing immigrants who came to the country before the age of 16 to obtain citizenship after graduating from high school by either going to college for two years or serving in the armed forces.

Mikhail Zinshteyn at Campus Progress reports that if the DREAM Act were enacted today, “800,000 individuals would qualify for legal status on a conditional basis or having already completed a high school degree,” while an additional 900,000 would qualify upon turning 18. But it all depends on the Senate, and it remains to be seen if it will can tackle the issue by the end of the year.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about immigration by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. 

photo credit: thanks to fibonacci-blue via flickr
by Erin Rosa, Media Consortium blogger


LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

LMj Sunshine

Thank you.

roberto c.
robert m.6 years ago

Arizona is a disgrace to America i don't want my children to grow up and see how my nation is with all this stupid racist laws... for all those that are so anti immigration in reality we don't even belong here regarding of legal status we are all models for America the only people that should be here are Native Americans because they are Native to Americans and we are not let's not for get how our ancestors got here this nation was founded By mostly illegal immigration look during WW1 about 25 million of illegal immigrants came here nearly the double or triple we have let's not forget how our generation came here then us... and our roots so let's stop this nonsense then our ancestor's should've been turn back because they were undocumented but no they came here....and stayed

Debbie Cross
Debbie Cross6 years ago

I thought when I joined this discussion board that it would be enlightening to read and discuss various viewpoints. It increases tolerance and opens up new ideas and beliefs. Communication brings people together and allows compromises. So here is what I read in the posts I have read. The illegal immigration problem is not actually the is greed (companies wanting cheap labor with little consequences if caught), illegal immigrants face a broken immigration system in order to come here legally, NAFTA has caused severe economic problems that have spread to the US, illegal immigrants come for jobs and money, everyone does not believe that the current problem is acceptable and the difference in option is what to do about the problem. Solution: Start at the source. Reform the broken system to allow immigrants easy, controlled access to immigration. American companies should be severely taxed if they send work outside of the US (such as to Mexico, China, India, etc), severely punish employers who employ illegal immigrants to dry up the well of jobs and money, deport illegal immigrants currently in the country with the provision that the first deportation is a warning. After that, use the new reformed system to allow immigration. Second deportation, jail time and permanent exhile. No amnesty at this time. Stop the talk of hatred between sides and actually work to fix the problem. Remember, each immigrant is a child God worthy of compassion. Stop hating!

Shelley Watson
Shelley W.6 years ago

What is the big deal about having to carry papers that prove you are here legally? I have to carry a driver's license in order to prove my address, and to prove I am a citizen that has earned the right to drive AND to prove my age in case I want to buy a beer. Maybe I should throw myself to the ground, kicking and screaming about having to prove who I am.
Get over yourselves! Put your energy into getting legal - like my grandfather did! If you don't like it here - go home!

Michelle M.
Michelle M.6 years ago

boycotting arizona will probably only hurt the poorest arizona citizens. which are probably the immigrants.

Patrick Taylor
Patrick Taylor6 years ago

With 9 other states backing Arizona's new law and 70 per cent of the American people in approval of it I believe Obama will never recieve re election with this absurd law suit against Arizona.I think he just sealed his fate. Perhaps all of the bordering states suffering with over crowding of illegals and the millions and millions of dollars they are costing them should turn around and file their own law suit against the federal government for back pay? It cracks me up when I read someone say the Americans that support Arizona have inferiority complex's because we dont like people who are differnt here LOL Yeah okay,, couldnt have anything to do with higher taxes we must pay to support illegals, increased crime, over crowding, more Mexican gang members, contagious disease being brought in, etc etc,, she thinks we all just dont like ourselves LOL.Funny! I guess then Mexicans must really hate themselves because Mexico's laws on illegal immgration are far more tougher than ours are !I guess some people will say anything or I should say talk themselves into believing what they need to believe to feel better. LOL

Patrick Taylor
Patrick Taylor6 years ago

No Sorry this new law in Arizona is not about racism and do you know why? Because we welcome people to come here from all nations and of all colors and backgrounds and we grant citizenship to them on an every day basis. This law is about ILLEGAL immigration and our efforts to control our immigration quota's that are there for a REASON ! Every country in the world understands this and therefore every country tries to control their borders and they arent racist for doing so. It just so happens that most illegals coming into America are brown skinned people from Mexico,, this is just a fact that nobody can control. That means playing the race card is only a conveinence for those who really only want an open border and no controls what so ever. Racial profiling is only an excuse to oppose Arizona's new law, BUT its just an excuse.We have every right to protect ourselves from illegal immigration and prevent it from getting out of hand and that is why our laws need to be upheld and respected.People need to stop making this about race just because its handy.You can come here if you are black, white, brown, yellow or purple with polka dots but just do it legally. Being against illegal immigration and taking efforts to prevent it and deporting those who are here illegally isnt a racist issue no matter how much those with a biased agenda try and twist it around.

Al F.
Al Baars6 years ago

I can't believe the ignorance and hatred being put forth here.

If you don't want "illegal immigrants" "flooding" our borders then work to make it illegal for companies to hire them. Most aren't here for a free ride, but to support their families.

Instead, Republicans have made this about the 'illegals', not about the businesses that undercut the American work force and labor laws by hiring 'illegals'. If a business hires illegals, then we should have a suite of penalties to levee against them, starting with a heavy fine, and finishing with the loss of their business license.

If you take away the fuel, the fire will go out.