Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Arizona, profiling and the little racist Governor that could.

I have a rant to share, and it has to do with Arizona's bill SB1070, which was signed into law a couple of days ago. But before I get into it, allow me to begin with a bit of history and why this bill is so personal to me.

I am a Mexican and I am engaged to be married to a wonderful, intelligent, loving and smoking hot woman. The twist? She is an American. Now, other than one time and for no more than a couple hours when I was two years old, I have never set foot on the United States. We met online and, having being denied a tourist visa to visit her numerous times, she has come instead to visit me with my lovely future stepdaughter. Just this last December we spent our first Christmas together, and I must say, it was the first time I truly and thoroughly enjoyed the holidays since I was a little child.

At this point, we are in the process of filing for a K-1 Visa, also known as the "fiancée visa", so I can go there and finally spend each and every day worshiping the awesomeness that is her. We value the virtue of doing things right, so we are spending thousands of dollars on the proceedings so I can go to her legally (since she cannot move to me because of my future stepdaughter's school), going as far as risking bodily injury or worse by going to Ciudad Juarez, known for being the most violent battleground in the war on drugs - and with all the collateral damage to show for it. Why? Because the U.S. Consulate in Juarez is the only one in Mexico that will handle legal immigration paperwork, regardless of the reason for your immigration or what part of Mexico you live in.

In other words, any Mexican who has ever legally immigrated to the United States, has had to visit the most violent and dangerous city in my country and paid thousands of dollars in fees, sometimes, only to get turned down and forced into doing the process all over again.

And this is where Arizona's bill SB1070, signed into law by governor Jan Brewer this last April 23rd, gets real personal to me.

I am certain some of you have already heard about this, but for those who have not, here is what this law does.

It gives law enforcement officials the ability to stop anyone who they believe has "reasonable suspicion" of being an illegal immigrant to investigate the matter. If the "suspect" is incapable of producing his legal doc**entation on the spot, the officials are not only entitled, but obligated to take the "suspect" into custody pending further deportation or incarceration. Mind you, in Arizona, Hispanic is synonym to Illegal immigrant.

But the new law does not stop there.

If you are a legal immigrant, or worse yet, a U.S. citizen by birth but a police officer looking at you randomly in the street believes he has "reasonable suspicion" that you are, in fact, an illegal alien, they can still stop you and demand for your papers. If you cannot produce them immediately (ie. have them on your person), then they are also legally obligated to take you in for further investigation. And even if you do produce your papers after being arrested, simply by not having them with you at the moment of the arrest itself you can be subjected to heavy fines and a jail term of up to 6 months.

And still, it does not stop there.

If you do not fit the "profile" of somebody that could be suspected of being an illegal immigrant, just by being with one you can face arrest as well. And even if your friend is not an illegal and can produce his doc**entation, both will still face fines and incarceration. Why? Because you would be suspect to "harboring undoc**ented aliens". Even a Hispanic family, as is often the case in Arizona, where some members are legal and some are not, can be deported or jailed in it's entirety simply by having illegals in their midst.

Does it stop there still? Nope.

Now that Arizona has successfully set a precedent, similar bills are being worked on in Texas, Georgia and Colorado. All states where the phrase "illegal immigration" can be equated with the term "Hispanics".

Of course, there is plenty of talk about how this will hurt Arizona's economy. There are cries all over the U.S. and Latin American countries to boycott Arizona. There's outrage all over our communities and lawmakers across states and countries question the constitutionality of this law and demand it to be repealed before it goes into effect in 90 days. But, despite all that, the saddest of facts is that this law still has enough supporters in Arizona itself to make it a political win for Governor Jan Brewer during a tough reelection year.

Yes, that's right. She still made a political score.

There is something extremely wrong about conservative politics in the United States when republicans (the conservative party) cry foul against a law that would provide healthcare for all their citizens, but hail racial profiling as a step in the right direction.

As the Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy of the Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Hilary O. Shelton Said: “The NAACP is deeply disappointed that Governor Brewer signed SB1070 into law. This new law effectively legalizes the incendiary practice of racial profiling and will adversely affect communities of color across Arizona. Moreover, it sets a dangerous precedent for other states to follow suit and pass similar discriminatory measures,” and she was right. Other states are already following on that very precedent.

Will activist groups already involved in the issue be able to stop it? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, the damage to Arizona and Latinos all over the United States is already done.

Views: 42

Comment by Samiran Roy on April 30, 2010 at 7:53pm
How did this law gain so much support? What is in it for them?
It's disturbing to hear of this. I hope you will find a way.
Comment by A.V.Koshy on April 30, 2010 at 7:53pm
man usa sucks!
ask your woman to come down and live with you in the best place in mexico
near patricio buenrostro gilhuys preferably
Comment by Julio Cesar Corona Ortega on April 30, 2010 at 8:10pm
@Samiran: How? The wonders of "Fear and Paranoia" politics. What? Political points in an area where citizens have been indoctrinated to believe illegal immigrants are the devil incarnate. The fact of the matter is that the United States has a rampant illegal immigration problem, where a very large portion of said illegal immigrants are Hispanic. And it is these Hispanics the ones who take the brunt of the blame in a problem that is, contrary to popular belief, not of their own making. Many of them have been "imported" into the United States. After all, when you are an illegal, you cannot demand rights or representation. When you are illegal, you are the perfect cheap labor.

@Koshy: Believe me, I would love nothing more than to have my Queen and Princess with me here. It would be legally and economically easier, too, but the baby needs her school and that is a very, very important consideration for me and my woman. Were that not an issue, I would love to move with them to a great state with even better food like Guadalajara, where Patricio is.
Comment by A.V.Koshy on April 30, 2010 at 8:21pm
the child is small no julio
will adjust
but you need to turn on all your powers of persuasion
dont see any other way out
the settlers in usa are nuts
recently on facebook a friend was raving about immigrant grandmothers not learning english
can you believe it
and she said suppose you go to india youd have to learn their lang
i corrected her
as if when they went in to usa long ago they learned any of the langauges the indian tribes spoke
usa is going down the tube daily
guess its inevitable
civilization is about empires rising and falling
now usa's going down
next is who?
Comment by Julio Cesar Corona Ortega on April 30, 2010 at 8:46pm
Heh, she is small if you consider 17 to be small. She is at a critical point of her education right now, and we do not want to disrupt that for her.

And on the "speak English or die" debate... Actually, I do believe this to be a vary valid statement. If somebody moves to Mexico, I would expect them to learn Spanish. If I moved to the French side of Canada, I would learn French and if I went to a non-English speaking part of India, I would certainly learn Sanskrit, Tamil, Kannada or Telugu, as the situation may require.

When moving to a foreign land, it is not the duty of the inhabitants to bend over backwards in order to accommodate you, it is your own duty to learn how to communicate with them.

I agree with your argument about British settlers not learning any of the native languages, but I remind you, they did not simply move there in the hopes of sharing with another culture, they went to conquer. Those very few Brits wise enough to actually live among the natives did learn their language. Conquest and immigration are two very different propositions in that argument.

About the grandmothers not learning English. That would depend on when they immigrated. If the grandmother immigrated to an English-speaking country recently, it would be silly to expect her to speak the language. But on the other hand, if she has been there for several years or even decades, then it actually would take a conscious effort on her part to not learn the language. After years of being exposed to and surrounded by a foreign tongue, the inability to speak it means nothing but a conscious refusal to learn.
Comment by A.V.Koshy on April 30, 2010 at 9:04pm
oh she's seventeen...then no chance
well in india no one would expect you to learn the lang except barely enough to survive
we somehow get by - we have too many langauges to demad such learning from each other
i agree theres a difference between immigration and conquest
but gradmothers should be given the benefit of the doubt....
i think what really irritates people most is refusal to learn english
or computers
but why not?
freedom is more importatn that what you learn and learning that is not driven by intrinsic motivation wont work even in the case of immigrant populations
i know
i migrated fomr keral to karnataka but didnt pick up kannada and now ive been two years in arab speaking nations but have picked up only a smattering of arabic
long exposure leads to what you said - one picking up the language despite oneself
Comment by Julio Cesar Corona Ortega on April 30, 2010 at 9:17pm
And that is my point. Exposure inevitably leads to absorption of knowledge, and as I stated before, it takes a very strong and prolonged refusal to learn it to not speak it at least at a basic level. I agree that freedom is extremely important and people should always be given the freedom of choice, but I do take issue with people refusing to learn.

Languages, computers, cultures, traditions, religions, anything. Refusal to learn is always a bad trait, no matter what the knowledge is.
Comment by sunnydupree on April 30, 2010 at 9:45pm
In my part of the country in the US I am aghast at times at the racial hatred that abounds on many sides. I love many people and they come in all hues types and country origin. I believe that it is important to learn english and that english people learn spanish and other languages. With the way the world is turning we are washing over nations with the internet and are meeting people all over the world. It is a good idea if these people are your friends to learn some of their country. To learn where people are coming from and how their part of the world works, I have traveled to different countries, well just a few and I know that you get along so much better with people if you know their customs and some of their language.
This will shock you. In 1954 an Operation was launched called Operation Wetback. I was quite surprised and shocked when I read it. I thought it was a joke because being called a wetback is a bad term. I am even more shocked when I read that people are calling for another such operation. I have many friends who are of hispanic origin and I would hate to see something like this happen to them. Not only will the illegal immigrants from mexico be shipped back but also the ones who are here legally. I do not know what the answer is. I usually do not use wikipedia for evidence but I found so many shocking abhorrent links that I chose the lesser of many evils.

Comment by Julio Cesar Corona Ortega on April 30, 2010 at 10:12pm
Sadly, Sunny, I am neither surprised nor shocked. In fact, grew up hearing about stuff like this. Hence why I never had the smallest interest to even visit the U.S. of A. until I met the love of my life.

She knows this about me, and she is feeling a lot of anguish and embarrassment over what is going on over there, and to be honest, I think this is affecting and upsetting her more than it does me.


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