Arizona law galvanizes U.S. Latinos

April 30, 2010

IMMIGRATION-USA/ARIZONAThe swastika made of refried beans smeared onto the glass doors of the Arizona State Capitol this week captured the anger of Hispanics at the law authorizing local police to question anyone reasonably suspected of being in the United States illegally. The controvesial law, which critics say is a mandate for racial profiling, has galvanized the country’s largest minority that is expected to turn out in large numbers at planned rallies in more than 70 U.S. cities.

Hispanics were disappointed that President Barack Obama failed to deliver on his campaign promise to overhaul the immigration system in his first year in office. The Pew Research Center says 76 percent of the estimated 11.9 million illegal immigrants in the United States are Hispanics. The Latino community sees the undocumented immigrants as contributing with their labor to the growth of the U.S. economy and deserve the right to be legal residents.

The Arizona measure was criticized by other minorities. “This law is un-American as it unjustly targets communities of color, in particular immigrant communities, which have been critical to the economic growth of our country throughout its history,” said Michael Honda, chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

Republican backers of the law say it is needed to curb crime in Arizona, a desert state that is a major corridor for drug and migrant smugglers from Mexico.
Democrats, particularly those with shaky re-election prospects in mid-terms in November, are worried about losing Latino votes. The outcry has injected new life into efforts to move immigration reform through Congress. Democratic leaders in the Senate unveiled an outline of how to overhaul the system on Thursday.

One day after he said Congress may not have “the appetite now” to tackle immigration reform, President Barack Obama welcomed the reform proposal saying it had “become increasingly clear” the country can longer wait to fix the “broken immigration system.”

Photo credits: Reuters/Joshua Lott (Protest of Arizona immigration legislation) Reuters/Mario Anzuoni (protest sign for immigration rally in Lost Angeles)


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“The Latino community sees the undocumented immigrants as contributing with their labor to the growth of the U.S. economy and deserve the right to be legal residents.”

1. The country is the worst recession since the Great Depression. It has been reported that many undocumented immigrants have returned to their country of origin due to lack of jobs. How is this contributing to the economic growth of the U.S.?

2. Yes any person in the world has the right to become a legal resident of the United States. We welcome it. But not when someone does so by sneaking across our border then saying “Hey, I just mowed your lawn because I heard you didn’t like doing it. Legalize me, I have rights!”

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

11.9 million? The real number is at least twice that.

The AZ law racially profiles? Well, since the large majority of illegal immigrants are Hispanic, it looks like reality is a racial profiler, too.

Posted by Mega | Report as abusive

America. Love it or leave it! Mexicans are the most racist people on the planet. You are a disgrace to the human race!

Posted by Steveco1 | Report as abusive

The violent and disgusting nature of the protests shows there are a lot of people who need to be shipped back to Mexico IMMEDIATELY – before they gain any more “power”

Posted by hmp49 | Report as abusive

If politicians were really serious about curbing “illegal immigration” they would start by throwing anyone who hired undocumented workers into prison. We need to shift the punitive effects of this crisis to the ones that are really causing it, the people that see these fellow humans as a disposable source of cheap labor.

Posted by akupara | Report as abusive


Posted by MUSTANGVICKI | Report as abusive

Most of them are hired by other Latinos who get them a work permit and let them slip out the back door and disappear. They should crack down on the ones who have a high turnover of immigrants on work permits.
Only citizens and permanent legal residents have rights. Only citizens have the right to vote. Exactly what rights do they think they have?
I must say, the border is getting pretty fuzzy down there. Somebody needs to draw the line. I doubt it will be the Euro-MexiBama Congress standing up for the rights of legal citizens to have a sovereign government as promised by the charter for having a Federal branch of government which is supposed to collect taxes for the purpose of protecting the states. You can bet they will exercise their right to collect taxes anyway I imagine, while standing by and watching the border be over run.

Posted by Neau12 | Report as abusive

Does this mean that latino kids that are old enough to walk home from school – have to carry identification now?
Or does this apply only to the adults?

Posted by avgprsn | Report as abusive

I happen to know Mexican immigrants who are neither racist or lazy. I imagine there a lots of people who are not Mexican That hmp49 would love to ship somewhere else.
I personally dislike this law because my understanding is that the police must make a judgement call about citizenship status and if they aren’t aggressive enough for someone watching, they can be sued. That makes the police err on the side of checking for little reason.
I don’t believe that we need to live in a police state where the authorities can require you to show papers or be detained. This is just attention on one group, but if it proves to be constitutional, then any group could be targeted by a malevolent authority without recourse.
Imagine you are a Christian (maybe your are) and the authorities decide that Christians are not particularly desirable in society at this time. They could force you to prove you are in this country legally at any time, in any place or face detention. This is called harassment.
Same thing here. Illegal is illegal, but our society encourages, non-violent cheap labor to come here. So now, in response, we check the legal status of men, women and children who are citizens or our great country and if they do not have ID on them, off to Sheriff Joe’s concentration camps. Sort it out later. This is no way to treat citizens of our country. Neither abroad nor at home.
Shame on Arizona for not being more careful with America’s citizens.

Posted by fireturtler | Report as abusive

@iflydaplanes: That’s funny, since the crisis was primarily driven by lack of credit, which dried up because a market for highly complex assets people didn’t really understand collapsed. The point is that this obviously put significant pressures on aggregate economic activity; everyone was less productive on average-citizen or immigrant. So beside the fact that immigrant labor allows specialization (allowing people like us to sit by our computers to weigh in on important events) and that the early `recovery’ of the last three quarters has been driven in part by increased consumption (facilitated by our ability to produce cheap goods using cheap labor for domestic and foreign markets), clearly immigrants don’t contribute to growth because the economy is a recession!

It’s funny, when things are going well no one seems to mind that immigrants are hired to mow our lawns or paint our homes or remove asbestos from schools or help construct real estate to meet inflated demand.

@Mega: “reality is a racial profile”…what does that even mean? based on your confidence on the “real number” of immigrants, I can guess 😉

@Steveco1: hahaha…is that meant to be ironic?

@hmp49: too easy.

@Neau12: Maybe they want to be treated as human beings (as akupara said) for all the contributions they make, and not as scapegoats that are tolerated when it’s convenient to look the other way.

No doubt reform is imperative; but it doesn’t seem stricter border controls have a proven track record. Also: the “drug war” connection? Come on…!

Posted by GetHappy | Report as abusive

Be a gringo and go to South Padre Island Texas and you shall find out about racial profiling. Go to Mexico and you will be racially profiled, ripped off, raped and maybe killed. So whats the problem here? Maybe its time we hire the Russians to help us build an impenetrable border. Since Washington can’t figure out how too.
Its nice to see someone getting tough on this long over due scab of society. I can’t even get a job in the US cause I don’t speak Spanish…and I was born here. I guess I better get used to being racially profiled.

Posted by jfalk | Report as abusive

@murfster: Those silly Mexicans! It would be so easy to topple a government with little-to-no economic or political to the US. Too bad we keep offering them jobs and distracting them from the coming revolution.

Posted by GetHappy | Report as abusive

@jfalk: Oh yeah! They’re stealing our jobs! We almost forgot about that one…

And I guess that’s why no one vacations in Mexico any more.

Posted by GetHappy | Report as abusive

The American people welcome immigrants from all over the world that come here and believe in America and want to become Americans. Everyone from around the world should get a fair chance if they really want it. However, when you show up and protest the country you did not even in legally, complaining about how unfair the country is, it is not abnormal or “wrong” for people to question your motives and goals. Furthermore, someone from Africa or Asia should have the same opportunities to immigrate here as someone from Mexico, Canada, or another other country.

When you come to America but want it to be a different country than it is you are not going to curry favor with anyone any more than I might by visiting a new friend’s house and complaining about how they run their household.

Posted by christopher_c | Report as abusive

@jfalk: Been to Mexico. There are a lot of US Citizens living there quite happily. I never had any problems and felt very welcomed by everyone there. Maybe you should go there yourself.

Posted by fireturtler | Report as abusive


You are missing one very important point. You went to mexico legally. The ones who need shipped back went to the US illegally. They broke the law. They are criminals. I live in China now. They make us show documentation for everything, including staying at hotels. Why is it “racist” for the US to require the same. We are the only nation that allows illegal immigrants to visit hospitals, send their kids to school for free, and even get a drivers license. We need to stop this illegal activity, and the racist latinos can cry all they want about it. They are, in fact, the criminals.

God bless Arizona!!!! Arizona is going against latino bigots and racists.

Posted by blahhhhhh | Report as abusive

So where are the bright AZ lawmakers going to put all of the “illegals” that they apprehend? Auschwitz? Dachau? or are they going to send us off to reservations (which are really racial isolation camps)????? WAKE UP IGNORANT RACISTS: families are not going to be broken up, this law is doomed to fail, if it even goes live at all. Upon the first family being split up (illegal mom and dad go to jail/Dachau/back to Mex on AZ-paid greyhound bus while American citizen kids are in school), AZ will be sued so much by WHITE lawyers (for free to boot!) that AZ will be as bankrupt or more so than California!! HA HA HA!! first you screwed the Amer.Indians by just taking over their land, then Africans by bringing them over here as your slaves, now you want to screw us- it aint gonna happen! :) in the end, you will be forced to apologize like all your previous failed attempts at white supremacy. and guess what too? we are growing, growing, growing… this means that we will soon be the majority, it means that we are a huge target consumer group and the only thing every single major retailer/brand sees is $$$$$. And all lawmakers will see will be votes! Im telling you, we are here to stay, deal with it in a more intelligent way…

Posted by brownnproud | Report as abusive

A question for brownnproud:

Your skin is the color of fecal matter, what do you really think God thinks of you?

Posted by CRYSTALPRYSM | Report as abusive


@Your skin is the color of fecal matter, what do you really think God thinks of you?@

Ah… the epitome of an educated, native born American. Your parents mus be so proud to see you posting this kind of crap.
I can only imagine you learned this at home. If your life sucks, you deserve it. Maybe God will reward you by letting you come back as one of those “fecal matter” colored Latinos you love so much.

If you can’t post like a grown up, why bother posting at all? Really.

Posted by Benny_Acosta | Report as abusive

Looks like this is going to be what Gavin Newsome did to John Kerry. In this case it will Jan Brewer Vs Republicans in Nov. elections. Overconfidence to take advantage of the situation, again in this case “presumed” public perception against Democrats, doesn’t work well.

Posted by ak99 | Report as abusive

This incredible how the illegal immigrants are portraying themselves as the victims here……….THEY ARE HERE ILLEGALLY!!! All the legal immigrants are the victims here! Why should we stand in lines and pay the fees to immigrate legally, while others jump fences and free ride on everyone else. Where is the fairness there!

If you don’t want to go through the process that all the rest of us legal immigrants had to go through, then you deserve to be shipped back to your home countries.

This isn’t a socialist society….everyone has to pay their own dues. STOP FREE RIDING!!!

Posted by Voice-of-Reason | Report as abusive

Arizona isn’t against immigration they actually welcome immigration. This law focuses on ILLEGAL immigration. Big difference between immigration and ILLEGAL immigration. The state of Arizona is exercising their right as a state to place into law the laws that uphold law and order.

Arizona is a great state to stand up and take the lead in working thru this problem. We have a lot of sand in our state but we choose not to bury our heads in the sand and not tackle the issues.

Boycott us if you like but if you like to horseback ride, enjoy the desert, mountains, great food and great accommodations then come on down and enjoy the big sky, tranquil beauty and refreshingly quiet and undisturbed peace of Arizona.

Make 2010 the year you consciously choose to support the state that is taking the lead for all states in preserving state’s rights. Visit Arizona, vacation in Arizona and do business with Arizona. Arizona taking the lead in preserving America.

Posted by gotoranch | Report as abusive

OK, maybe it was sloppy, but at least some action was taken by Az’s Govenor. Arnold critisized Az’s Gov, but what has any other state done? At least Az is being pro-active. Every state should step up and be supportive of this solution to an out of control problem.

Posted by JodiLGrow | Report as abusive

I am a hispanic born American first, I have served my country honorable for (16) years. I have fought and earned my right to medical & educational services if I choose to. I do not agree with letting an immigrant from Mexico and who is here ilegally demanding those services as a given right to themselves and their children. So, I support and applaud the actions of Arizona’s Gov.

Posted by lennythegeek | Report as abusive

So you’re in China now, huh blahhh. Funny, someone else posted the same thing last week, or are you that guy.
“I live in China now. They make us show documentation for everything, including staying at hotels. Why is it “racist” for the US to require the same.”
Really? You really want the US to be like China? I thought you guys hated socialist, Marxist Communists?
I’d like one of the anti-immigrant posters to tell me what the penalty for entering the country illegally is? Is it a misdemeanor? A felony? What level of crime is it considered? I know the answer, I just want to see if anyone else can answer the question.

Posted by indieinfla | Report as abusive

Hey, Bigfoot.

Don’t you hate it when your messengers at Fox say things that appeal to the most backward element of your base, and then someone from the backward element of your base shows up at one of your events? There’s nothing left to do but claim he’s a “liberal infiltrator” sent here to make the Tea Partiers look bad!

Except these people aren’t liberal plants. Look at them. Listen to them. They are genuinely stupid. No liberal could pull off this act. Despite the feeble display of “evidence” that the morons with misspelled signs with pictures of Obama as Hitler are “Dem plants,” they are the real deal. They are Teabaggers.

Or maybe they ARE plants! Maybe the video guys and the swastika guys are working together! Maybe the video guys are Dem plants too! They CLAIM to be running conservative blogs but that could just be a front! You must trust no one! Not your best friend, not your closest loved one. In fact, don’t even trust yourself!

Posted by Yellow105 | Report as abusive

Two questions for lennythegeek: What is the major problem a Latino faces when he or she enters the US to live and work legally? What is the major problem Latinos face after becoming legal US residents?

Posted by LatinoAmigo | Report as abusive

Name calling or stereo typing is not necessary. I do not blame illegal immigrants for coming here. If I was hungry and someone dangled a carrot on a string I think I might do the same.
As Americans it is our responsibility to make sure that our laws are followed. Fences will not keep people from crossing. If current laws for employment were enforced the motive for coming here would evaporate.
Prefering one race over another is racism. I believe people from all over the world should have an equal opportunity to come here and we should not prefer one race over another.
I do not blame Caulderon for wanting us to accept Mexico’s citizens here. Mexico’s third largest source of income is from Mexicans sending money home. Caulderon does not represent US interests, but rather Mexico’s. He wants us to secure the border for weapons but not Mexicans. He is entitled to his opinion but it should not be weighed on as an objective one.
Bush once said that these immigrants do the work that Americans don’t want to do. He was half right. An American mason doesn’t want to build chimneys for $10/hr.

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Posted by Allena Kuszlyk | Report as abusive