Carnival of Progressive Politics—April 2010 Edition
April 22, 2010
It’s exciting to have new contributors to the carnival this month, and it’s fitting that there are five posts in the “Civil Liberty” category. As I see it, our civil liberties are being used as weapons in the battle for white supremacy. The immigration bill that is close to becoming Arizona law, a bill that would allow police officers to detain anyone they suspect of not being a U.S. citizen until they receive documentation, is an example of how ignorance—and its offspring, fear—engender prejudice and encourage regression.
Seth Freed Wessler, on the RaceWire blog, says the bill “suggests that immigration restrictionists who have relied on rhetoric about the threat of crime from immigrants are indeed not concerned with criminality, but rather with immigration itself.” That point reflects the belief of Rinku Sen, director of the Applied Reseach Center, in our 2009 interview about immigration policy. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, however, “Arizona is directly in the crossfire of the violent drug wars waging in Mexico and the state is the most popular point of entry for illegal aliens who come into the United States.” But is this the best way to deal with that problem?
Today’s edition of The Arizona Republic contains an article about how the legislation would affect police officers, with police chiefs who oppose the bill saying it contains “no additional funding to train officers in how to judge reasonable suspicion or otherwise enforce federal laws” (a frightening thought, and reminscent of American soldiers at Abu Ghraib) and chiefs who favor the bill saying that “by taking illegal immigrants off the streets, police will be preventing crimes they might commit.”
I wonder if the scores of legal immigrants and native-born Arizonans who will be asked to present their “papers” will do so with a smile, knowing that they are helping to prevent possible future crimes? Or will they feel, as the Center for Community Change attests, in their article, Arizona’s Terror Era, that they are “in danger of having their human and civil rights obliterated”? In the Arizona Republic article, San Francisco Police Department head George Gascon warns that enforcement of the law would make people less likely to report crimes in areas where non-citizens gather. So, a plan that purports to reduce crime will actually increase it and, in the process, make life even tougher for the people who most need help.
To add your name to a petition calling for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto the bill, please click here.
And now, on to this month’s carnival.
Philip L. Hoffman gives us Leadership in Washington—Sometimes, you can actually find it! at DC Dispatches.
Thank you very much to everyone who submitted a post to this edition. To be a part of the May carnival, please follow these steps.
Note: As host of this carnival, I do not claim to agree with everything posted on each contributor’s blog; I only claim to approve of the posts that are included here.