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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Friday, April 23, 2010

    Arizona Abandons US Constitution: Show us your papers!

    A fundamental right in the United States is the protection against search and seizures without due process of the law, which includes probable cause. Arizona apparently doesn't believe in fundamental American rights. The Arizona legislature has passed two very un-American, fundamentally flawed laws this week.

    The first law gives Arizona law enforcement the right to stop ANYONE on the street and demand proof of citizenship or legal immigration status. In other words, everyone must carry their state-issued papers or be subject to arrest. Setting aside the very important consideration that the law is almost explicitly aimed at people with brown skin, creating, in effect (to quote Steve Colbert's show) Juan Crow laws, this has generally been a kind of law associated with totalitarian regimes and as being fundamentally counter to all America stands for. Arizona is abandoning fundamental American values in favor of blatant racism.

    The second law gives the power of determining who will appear on the Arizona ballot to the Arizona secretary of state. The power becomes almost unilateral, allowing the Arizona secretary of state the power to largely arbitrarily refuse to put a candidate on the ballot. All states of procedures for getting on the ballot, procedures to challenge someone's ballot status, and procedures for candidates to appeal such challenges. Arizona seems to want to put all of this into the hands of one person, effectively leaving ballot status up to the whim of the Arizona secretary of state. Again, this kind of law is usually associated with corrupt totalitarian regimes and is considered anti-democratic.

    Arizona, quite sadly, is becoming America's most racist state, emulating banana republics in almost every way. From brutal and corrupt law enforcement agents like sheriff Joe Arpaio to blatantly racist and totalitarian laws that would have the Founding Fathers leading a revolution against the Arizona state government, Arizona seems to be turning its back on modern democracy and embracing good old fashioned Soviet-style totalitarianism.

    But let me back off that statement for one moment. Not everyone in Arizona is as crazy as their state legislature. Arizona law enforcement as a whole, idiots like Joe Arpaio aside, are opposed to the new racist laws.

    The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police (AACOP) remains in opposition to Senate Bill (SB) 1070. The provisions of the bill remain problematic and will negatively affect the ability of law enforcement agencies across the state to fulfill their many responsibilities in a timely manner.

    While AACOP recognizes immigration as a significant issue in Arizona, we remain strong in our belief that it is an issue most appropriately addressed at the federal level. AACOP strongly urges the U. S. Congress to immediately initiate the necessary steps to begin the process of comprehensively addressing the immigration issue to provide solutions that are fair, logical, and equitable.

    Should SB 1070 be signed into law by the Governor of Arizona, law enforcement professionals in the State of Arizona will enforce the provisions of the statute to the best of their abilities


    and:

    Mesa Police Sgt. Bryan Soller, who is president of the Mesa and Arizona Fraternal Order Of Police — an association of sworn law enforcement officers — has expressed concerns that the bill " will bankrupt our city." "What’s going to happen is you’re going to fear the police...they’re [immigrants] going to shy away from us instead of coming forward with information," stated Soller in a local interview. The only evidence of rank-and-file support for Arizona’s stringent measure that Think Progress could find comes from the Phoenix Police Union


    Look, Arizona Republican politicians may be idiots, but most Arizona law enforcement isn't. THEY know these laws are over the top and will cause far more problems than they will solve.

    And one Arizona Congressman is slamming his own state pretty hard over this:



    And President Obama has blasted the Arizona laws:

    Our failure to act responsible at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others. That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe," the president said at a naturalization ceremony for members of the military.

    In fact, I've instructed members of my administration to closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation. But if we continue to fail to act at the federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country.

    He added, "As a nation, as a people, we can choose a different future - a future that keeps faith with our history, with our heritage, and with the hope that America has always inspired in the hearts of people all over the world."


    But let's remind ourselves of a few things. Immigration, illegal or legal, actually is meeting labor demands here in the United States. We need to have immigration reform that addresses both the labor needs and law enforcement needs. Arizona's racist laws do nothing to address either. Immigrants account for $29 billion of Arizona's economy...I guess Arizona wants to abandon nearly $30 billion of it's economy. And here are some further figures on what Arizona's anti-immigration insanity could do that sane immigration reform could properly address:

    Without most non-citizen immigrants, the simulations showed:

    • $6.56 billion in lost construction output.

    • $3.77 billion lost in manufacturing.

    • $2.48 billion lost in service sectors.

    • $600.9 million lost in agriculture.

    "Filling the specific jobs in question would require large numbers of low-skilled workers, and the U.S. education system produces relatively few of them," [Judith] Gans said. "There simply aren't enough additional workers in Arizona to fill the jobs."


    Arizona is violating the Constitution AND SACRIFICING ITS OWN ECONOMY all because they want to be the racist state in the Union.

    Immigration REFORM actually addresses the needs of America without violating our basic American values. Arizona is hurting America AND violating American values. Shame on the Arizona legislature. I certainly hope Arizona's governor vetoes these two disgusting bills and throws them in the garbage where they belong.

    [UPDATE: The Arizona Governor rejected the US Constitution and sided with the racists.]

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