Arizona's new immigration law, which requires racial profiling, goes into effect on July 28. However, some people just aren't that patient. We've heard scattered reports that Arizona police officers are already "enforcing" the new law. What's more, twelve states - including Minnesota, Michigan, and more - are introducing copy-cat legislation. These outrageous proposals should be a wake-up call for Congress - urge your representatives to take swift action to enact immigration reform this year.
Boycotting Arizona? Yup, me too. So is Austin, along with many other cities across the country. We're also waiting for MALDEF, ACLU, and NILC to introduce their lawsuit challenging the unconstitutional and discriminatory Arizona law. The Department of Justice may take action as well, but we are concerned to learn that Attorney General Eric Holder hasn't even read the Arizona law yet. We know he's busy, but it's less than twenty pages.
Mexico has issued a travel warning to its citizens about the Arizona law. In addition, the President of Mexico will be arriving in the United States on Wednesday. We anticipate that he and President Obama will have a lot to discuss when it comes to immigration.
Even the United Nations is taking note of the new Arizona law. A group of independent UN rights experts expressed serious concerns about whether this law violates the United States' obligations under international human rights treaties.
Believe it or not, Arizona keeps coming up with new, innovative ways to take away residents' rights, and now state lawmakers are focusing on education. AZ Governor Jan Brewer just signed into law a bill prohibiting any classes that "advocate for ethnic solidarity" or "promote resentment toward a race or class of people." This bill seeks to eradicate ethnic studies programs, such as those that teach Mexican-American history. I see this as a nativist impulse favoring revisionist history, which seeks to mask oppression and deny students the opportunity to study civil rights. We can do better.
However, the Department of Homeland Security seems to be deporting immigrants at an exceptionally rapid pace this year even without Arizona's assistance. ICE director John Morton has said that he plans to deport people at a "massive scale," and he has set the goal of 400,000 deportations in 2010. He seems to be outdoing himself. Time has reported this astonishing figure:
Thus far this year, some 185,887 people have been deported, a record pace that, if maintained, will nearly double the number of deportations in 2010 to 604,133.One last note: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has an announcement - the new "green cards" for legal permanent residents will actually be green! Not only that, but they'll incorporate new security measures to avoid fraud.