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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy


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This was inevitable. As Chris Hayes of The Nation told Keith Olbermann this evening, a boycott could  "recalculate the incentives" for the citizens of Arizona and the politicians in the state. Once Super Bowls and major conventions start to go elsewhere (as was the case two decades ago when a similar boycott was successfully used to protest the state's failure to recognize the Martin Luther King holiday), the cavalier anti-immigrant positions will become a lot more expensive. Hopefully, the business community and sensible Arizonans who are appalled by what just happened in their state will mobilize to repeal the bill to prevent an economic nightmare.

The national boycott call was actually made two nights ago on Olbermann's show when Arizona Congressman Raúl Grijalva called for a boycott of his own state if Governor Brewer signed SB 1070. No surprise that his office closed today due to his receiving death threats.

Almost immediately after the signing of the bill, boycott related announcements were already being made. The American Immigration Lawyers Association, which has been fighting for reforming our immigration laws, decided to set an example by cancelling its annual fall conference in Arizona.

The Arizona Republic was already carrying a report about a national boycott by truckers and Olbermann already suggested in tonight's broadcast that Major League Baseball pull its Grapefruit preseason league from the state.

But the bill's sponsor, Senator Russell Pearce, apparently thinks a boycott won't happen, according to Tucson's Arizona Star:

Pearce predicted there will be no boycott.

"People love to come to a safe state,'' he said.

Pearce seems to be daring the pro-immigration community to try and boycott. Probably not so smart.

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  1. George Chell's Avatar
    It will be good if people stop flying USAir/America West which has its headquarters in Tempe.
  2. Jack's Avatar
    I'm not sure there's going to be as much outrage over a law which for the most part just replicates already existing federal law which most people think isn't enforced strongly enough. However, that's probably not widely understood so if the anti-immigration law biased media is loud enough and gives nothing but viewpoints like those of Roger Mahony, maybe Latino activists can intimidate enough to get something broader than just their own boycotts going.
  3. LFWF's Avatar

    Care to explain how an "illegal" immigrant can be identified on the street? Without taking race into account? Are you on the "its the clothes stupid" bandwagon? How exactly will this not lead to harassment of minorities, particularly brown skinned ones? Since when is it "American" to demand that everyone carry identity papers at all times or risk conviction/fine or at least a brief prison stint?
  4. Jim's Avatar
    Safe State? It's going to be safe alright because it's going to be a ghost town.

  5. Jack's Avatar
    LFWF, I'm not saying whether it's right or not but pointing out that it's already legal to take race into account but it can't be the sole factor. And ICE is allowed to use clothing as a factor. So it's not like these Fourth Amendment issues are anything new but it's being reported like it is. ICE already does all this so what's the big deal all of a sudden from a Fourth Amendment perspective? Where has everybody been?

    Police discretion is a grey standard where it's impossible to know what an officer was really thinking. Due to this inherent risk of abuse it makes sense to first look at screening for illegal aliens in other ways. The problem is that people who oppose local police arrest authority tend to also be against less intrusive methods. E.g., Frank Sharry is against raids. OK, but he is also against audits which he characterizes as 'paper raids'. It's hard to meet in the middle and agree on the best methods with those who are opposed to all methods. On the pro-enforcement side there are those who seem to favor the least efficient, most problematic, or methods which give the anti-enforcement side the most to demagogue. When these are the most influential voices on both sides it's hard to reach a solution.
  6. Elian Moore's Avatar
    What are products made in Arizona?

    Lots of cattle. Tourism industry.

    Let's not buy them. Let's not consume them.
  7. George Chell's Avatar
    "Lots of cattle. Tourism industry."

    Problem is when I buy beef, I dont know where the meat is coming from. Know the chicken is from Virginia. But, we can and should, definitely boycott USAir!
  8. Susan's Avatar
    Also boycott the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team. Their owner is a big Republican donor. Here is a link that lists all the businesses headquartered in AZ.

  9. LFWF's Avatar
    "LFWF, I'm not saying whether it's right or not"

    Well Jack, satisfy our curiosity please. Take a stand. Or are you afraid to say what needs to be said?
    So in your view, apart from all the legalese you are putting out, is it right or wrong?
  10. LFWF's Avatar
    or...just do it...to humor us!
  11. Montana's Avatar
    Arizona can pass race base laws, pass birthers laws and the state can continue to boycott Martin Luther King Day, well the rest of the Country can boycott the state of Arizona and spank them where it hurts them the most their pocket book. Their phony patriotism is sickening, they are just racists going by another name. We all know you are just itching to put a sheet on their head? Let's face it the Republicans had eight years to deal with health care, immigration, climate change and financial oversight and governance and they failed. It appears that the Republican Party is only good at starting wars (two in eight years, with fat contracts to friends of Cheney/Bush) but not at winning wars as seen by the continuing line of body bags that keep coming home. The Republicans party will continue turned inward to their old fashion obstructionist party (and their Confederacy appreciation roots) because they continue to allow a small portions (but very loud portion) of their party of "birthers, baggers and blowhards" to rule their party. I will admit that this fringe is very good at playing "Follow the Leader" by listening to their dullard leaders, Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O'Reilly, Rush, Savage, Sarah Bailin, Orly Taitz, Victoria Jackson, Michele Bachmann and the rest of the Blowhards and acting as ill programmed robots (they have already acted against doctors that perform abortions). The Birthers and the Tea party crowd think they can scare, intimidate and force others to go along with them by comments like "This time we came unarmed", let me tell you something not all ex-military join the fringe militia crazies who don't pay taxes and run around with face paint in the parks playing commando, the majority are mature and understand that the world is more complicated and grey than the black and white that these simpleton make it out to be and that my friend is the point. The world is complicated and people like Hamilton, Lincoln, and Roosevelt believed that we should use government a little to increase social mobility, now it's about dancing around the claim of government is the problem. The sainted Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in American history and as a result federal employment increased, but facts are lost when mired in mysticism and superstition. For a party that gave us Abraham Lincoln, it is tragic that the ranks are filled with too many empty suits and the crazy Birthers who have not learned that the way our courts work is that you get a competent lawyer, verifiable facts and present them to a judge, if the facts are real and not half baked internet lies, then, and only then, do you proceed to trial. The Birthers seem to be having a problem with their so called "facts". Let's face it no one will take the Birthers seriously until they win a case, but until then, you will continue to appear dumb, crazy or racist, or maybe all three. I heard that Orly Taitz now wants to investigate the "Republican 2009 Summer of Love" list: Assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), Board of Ed Chair, and Kristin Maguire AKA Bridget Keeney (SC), she wants to re-establish a family values party, that's like saying that the Catholic Church cares about the welling being of children in their care, too late for that.
  12. Old Bill in Florida's Avatar
    If we don't buy produce from Arizona, there'll be no money to pay the vegatable pickers, and who suffers? Or is that the strategy of the boycott promoters? "Cripple Arizona economically so those who don't have to sell their property or businesses in order to move (i.e., most illegals) pack up and leave." When you use a shotgun methodology like a statewide boycott, you hit the very people you are trying to protect. And all you are really doing is tring to force your will on other people. In a democracy, we need to let the voters decide their own laws. Until I have a solution I can reccommend to Arizon that will solve their problems, I'm going to have to respect their right to self govern, and not sit back, miles removed from the situation, and dictate my will to another state.
  13. George Chell's Avatar
    "If we don't buy produce from Arizona, there'll be no money to pay the vegatable pickers, and who suffers? Or is that the strategy of the boycott promoters? "Cripple Arizona economically so those who don't have to sell their property or businesses in order to move (i.e., most illegals) pack up and leave.""

    It will be fantastic if 460,000 illegals plus a million legals and another million non-white citizens moved from Arizona into New Mexico. Arizona then will loose two electoral votes and NM will gain two...as simple as that! And NM is Democrat in most cases!
  14. USC's Avatar
    "you hit the very people you are trying to protect."

    This is the same nonsense that your ilk spouted when the rogue government of South Africa was sanctioned. Those sanctions were what caused a peaceful transtion of power and the subsequent exposure of the thugs that was the apartheid government of South Africa.

    "Until I have a solution I can reccommend to Arizon that will solve their problems, I'm going to have to respect their right to self govern, and not sit back, miles removed from the situation, and dictate my will to another state."

    The residents of Arizona do have to respect the United States constitution. They cannot simply vote to disregard it. I might also noted that Brewer is an unelected Governor and that all Democrats in The Arizona House & Senate voted against this measure and that all Can's (except for one Senator) voted in favor.

  15. Old Bill in Florida's Avatar
    Let the record show: no one has offered any solutions, no one addressed my concern that a boycott would also hurt the undocumented workers who will be the first to lose their jobs in any economic activity, no one said a word about the financial losses they want to lay on those Arizona businesses that don't support the law, and no one addressed my point about recognizing the autonomy of a sovereign state. All I'm hearing is a lot of self-righteous name calling.

    If you want to make an economic impact, volunteer to pay some extra Arizona taxes and help pay for the expenses illegal alliens are costing the people of border states. Put you money where your mouth is, and don't just try to take money away from other people so you can force your will on them like a bunch of Nazis.
  16. USC's Avatar
    "no one addressed my point about recognizing the autonomy of a sovereign state."

    Arizona is not a sovereign state. The United States is. If Arizona were a country then it would be a sovereign state.

    "don't just try to take money away from other people so you can force your will on them like a bunch of Nazis."

    No one called you any names and your "Nazi" reference to those opposed to your narrow minded views proves beyond any doubt that you have just lost any argument that you tried to make.
  17. Old Bill in Florida's Avatar
    USC--the "name calling" to which I referred was labeling people as racist. I'll concede my lanuage on Arizona not being soveriegn if you'll pony up some extra tax money to meet the needs of all the illegal residents. I didn't hear you touch that one. And you haven't offered any other solutions, either.
  18. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Bill - As you're new here and likely just found us as a result of a Google search, let me suggest you read through the archives of this blog. We have been discussing THE solution to all of this and its called comprehensive immigration reform which seeks to ramp up enforcement, deal with the current illegally present population and provide realistic and workable visa programs that will help prevent having to go through the exercise again in the coming years. When you say no one here is offering solutions, you're insulting people. You may not like their solutions, of course, and you're entitled to your opinion.
  19. USC's Avatar
    "And you haven't offered any other solutions, either."

    If you are looking for a solution, then it is addressing the root cause of the problem. No, that does not mean legalizing the illegals. It means that sufficent avenues of legal immigration should be available. We could start by removing all restrictions on those intending immigrants who have a net worth of say over $10 Million (for they are unlikely to be a burden on taxpayers or resources). We could next eliminate quotas on FB category immigrants of US Citizens, provided the USC's sponsors have sufficent assets to support them. EB category immigrants should be also be admitted without quota provided they are sponsored by a company with a net assets of over $10 Million dollars. These category of immigrants are going to contribute to the US economy and are unlikely to be a drain on it. This would clear the backlog and drastically reduce illegal immigration. If you are serious about a solution then this is it.

    "if you'll pony up some extra tax money to meet the needs of all the illegal residents"

    I can't supply a link but according to a prominent study, 5 states pay for the rest of the country. Arizona ain't one of them but New York and California are. So we are already paying for Arizona. Besides, the issue of whether illegals contribute or drain resources is open to debate.

    "no one addressed my concern that a boycott would also hurt the undocumented workers who will be the first to lose their jobs in any economic activity, no one said a word about the financial losses they want to lay on those Arizona businesses that don't support the law"

    Well, then the antis should support a boycott as well for it will cause the illegals to leave. Isn't that what they won't? As regards, Arizona businesses, if they suffer then I would respectfully suggest they lobby for a repeal of this law and consider making their voices heard at the ballot box.
  20. Old Bill in Florida's Avatar
    Greg--yes, I'm a newby on this site, and no, I haven't read all the backlog. If you would be so kind as to link a couple of succinct articles that wrap it up, I will appreciate it. But the only ones I've really heard have been: 1) Enforce the laws already have, and 2) amnesty for those who have broken the law. To the first, I say definitely! That, too. And to the second, I want to ask President Obama what other laws is it okay for us to ignore? We have many legal alliens who spent years waiting to get into this country and made other sacrifices in order to respect our laws and do it right. If we give amensty to those who didn't, we are insulting the ones who did. I cannot call those who kept the law "suckers."

    USC--my first solution is let the people of Arizona handle their problem the way they see fit. In order to satisfy the new law, residents simply have to carry a copy of a piece of paper they should already have, not unlike the way I carry my drivers license with me, even when I'm not driving, because I want some identification on my body if I am found unconscious. It isn't any big deal. In a free society, everybody has to bear the burden of law enforcement. I agree it is unpleasant to have to ask one segment of society to bear extra burden, but it should be a minimal burden. Carry documentation, produce it when asked, and go on about your business. Illegals will know to stay away, or get hauled away. Offer a better solution or give it up.

    You do realize there is a cottage industry called coyotes in some countries where unscrupulous people exhort money from people who want to enter this country illegally. Many die at their hands, but the industry thieves. Why? Because the illegals know, once they get in they've got a good chance of being able to get away with breaking the law long enough to make the odds pay off.

    Admittedly, I have strong interest in personal and state finances, so when you suggested allowing aliens who can bring major cash into the country, I saw a benefit. Allowing the best minds, most highly trained professionals, and richest people in makes us stronger. But, anything that makes us stronger will be at someone else's cost. I don't think we're be doing Latin America any favors to simply drain off their most successful citizens and leave them the coyotes and the field hands. Sorry, I'm not greedy enough to agree to a elitist wealth standard admission test.

    If New York and California are two of five states paying for Arizona's problem, then you must be addressing the expenses picked up by the Federal government. That would be a significant part of the cost that all of us are being forced to participate in, but not all of it. The Feds give some money to schools, but educating the children of illegals is still costing the state a fortune, as are other expenses. Arizona can still use your extra donation.

    It is interesting the one point I made using sarcasm is the one you embraced. The boycott would force illegals out of work and make them leave . . . to New Mexico. Not really a solution, just a transfer of the problem. And wouldn't it be better to let the anti-crackdown Arizona businesses do exactly what you said, "lobby for a repeal . . . ," without outsiders coercion? Give them a chance to "do the right thing" before you put them out of business to satisfy your agenda.

    I used a very harsh, inflammatory term which was probably overkill. I compared the boycotters to Nazis because it seemed to me Nazis forced their will onto others. And that's what the boycott does. Instead of letting the democratic process work, boycotters want to manipulate the democratic process from outside. I used that term because others were using what I consider to be a related inflammatory term, racists. Just because someone believes in states rights and law enforcement does not make them a racist. My second wrong did not make the first wrong right.

    Thank you.
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