Arizona law borders on ethnic cleansing

Having spent 18 of my formative years in Arizona, I think I am fairly qualified to say that Arizonans should be embarrassed right now.

When former Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano was appointed secretary of homeland security for the Obama administration, the state collectively puffed out its chest and found some strut in its step. Had Arizonans known her departure would instigate a reign of terrorizing legislature, they probably would have flocked to Napolitano’s outbound jet en masse, clung to her ankles and cried, “Please — we’re begging you — don’t go!”

John Park | Daily Trojan

The state of Arizona’s affairs is best summed up by a text message I received from a former high school classmate after touching down in Tucson, Ariz., for a quick visit: “Welcome to Arizona! We hate Mexicans.”

I would like to believe that current Gov. Jan Brewer doesn’t really have it out for Latinos, but, unfortunately for her, the evidence is piling up against her favor. Taken with the two education reforms designed to eject any traces of minority influence from the classroom, her immigration reform bill flirts with constitutionality and has rendered her pretty indefensible.

Written into Arizona Senate Bill 1070 is the power to “determine the immigration status of the person … where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States” and for “a law enforcement officer, without a warrant, [to] arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.”

Conveniently enough, the bill also reminds readers that noncompliance with federal registration laws prescribed by Title II, Chapter 7 of the Immigration and Nationality Act — that is to say, non-legal residence —  is a federal crime in itself.

Disregarding for a moment the gargantuan dearth of empathy exhibited by Arizona lawmakers for their fellow human beings, the majority of whom seek nothing more than to eke out a living from the scarce pickings afforded by worldwide recession, the casual observer might note that centered in the crosshairs of this reform are Mexican Americans (and those of other ethnicities who appear Mexican), not illegal immigrants.

A routine traffic stop to cite a broken taillight can now prompt deportation. If a legally residing driver or passenger looks or sounds foreign and isn’t strapped with passport and birth certificate, an outmoded license photo might be a one-way ticket to border patrol.

And unlike airport security, these measures do not racially profile with the aim of protecting law-abiding citizens. At best, SB 1070 is an iron-fisted extension of the Census Bureau; at worst, it’s a declaration of ethnic cleansing.

Outraged celebrities, corporations and even cities, including Seattle and Los Angeles, have resolved to boycott the state, its tourism and its businesses, asserting that money talks, and the restricted flow of cash to the state ought to parch it to the point of submission. Indeed, Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who co-authored the Los Angeles rendition of the boycott resolution, suggested that about $7.7 million worth of city contracts with Arizona could be legally voided.

Critics of the boycott claim targeting the tourism industry, in which a higher percentage of Latinos are employed than any other sector, will only cripple the population that boycotters profess to want to protect. Yet the long-term gains of undisturbed citizenship and cultural respect surely outweigh the short-term economic consequences such an embargo would bring.

Though I half expect a Supreme Court case to settle the matter once and for all, it’s difficult to accept that Brewer and supporters were able to pen such a monstrosity into law to begin with. In a state whose population is about 30 percent hispanic, officials have established a far-reaching witch hunt. And, even if I can’t necessarily boycott the state and all its services for personal reasons, I intend to feel properly ashamed until my motherland gets its act together.

Hilary Lazarus is a senior majoring in biological sciences.

18 replies
  1. David
    David says:

    I know that college environments are ultra-liberal, but as a new USC graduate student, I am really quite shocked that a publication representing an institution as prestigious as USC would allow this article to be published. Go ahead and have a debate about the issue. Yes, make sure there is input from people who oppose the law (has there been any in the DJ that support it?). But to allow this knee-jerk regurgitating of every left-wing lie and half truth about this law is really beneath a publication associated with USC.

    Let’s visit reality for a second:
    1- All legal immigrants are required to carry documents that show they are here legally.
    2 – All immigrants are required to produce these documents when requested by a law enforcement officer.
    This is no different than a U.S. citizen being required to produce their driver’s license when stopped by a police officer. The law says that a person stopped by a police office must produce proof of identity. If you are driving, you must also prove you have a license. If you are an immigrant, you must prove you are here legally. How is this in any way racist?

    If a person is here illegally, it is the job of law enforcement to detain that person and subject them to the law of the state and country — the very same way it is done in every sovereign nation on the planet. How is this in any way racist? The fact that some municipalities have pledged to NOT enforce certain immigration laws is absurd, and those municipalities should be subjected to legal censure and penalty.

    We have a right, as a nation, to know who is within our borders and why. This is the same right that every nation upholds. What do you think would happen to you if you crossed illegally into Mexico? What would happen if you ran a red light in Mexico City, was pulled over by a police officer, and could not show that you were in the country illegally? Notice I did not specify what race the driver of the car was.

    We are reaching a crisis point with illegal immigration. The federal government has abdicated its responsibility for the last four administrations in direct opposition to the overwhelming will of the electorate. The state of Arizona has a RESPONSIBILITY to the citizens of Arizona to do whatever is necessary to protect the citizens. Letting ilegal aliens run wild is NOT protecting the citizens.

    This isn’t a Mexican vs. Caucassion issue — U.S. citizens of Mexican descent do not want illegal immigrants running unregulated through our streets, any more than those of western European descent. Shame on DT and by association USC, for participating in the race bating that is the hallmark of the Left Wing whenever the discussion even touches on the subject of race.

    USC expects a lot of me, academically and monetarily.
    I expect better from USC.

  2. Shotcaller
    Shotcaller says:

    The Arizona law will stand. It must. It is crafted from the federal law. If the AZ law is unconstitutional, what happens to the federal government’s ability to enforce immigration laws?

  3. Jerry

    Other would be immigrants are waiting for years through legal means to come to the U.S. while those from Mexico simply wants to jump the fence and the line to be home free. Where is the fairness or equality in that?

  4. Janice
    Janice says:

    I am wondering how many of the people across the United States that are against this Arizona law have actually READ it? I imagine not too many. As a former law enforcement officer, now retired, I dealt with this exact same issue though in another state. Laws written are enforced by KNOWING the law and how to APPLY it LEGALLY. NO officer worth his/her badge and position is going to become a mindless drone and selectively pick out someone to see if they are in this country UNLAWFULLY. Notice I said unlawfully, why, because as a law professor I once had, informed our class; illegal means a sick bird.
    When ever an officer stops a person(s) for some reason, one of the first things s/he will request is ID from that person(s).
    A ROUTINE check of the person(s) will be made for any WANTS or WARRANTS. IF the person(s) ID comes back as an UNKNOWN, then the officer can start digging deeper regarding who the person(s) is/are. The same applies if the person(s) state they have NO ID. Then the officer is going to be checking them out closer. This generally means the subject(s) will be taken to the local jail or holding facility while a more complete check, ie: photos and prints are done. IF it comes back that the subject(s) are UNLAWFULLY in this country, then at that time, Immigration and Customs Enforcement can be notified. THIS IS CURRENT STANDARD PROCEDURES ACROSS THE UNITED STATES, unless you live in San Francisco, Berkley, OR other so-called ‘sanctuary cities’, which I might add are VIOLATING FEDERAL LAW DAILY.
    So, exactly WHERE are the officer(s) acting like the “extermination” teams like the NAZI’s had? WHERE are the officer(s) abusing their SWORN OATH to treat all people the same regardless of age, race,color, sex, religious beliefs, or life style? WHERE exactly are the officer(s) going out of their way to ‘selectively enforce’ UNLAWFUL entry into the U.S.? Where are the officer(s) rounding up people by the droves and removing them from society? The Arizona law just recently passed is NOTHING MORE than a TOOL to assist the officer(s) in doing their SWORN duties. OFFICERS DID NOT WRITE THE LAW, VOTE ON THE LAW, OR PASS THE LAW. Their SWORN duty is to ENFORCE the law to the best of their ability and nothing more.

  5. John Smoh
    John Smoh says:

    I am against the law, but this article is beyond stupid. Ethnic cleansing? Really? You should be ashamed of yourself for writing such trash. Argue based on facts and not hyperbolic rhetoric. You are only hurting the cause.

  6. Michael
    Michael says:

    are you just angry cause you are a plumber? How come you didn’t go to college. How about we keep illegals who manage to get accepted into universities such as USC and deport other Americans to their country of ancestral origin for being such epic failures in life. If you were born in the U.S. and didn’t go to the college then you my friend are a LOSER!

    • Joe
      Joe says:

      Maybe Rick didn’t go to the college but at least he learned the grammar in the school and can put together the sentences without sounding like the childish imbecile.

  7. Rick
    Rick says:

    Having lived in Maricopa county, specifically Phoenix and Tempe for 11 years I too feel more than qualified to make my opinion known. Ethnic Cleansing? Are you Serious. Have you looked up the definition of ethnic cleansing and illegal immigration? Were a large group of Mexicans taken into a back alley, had their arms tied behind their backs and killed execution style in Phoenix lately? NO NO NO. Since you say you spent 18 years in Arizona do you remember when Arizona was forced by our own federal government and the ACLU on behalf of illegal Mexicans sneaking into this country to be provided Water stations in the middle of the Sonoran desert because so many of their kind were dying while sneaking across the border. Do you have to ask why Arizona is so upset? What part of ILLEGAL do people like you not understand? These people, and I am not just talking about Mexicans, but they are the main culprits here, are all breaking federal laws that have been on the books for years. There is no need to enact new laws against illegal immigration if our moronic federal government would enforce the laws already established. I’m all for LEGAL immigration. Hell my wife is a LEGAL IMMIGRANT from South Korea. She waited her 8 years while the paperwork was processed. Her uncle, who EARNED his citizenship fighting with us in Vietnam and her father who EARNED his citizenship fighting with us in Korea, sponsored her and her daughter to come to this country for a shot at a better life. That was in 2005, we met in 2006 at a Korean restaurant and married 2 years later. She went about coming to this country the correct way. She didn’t sneak across the border and drop a kid in the nearest San Diego Hospital and sponge off of everybody. We as American Citizens need to pull our nut sacks down and take a stand against what is happening in this country and that means sending “ALL” illegal’s back no matter what country they are from. I don’t want to live by the adage “I work hard because millions of ILLEGALS need OBAMA care” That is another subject left for another day. Did I also forget to mention that my Korean wife and Step Daughter also speak FLUENT ENGLISH and almost only speak Korean at home. I don’t believe that anyone should lose their native language but when you are out on the street and doing Business in this country believe it or not our national language is English. I have worked hard for this university for the past 5 years as a plumber and would hate to see that my step daughter and my new baby daughter wont get the chance to go to this university for free as part of my incentive to work here because some ILLEGAL needs their spaces in line for a quality education. I guarantee that is not too far off if we keep going the way we are now. It is time to strip away citizenship for anchor babies. Just because you sneak across this border and plop down a kid should not make that kid an instant Citizen with all my free tax money. AMERICA, wake up and smell the crap storm coming. St least Arizona has had the BALLS to do what the idiots in Washington wont do. Good luck ARIZONA.

    • Michael
      Michael says:

      are you just angry cause you are a plumber? How come you didn’t go to college. How about we keep illegals who manage to get accepted into universities such as USC and deport other Americans to their country of ancestral origin for being such epic failures in life. If you were born in the U.S. and didn’t go to the college then you my friend are a LOSER!

      • Rick
        Rick says:

        I’m a loser because i chose to be a plumber? Are you kidding me? When you’re $50,000/year piece of paper becomes as worthless as you are what are you going to do with your life? My job will ALWAYS be around and i will always make money. Remember who the people are that keep this University running. You think its people like little Mickeys big pockets daddy who keep this going? Think again! I did not EVER feel the need to go to college and have never needed anything of anyone else in my life. I bet you’re sitting in big daddys house right now Pissing and moaning because mommy asked you to do housework for your weekly allowance when you would rather be sitting in your bedroom jerking off to porn. This article and the comments was for Illegal immigration arguements not for an idiot like you to stand on your soap box and spout off how self rightous you are and belittle people that actually contribute something to society and to this University. Go stick your head back up your ass Mickey and fight for air?

        • Dr. Phil
          Dr. Phil says:

          No need for crass communication here. True, some don’t need college to go through a rite of passage. As long as you can financially subsist and demonstrate good interpersonal skills, then getting by in society without a college degree is fine. No need for ad hominem though.

  8. td
    td says:

    Wow. This piece may be a new low for the Daily Trojan. Whenever I think it couldn’t possibly get any worse, you outdo yourselves once again. Only a member of the DT staff could manage to write an article that exceeds all the hysterical hyperbole produced in response to this law thus far. Congratulations.

  9. Harry LAS 77"
    Harry LAS 77" says:

    WE can respect differing views of the AZ law, but I side with the state. As long as the law does NOT imply racial profiling, and only way to check on documents is if there is some reason why the police pulled a car over or questioning a pedestrian(not simply because they are “brown” or dressed funky……………then I see n0 prob with this!! We have to carry our driver’s license when we drive, so why not one’s green card, fi they are here legally? No probs whatsoever with legal immigrants from ANY nation, the prob is……… ILLEGAL immigrants from ANY country; it is soley a matter of following the letter of the law, for any “law abiding” proper resident(with card/document), residing in our US of A………… they are ALL WELCOME!!! take note of these words…….. ILLEGAL, UNDOCUMENTED, from ANY COUNTRY!!!! no racial or social profiling, just follow the law!! pure and simple!!!

  10. supporter of the law
    supporter of the law says:

    good for Az to finally get the ball rolling. Its about time somebody took a stand against ILLEGALS who get across the border to give their kids free health care, free education and even citizenship (yes pregnant women cross the border to give birth so their children are US citizens). Why is it that everyone wants to side with the illegals…? What I cannot fathom is why people are so willing to forgive these people who exploit our laws, cost us money and dont pay a dime into our ever growing deficit?

    I agree with Mr. Ganiere, people choose to misread the law because EVERYONE needs to carry their documents with them, it doesn’t explicitly say MEXICANS, or “those of Hispanic heritage”.

    PS- LA cant boycott AZ because AZ will cut off our water and electricity, so that plan was an epic failure along with everything else LA tries to accomplish. Im ready to move to AZ, at least they are on the right track. FIGURE IT OUT

  11. Greg Katz
    Greg Katz says:

    Every state in the US require the citizenry to carry a proper and legal form of ID. By comparing Arizona Senate Bill 1070 to some form of Nazi rule or calling it “ethnic cleansing” only enhances your own prejudicial and social moralistic viewpoints….. you are the bigot, not the people of Arizona, nor their lawmakers. This bill provides the same sort of power and authority to check one’s identification and legal status, as required by the laws of the United States. But then again, you being only a young faced and fresh from the bosom of your parents home, you do not understand the true reality of life in this world.

    When you start making your own money, and have to be accountable for the increasing level of a percentage of your hard-earned income to pay taxes, then and only then will you realize that your future and that of your children is being sucked out of existence. Liberal socialism is communism, and those who profess to want to see “hope” and “change” are not lookin g out fo rthe best interests of our country and its people…. just themselves.

    You must open your eyes to the true effects of a non-secured border.
    It’s not a good picture.

  12. Christopher Ganiere
    Christopher Ganiere says:

    Many people are purposely misunderstanding the law. The law merely does what every country does. If police see something out of sorts – minor traffic violation, loitering, intimidation, rude behavior, disorderly conduct, anything that might run afoul of any state or federal law, they may ask about immigration status ALSO. If you are in France, the police may stop you at any time and ask for your papers. If you are in Irvine, CA and are taking pictures – you may be stopped. There is no new authority or power granted by this law. It “borders” on a statement that they don’t want any more Mexican gangs operating in AZ

  13. Chris
    Chris says:

    Well, it does day “bordering.” I think you know she didn’t mean that the law = holocaust, so don’t act all baffled and indignant, June.

    I’d definitely warn the author, though, that any comparisons even skirting the holocaust issue need to be massively qualified: in the same way that plenty of people discount Glenn Beck because he’s constantly comparing Obama to Hitler, you have to explain exactly which aspects you’re referring to and specify that you don’t mean Mexican Americans are being “tortured, raped, etc.” Talk about ‘second-class citizens having to carry their papers, being illegally searched and profiled’ or something, but it will be too easy for people like June to ignore your argument if you just leave it at “ethnic cleansing.”

    By requiring a certain group to carry around papers, it evokes some similar feelings in a lot of people. I definitely think Lazarus brings up a good point about the demographics, though; with a 30% Hispanic population, the rates of 55%-60% support in AZ are a little scary. Nationally, I get it: sure, 51% (CBS/NYT, May 3) like it, because there are plenty of folks in the rest of the country that want to ‘just kick ’em all out.’ I’d like to see more polling within the state, though, to see how the local public opinion breaks down.

  14. June James
    June James says:

    Ethnic cleansing? Really? LOL.

    1) How many Mexicans have been murdered by the state?
    2) How many have been sent to concentration camps?
    3) How many have been put to mass graves?
    4) How many have been tortured, raped or relocated?

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