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Today Obama meets with Brewer. Will leadership ensue?

By guest blogger, Elisabeth Lesser.

Today, Governor Jan Brewer will meet with President Obama regarding border security and Arizona’s SB 1070. This will be the first meeting between Governor Brewer and the President since the Governor signed SB 1070 into law in April, and the tone set tomorrow by the President will send a clear message about his priorities and agenda in the face of such blatant disregard for social justice and basic civil rights.

Deepak Bhargava, executive director of the Center for Community Change, released the following statement regarding the meeting:

“We don’t expect much from a governor who’s clearly more interested in winning a primary election than she is in protecting her state. She’s firmly dug her partisan heels into the Arizona sand, and will only use the meeting with the President as a platform for even more political grandstanding.”

I’d like to add that there are plenty of good reasons why Governor Brewer doesn’t inspire confidence. She stands beside Sarah Palin in the ranks of smug, uber-conservative female politicians. Asked by CNN how she would respond if the Department of Justice attempted to challenge SB 1070, Brewer responded firmly:

“We’ll meet you in court… I have a pretty good record of winning in court.”

And even when confronted with proof that her reasons for enacting SB 1070, namely increased crime, are not true, she dismisses the facts and sticks to her misrepresentations.

Back to Bhargava’s statement:

“But from the President we do expect action. He should immediately cancel the 287 g and Secure Communities programs that opened the door to the racist, divisive law Brewer signed last month. By ending local law enforcement’s role in immigration law, the President will leave no doubt that immigration law is solely the federal government’s purview.  The President must also call for an immediate moratorium on deportations until comprehensive immigration is enacted, thus making a statement that hardworking men and women will not be separated from their families simply because Republicans have chosen to continue obstructing progress.”

Fortunately, the fight against the startlingly discriminatory Arizona law has been flooding national headlines. Yesterday, nonviolent civil disobedience in New York reached a pinnacle as 56 protesters were arrested, the latest in a campaign of civil disobedience that has led to the arrests of people in DC, LA, Chicago and Seattle. And in Los Angeles County, the Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to join the Arizona boycott. CCC pledged to join this boycott on May 6th, and you can learn more about why you too should join us here.

As we watch the immigration debate rekindle in full force and Arizona strips its residents of  adequate civil liberties, it is clear that the people of this country are up in arms, and that the federal government needs to act. Let’s hope the President has heard the united voices against SB 1070 and will finally deliver on his campaign promise to actively reform our nation’s broken immigration system, once and for all.

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A glimpse into the future?

by Dennis Chin, guest blogger

Have you heard of this case?  Eduardo Caraballo, a U.S. citizen born in the U.S., spent last weekend in the custody of federal immigration agents in Chicago.  At the time of his arrest (for allegedly stealing a car) he presented them with ID and his birth certificate.  But, he says officials were skeptical.  From Caraballo, “Because of the way I look, I have Mexican features, they pretty much assumed that my papers were fake.”

Is this our crystal ball moment?

This is what racial profiling looks likes.  And this is the mechanism by which Arizona’s SB 1070 will work.

Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) says:

“In Arizona, they want everybody to be able to prove they’re legally in the country. They want everybody to prove that they’re an American citizen. Here we had an American citizen, that the federal government… could not determine, for more than three days, his status as an American citizen. It’s very, very, very dangerous ground to tread.”

Police officers will be wasting time and resources detaining people like Caraballo instead of actually keeping communities safe.  Local police know this and they have spoken out against this lawSome police chiefs say that the new immigration law would boost crime since the law would “intimidate crime victims and witnesses who are illegal immigrants and divert police from investigating more serious crimes.”

“This is not a law that increases public safety. This is a bill that makes it much harder for us to do our jobs,” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said. “Crime will go up if this becomes law in Arizona or in any other state.”

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Power to the people of Arizona

AZ amazing

With only minutes to go until Governor Jan Brewer’s announcement on SB 1070 in Arizona, thousands of people are gathered in Phoenix to call for justice.

The activism and energy being seen right now is further proof that we are fighting the good fight, the right fight, the fight of the people.

We are with you in spirit. And no matter what, la lucha sigue.

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