Arizona Is Taking the Flak

Almost a year later, the predictions of a tidal wave of state immigration-enforcement laws haven’t panned out. While some states may have push for anti-immigration bills, during Arizona’s heated days, little to nothing has changed in the U.S. According to the National Council of State Legislatures, only 28 states have introduced immigration bills this year, but little has change in immigration legislation. Among those strong states are Utah and Georgia, both whom introduced a vast number bills similar to SB1070 or other anti-immigrations laws. But in Arizona those who seem most negatively affected include small businesses and of course illegal immigrants.

During it’s early passage, SB 1070 spurred hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of immigrant families to leave Arizona and many immigrants say they are still planning to leave, either because they are afraid of being deported or because they can’t find jobs due to the economy and tougher immigration enforcement. So good riddance to those illegal’s, but does it really mean they left or have they gone elsewhere within the U.S. The most probable cause is that they moved somewhere else within the U.S. and they are still here. Other immigrants have been forced to live “underground,” making a living by selling used clothing or other items, standing at corners and living off $30-$40 dollars a day and at times even nothing. Often they will stay home in fear that if a police officer happens to stop them, they may get deported. Illegal or not, no one deserves to live in fear and these drastic measures are making it hard for people in the business world to make profits.

Though many large firms and businesses said to feel no impact from the bill, small businesses state other wise. “sales to supermarkets and grocery stores that cater to Latinos dropped 20 percent in the wake of SB 1070. “Eggs are not easily substituted, so it wasn’t that there was some other foodstuff that was being substituted,” he said. “It was a real loss of consumption because the people aren’t here any more.”

And while these small owners face it hard Rep. John Kavanagh says “”It makes me feel good, “Mr. Hickman (will have to) have less hens. I am not going to maintain a large population of illegal immigrants who drain our economy and cost us in benefits just so that Mr. Hickman can sell 20 percent more in eggs.”

But for those “illegals” who still remain in Arizona, good news awaits them. Because the author, Arizona state Senate President, Russell Pearce is facing recall and his bill SB1070 isn’t receiving the support it once had. Nonpartisan group Citizens for a Better Arizona, co-chaired by a Republican and a Democrat, say they are on track to meet the May 31st deadline to submit the 7,756 signatures required for the recall election of Senate President Pearce. More sad for the Senate President is that a Republican groups  have been on the look out for similar signatures. Arizonans for a Better Government (a Republican group)has been collecting recall petition signatures. Some of their efforts have shifted to recruit and groom potential Republican candidates to challenge Pearce in the recall. The possibility is for a recall is high, it makes sense, why else would anyone be on the look out to challenge the Senate President.

And people who once supported the Senate President now say “I thought [Pearce] would be the answer to [immigration] problems, but now he wants to let people bring guns into our schools, and they gave money to businesses to build more houses”  Recent bills proposed by Senate President Pearce have been vetoed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Such Bills would have allowed guns on Arizona College Campuses and another included a birther bill.

 Things aren’t looking too well for the Senate President and these efforts to get him out are progressing well. As for the SB 1070, Legislation is working on drastic revisions and it won’t be long before it moves up to U.S. Supreme Court for even harsher changes. A year later what you see in Arizona is lost population, businesses, and business investments, is that what SB 1070 called for?


Senate Bill 1070


“Requires officials and agencies of the state and political subdivisions to fully comply with and assist in the enforcement of federal immigration laws and gives county attorneys subpoena power in certain investigations of employers. Establishes crimes involving trespassing by illegal aliens, stopping to hire or soliciting work under specified circumstances, and transporting, harboring or concealing unlawful aliens, and their respective penalties”

A purpose for an issue that affects the State of Arizona more than any other state in this country. But the matter of the fact is that the issue is not being handled/addressed properly: Border Safety. And when will a “real” solution come about, no one can give a direct answer. Not even the president of the United States. And currently this issue is being “treated, ” but with the wrong policy. Though a metaphor, it’s like giving someone aspirin to treat a brain tumor. The pain may go away for some time, but the tumor won’t, after it’s treated properly.

And why the wrong policy you may ask? Have you read the bill? It may be vital to do so, and not only because this post is basis, but because it’s best one have clear background on the current treatment for border safety in Arizona.

Senate Bill 1070 is composed of 16 pages all which contain specific information on the legal proceedings one maybe held accountable for if

a. one attempts to or helps an unauthorized alien

b. knowingly hires and unauthorized alien

But is not limited to explain the proceedings for those detained and present in the U.S illegally.

And so why is this not the right treatment? On a basis of points I shall address what I feel the bill fails to define and how some of the solutions to the identification of unauthorized alien workers is not the best of all.

POINT ONE: Section 2.B Page 1: What is considered “reasonable suspicion” for one to be considered an “alien who is unlawfully present in the United States” ? Not a single sub point, section, or continence define this statement. What is the officer to look to for reasonable suspicion? Physical attributes: Is this another Latino issue? And who is the main target: Mexicans or people who look like them. But is this not racism?

POINT TWO: Section 2.E Page 1: A Law Enforcement Officer, without a warrant, may arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe the person has committed any public offence…” What is probable cause? So I know you may be thinking I am questioning the definition of simple terms, but in the case where one is stopped for a probable cause, one has no ideas what may be, I feel like the need for a clear definition is needed. And what goes to say that this arrest won’t go beyond immigration. Because it statement this arrest requires no warrant from an officer, only “probable cause”

POINT THREE: Section 7. I Page 13: “…proof of verifying the employment authorization of an employee through e-verify program,” let stop at e-verify. In brief, e-verify is a program that allows employers to run a check on the validity of social security numbers. Often employers run this check but often won’t consider to check if the name and the social match. It cost employers time and also money, so the checking stops as soon as the social security number comes out as valid. And if “valid” is all that is required to prove the legal employment of a person, then that’s a loophole in the system.

Beyond these points there is much more that one should consider, and as simple as these point may seem, they all are the current flawed attempt to treat an issue that continues today. People will continue to come to the U.S. illegally. This immigration matter isn’t all about border security, it’s also about the people who are already here. These people may be undocumented students who need a job for an education or they maybe people who want a better life other than the one in their home country. The immigration system has been broken for a long time and border security, while it is needed, does nothing to solve the underlying problem.

In the Bay Area: Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC)

An organization established to support immigrant students in their pursuit of college and citizenship in the Bay Area. Through various resources, services, and programs this organizations provides means for these immigrant students to realize their American Dream. Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) was started in 2006 by Carrie Evans and Katharine Gin, in effort to provide information, resources, and support to immigrant students without legal status. Information was often not relevant and inaccessible to many students.

“The organization has grown into an active and close-knit community of immigrant students, educators, attorneys, activists, parents, and artists. Working to offer a comprehensive suite of programs and services that address the financial, legal, political, professional, and socio-emotional needs of immigrant students who do not yet have residency or citizenship.”

 E4FC’s main resources include scholarships, internships, workshops, legal resources, and mentoring.

Some of their major scholarships include the Scholars Program. Financial awards for students living or attending school the bay area. These scholarships maybe up to $10,000 and the scholars are selected based on their academic achievements, financial needs, and community impact.

Their internship program is mainly directed for graduate students and connects such students to “professional and real-life work experience.”

Their workshops include “The Power of Telling Your Story.” A workshop the enables and empowers students to tell their story as an immigrant student or ally.

 Legal Service provides free legal analyses intended for immigrant students who do not yet have legal residency or citizenship in the United States through possible immigration remedies and/or benefits to immigrant students nationwide. Any information given is confidential and anonymous.

Their website provides more detailed information and more resources not summarized here.

E4FC has received a great deal of support from well know individuals, such as Jorge Ramos from Univision, who donated $20,000 to the organization. Other media takes include the SF Weekly and the Huffington Post, running the stories of undocumented students featured though E4FC. And more recently (video below) in, where the “Student Outreach Team won a $7,000 grant to increase graduation rate of undocumented students in California community colleges”

E4FC has become a powerful source that any immigrant students look to for specific information in the bay area. The organization continues to expand and update its information and resources, as the need and voice for immigration reform for many undocumented students becomes more vital than ever.