Andrea Nill: Fixing the broken immigration system by creating a flexible number of opportunities for economic migrants to work in the U.S. without sacrificing border security is a much more practical and realistic solution.
Andrea Nill: Rather than crippling one of the few clothing manufacturers left in the U.S. — one that pays its workers a decent wage and has dedicated a portion of its profits to advocating for immigration reform — perhaps the focus in the absence of major reform should be on punishing those employers who make a profit by exploiting immigrant workers via the strengthening of our nation’s labor laws.
Andrea Nill: It’s doubtful Whitman will start posting giant billboards in Spanish promoting her support for Arizona and her opposition to a path to legalization under any circumstances.
Andrea Nill: SB-1070 enjoys high levels of support amongst members of the National Socialist Movement. However, the majority of SB-1070 supporters are not neo-Nazis. What’s troubling is that despite the widespread belief that SB-1070 will lead to increased racism and racial profiling, the majority of Arizonans still support it.
Andrea Nill: Whitman’s stance on Proposition 187 is also a contradiction in itself. During her primary campaign, Whitman released an ad featuring former Gov. Pete Wilson (R-CA) who affirmed that Whitman will be “as tough as nails” on immigration. Wilson’s endorsement might have scored some points with right-wingers, but it also meant a lot to California Latinos who remember him backing Proposition 187.
Andrea Nill: Proponents of Arizona’s new immigration law, SB-1070, have a new talking point: they are now arguing that if the Department of Justice (DOJ) is going to legally challenge SB-1070, it should also go after “sanctuary city” policies as well. “Sanctuary city” is a right-wing derisive term used to describe cities that have adopted community policing policies that prevent police from asking about the immigration status of or detaining and arresting immigrants solely for being undocumented.
Andrea Nill: Palin informed O’Reilly that she would do “whatever it takes” to secure the border, including “militarizing” the border with 10,000-15,000 National Guard troops and building a wall.
Andrea Nill: However, according to Kyl, securing the border is like the war in Iraq or Afghanistan. “It’s not enough to say ‘gee, we have a lot of people down there’ — the question is but are you succeeding,” explained Kyl. Kyl believes it boils down to “different strategies that need to be employed.”
Andrea Nill: Contrary to what the anti-immigrant right might suggest, despite a major recession, most farmers and ranchers are still struggling to find the workers they need. “Comprehensive immigration reform is needed, so that America’s farmers and ranchers can continue to produce an abundant supply of safe, healthy food, as well as renewable fuels and fiber for our nation,” writes Ron Gaskill, director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Andrea Nill: At a recent town hall meeting in Tempe, Arizona, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) announced that President Obama is “holding border security hostage” to immigration reform. Kyl claims that Obama suggested in private that Democrats won’t secure the border because, if they do, Republicans will have no reason to support immigration reform
Andrea Nill: At this point, it’s difficult to verify what role, if any, SB-1070 played in Varela’s death. However, chances are the law has made an already toxic atmosphere worse. A growing number of Latinos are already the targets of discrimination and hate crimes in the U.S. SB-1070 has only exploited the public’s frustration with federal government inaction and played to their worst instincts.
Andrea Nill: Tuesday, local Arizona news stations began reporting that a group of undocumented immigrants were shot at in an area of Parker Canyon located near Rio Rico Arizona on Friday. According to reports, a group of undocumented border crossers were shot at by two men wearing camouflage using high-powered rifles.
Andrea Nill: Fiorina has instead maintained that “You don’t need comprehensive immigration reform to secure the border.” Yet, contrary to what she suggested on Fox News Sunday, the Obama administration has actually spent more on immigration enforcement and border security than the previous administration.
Andrea Nill: As Tyler Falk of Grist points out, there’s something seriously wrong with the fact that “British Petroleum can legally come to the Gulf and devastate an entire ecosystem and the economy it supports, but when “illegal” immigrants come to clean up the mess, they are treated like criminals.”
Andrea Nill: A new cell phone video “raises questions” about the claims made by the border patrol agent who shot and killed a 14-year-old boy earlier this week. The border patrol agent reportedly told authorities that he was surrounded by rock-throwers, as if to imply that he had no choice but to shoot his gun in self-defense. FBI special agent Andrea Simmons told the press that the border patrol agent “gave verbal commands to the remaining subjects to stop and retreat…the subjects surrounded the agent and continued to throw rocks at him.” However, the video captured by a cell phone on the Mexican side of the border shows a different scene:
Andrea Nill: Lucas Restrepo, M.D., published a piece in the New England Journal of Medicine that provided a whole new angle on the effect SB-1070 will have on the medical profession. Restrepo points out that, under the law, health care providers who treat undocumented immigrants could be considered criminals.
Andrea Nill: Tuesday,, the Arizona Republic reported that “the exodus of illegal and legal immigrants predicted by some as a result of Arizona’s tough new immigration law is expected to hurt a variety of businesses that directly and indirectly cater to immigrant populations.” If all of Arizona’s undocumented immigrants “disappeared,” the state could lose $26.4 billion in economic activity, $11.7 billion in gross state product, and approximately 140,324 jobs.
Andrea Nill: Pierce isn’t the first lawmaker to go after the children of immigrants. Since taking office, Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) has tried and failed to pass seven pieces of legislation that would either repeal or reinterpret the 14th Amendment’s definition of citizenship. Most recently, Bilbray took his anti-14th Amendment crusade to the state-level, backing the Taxpayer Revolution’s “Anchor Baby” reform initiative which sought to limit the rights and benefits of the U.S. citizen children of undocumented immigrants by redefining the 14th Amendment’s jurisdiction.
Andrea Christina Nill: Gordon described a “perfect storm” consisting of three factors. First, the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine radicalized the political discourse. Second, beefed up border security along the California and Texas borders with Mexico redirected smugglers and cartel operatives toward Arizona. And lastly, the economic recession. Gordon explains that “politicians who love their job a lot more than they love their state or their country” exploited the three factors and led Arizona into the predicament it’s in now.
Andrea Nill: Kagan could have a direct impact on the role the federal, state, and local governments play in enacting and enforcing immigration laws. Her potential confirmation could also have a more indirect effect on how the nation’s immigration population is treated and who is and isn’t protected by the U.S. Constitution.
Andrea Christina Nill: Perhaps the most damning evidence that the law hasn’t really changed is the fact that its main sponsor, state Sen. Russell Pearce (R) admitted himself that the new wording won’t alter how the law is enforced. The changes also do not address the fact that the new law is likely unconstitutional on the grounds that it allows the state to regulate immigration — a power which the Constitution explicitly assigns to the federal government.
Andrea Christina Nill: Last week, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) said that President Barack Obama “thinks Americans are stupid” for trying to “convince” voters that Republicans are trying to obstruct financial reform. It turns out that DeMint is the one who is insulting the intelligence of the American people by suggesting that Republicans aren’t pulling every stop to try to derail a bill that has receivedwidespread public support.
Andrea Nill: It’s also worth noting that a study by the ACLU on racial profiling in Arizona found that “while African-Americans, Latinos, Native-Americans and Asian-Americans are more likely to be stopped and searched by law enforcement on suspicion of carrying contraband, whites were actually more likely to be carrying contraband.”