ARIZONA PASSES DISCRIMINATIVE IMMIGRATION LAW
GOVERNOR JAN BREWER SIGNS (SB 1070) TOUGHEST ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION LAW IN U.S.
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for the most part do only menial unskilled labor and pose no threat. It is also commonly understood by the mass majority of city residents that the real problem in dealing with the continuance of L.A.'s pernicious gang activities stems from a culture of urban gangsterism which has long been established most specifically in the Chicano and African-American communities, with neither of these being illegal nor immigrant. Last year, there were 314 people murdered in L.A. down 18 percent from 2008 which saw 380. Since the L.A. Riots of 1992 which saw nearly 1,200 people murdered within city limits, L.A. has consistently seen a downward trend in murders all while the illegal immigrant population has continued to grow. These are the type of real life statistics that do not go unnoticed by L.A. city officials whose job is to protect and serve the public interest. As veteran L.A.P.D. Homicide Detective Chris Barling of the Criminal Gang Homicide Group notes "all murders, not just gang related ones, are down." In comparison, last year both New York and Chicago saw their murder rates each increase to over 500. When questioned about possible reasons for the decline in L.A.'s murder rate, 13 year homicide detective-in-training, Officer John Ferreria said "the people are (now finally)... more willing to help". Years of work to improve community relations between the police and all of L.A.'s Latino immigrant communities is seen as one of the key factors in the reduction of crime. This is due to their close proximity as observers in the highest crime infested areas of the city and their willingness to cooperate with police. For these and other reasons, L.A. municipal officials have been very sympathetic to the plight of illegal immigrants thereby declaring the City of Los Angeles to be a "sanctuary" city for all people. Other large U.S. municipalities with similar reported facts and understandings have begun to follow suit. In Arizona, SB 1070 will be in direct conflict with the local officials in Phoenix, Tuscon, Mesa, and Chandler which are all reported to be sanctuary cities. Some of the other large sanctuary cities around the country include (by order of population): New York, Chicago, Houston, San Diego, Dallas, Detroit, San Jose, San Francisco, Columbus, Austin, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Seattle, Denver, Charlotte, Fort Worth, Portland, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Long Beach, Albuquerque, Fresno, Virginia Beach, Oakland, Tulsa, Minneapolis, Miami, Santa Ana, Saint Paul, Aurora, Raleigh, Newark, Anchorage, Jersey City, Madison, Salt Lake City, and New Haven.
Whereas some government officials are willfully choosing to remain either ignorant or silent regarding the true crime statistics of illegal immigrants and their overall peaceful nature in this country, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's predecessor, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, has not. She immediately issued a warning stating that the law would hinder federal law enforcement efforts in the state. She also responded to SB 1070's signing by stating that, "With the strong support of state and local law enforcement, I vetoed several similar pieces of legislation as governor of Arizona because they would have diverted critical law enforcement resources from the most serious threats to public safety and undermined the vital trust between local jurisdictions and the communities they serve." The reaction to SB 1070 throughout Arizona has been quick and diverse. Some Arizona officials abhorred by the new law are criticizing that it will further stigmatize Arizona's national reputation as its past refusal to honor the birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. also did. House Representative for southern Arizona, Democrat Raul M. Grijalva, has called for a boycott of conventions in his own state. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, a 52-year law enforcement official, issued a statement decrying the flase merits of SB 1070 declaring that he'll refuse to enforce it. Contrary to Sheriff Dupnik's understanding of his own state's law enforcement needs where he's called SB 1070 “racist, disgusting, and unnecessary”, it has been stated by many reporting parties that a recent poll of Arizonians showed 70% of the state voters supported the measure — even though 53% of them also said it could lead to civil rights violations. What is often not reported and know by most people is that the population of Arizona is also 87% white (ref: US Census). While some Chicano activists have been outspokenly critical of the tepid, somewhat luke-warm, outrage being expressed from leadership in the African-American community, which is perceived to be already fully entrenched in the power structures of this country; President Obama did immediately issue a statement calling SB 1070 "misguided" and further signaled that a legal showdown might be possible where his administration would "examine the civil rights and other implications" of this new law. Department of Justice officials said they "were reviewing the bill".
Many in the Mexican American community have already become mobilized. Demonstrations are being held throughout the nation. Others are vowing to fight for the rights of all immigrants in the courts. So too, supporters of la comunidad are steadily increasing with time.