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  • Arizona’s racist immigrant law


    by Rumbold
    2nd May, 2010 at 10:00 pm    

    Arizona’s recently passed immigration law is continuing to come under heavy criticism because it is likely to entrench racial discrimination against non-whites. The law is ostensibly designed to tackle the problem of illegal immigration, but when it comes into force (in around three months’ time) it will put huge pressure on the police to stop and question any non-white citizens. An article in the Economist summed up the main problems with the bill:

    Illegal immigration is a federal crime. Mr Pearce’s law, however, would also make it a state crime and would require the police, as opposed to federal agents, to make arrests and check the immigration status of individuals who look suspicious to them. Citizens who think their cops are not vigilant enough would be encouraged to sue their cities or counties, and no city or county may remain a “sanctuary” where this law is not enforced…

    Arizona is an overwhelmingly white state, and virtually all illegal immigrants—perhaps about half a million in the state—are Hispanic. Whom else would cops suspect and arrest but the brown ones? Even American Latinos who happen to be out without their driving licence might be at risk.

    The strength of feeling against the new law is shown by the fact that a police officer is suing the state because he believes that the law is unconstitutional, while a number of cities in Arizona are mulling over where to stop the law being enforced in their areas.

    Illegal immigration is a problem (being illegal), and obviously there has to be some enforcement (otherwise it shouldn’t be illegal), but this law is draconian and racist. America has failed to get to grips with illegal immigration for a while now, thanks to self-interested Republicans and Democrats having scuppered any chance of reform during the Bush years. Thankfully the bill may yet be overturned in the courts, as Barack Obama and a whole hosts of groups have declared their opposition to it.

    In a sad footnote, the law marks the final demise of John McCain as someone one could admire even if you disagreed with some of his policies. The man who once led the fight against US torture and in favour of humane immigration reform has now been reduced to supporting the draconian law in a desperate attempt to defend his senate seat in the Republican primary against a Tea-Party candidate.


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    1. sunny hundal

      Blog post:: Arizona's racist immigrant law http://bit.ly/btMRzg


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      RT @pickledpolitics Pickled Politics » Arizona’s racist immigrant law http://bit.ly/cfFhiR


    3. Justin Baidoo

      RT @sunny_hundal: Blog post:: Arizona's racist immigrant law http://bit.ly/btMRzg


    4. Arizona, Arizona Ãœber Alles « the bad days will end

      [...] digg.com: Stories / Popular.) Arizona’s racist immigrant law: “Arizona’s recently passed immigration law is continuing to come under heavy criticism [...]




    1. Shamit — on 2nd May, 2010 at 10:48 pm  

      Spot on all points Rumbold.

    2. earwicga — on 2nd May, 2010 at 11:42 pm  

      Lots of people out campaigning against this: http://www.truthout.org/may-day-rallies-take-immigration-fight-streets59074

    3. KJB — on 3rd May, 2010 at 12:12 am  

      I hope that this ridiculous law can be successfully challenged - I remember reading somewhere that it would effectively kill Arizona’s economy.

      Check this out, though - an Ohio Republican candidate wants to microchip illegal immigrants! Yes, it just gets better and better:

      http://www.womanist-musings.com/2010/04/now-republicans-want-to-microchip.html

    4. douglas clark — on 3rd May, 2010 at 1:46 am  

      KJB @ 3,

      You should, perhaps, have publicised this brilliant quote:

      I can microchip my dog so I can find it. Why can’t I microchip an illegal?

      Sometimes the words of Republicans prove that their minds are not actually human. The robotic view of human existence, well that of others, obviously, is frankly a bit shit.

      Why can’t they microchip their wives too? Seems a logical extension to me. Better still, a small explosive charge in the brain and a button at their fingertips.

      These people are clinically psychotic, and I say that as someone with absolutely no qualifications in psychiatry. How come they get elected?

      It is quite scary.

      Someone should ask Cameron what he thinks about notions like this, I think we can assume that the BNP would at least welcome the idea….

    5. KJB — on 3rd May, 2010 at 1:59 am  

      douglas - No, they wouldn’t, as they’d no doubt prefer illegals out of the country or dead… Why bother microchipping them, when you could just be getting rid of them one way or another? I mean, that is what their ‘voluntary repatriation’ is about; getting rid. And let’s not even ask ‘Well, BNP, how do you plan to do that?’ as you know the answer would just be something like ‘We can tell by looking at them/listening to them.’ Their bullshit ideas are, inevitably, backed up by bullshit ‘theory’ as we all know far too well from the trolls we’ve had on here before.

    6. douglas clark — on 3rd May, 2010 at 2:09 am  

      KJB,

      Point taken. By that point in my post I was on a sci-fi roll!

      You are right. They are much worse than that.

      Well, maybe. I’d like to come back on that but the clock is running down on me I minute, 9 seconds….

    7. I AM DUFFY — on 3rd May, 2010 at 2:15 am  

      Despite all the wailing and hand-wringing from the bleeding hearts on the loony left, the Arizona legislation merely requires that a police officer who stops, detains or arrests someone, and who has reasonable grounds for suspecting that the individual may be an illegal alien, verifies their immigration status.

      What could be more sensible in a state overrun with illegals? It sounds like the sort of jolly good idea that should be introduced in Britain immediately.

    8. douglas clark — on 3rd May, 2010 at 2:45 am  

      KJB,

      I think it is a fairly well worn liberal principle that the way we treat asylum seekers, or illegal immigrants, is a measure of how the state would like to treat us all.

      I don’t know if you agree with that, but it resonates with me.

      What is done to the weakest in our society ought to be a measure of that society.

      To even contemplate ‘chipping’ or indeed some wider form of the ‘tagging’ scheme that we all seem so happy about, seems to me to be taking us into a Police State.

      These are measures of repression. These are wedge strategy tactics. Accept the mere notion that it might be reasonable for Somali refugees, or paedophiles, then the principle that the state hasn’t a grossly intrusive entitlement over us is surrendered.

      We will end up as slaves. Meat robots if you like.

      Then a tiny elite will determine whether or not we should be god fearing, or homophobes, or worker bees, or socialists or libertarians. The battle for agency will have been lost and may never be recovered.

      It is a fucking less subtle than 1984.

      No-one has the right to do that to you or your journey through this vale of tears.

      Least, that’s what I think.

      (You may wish to look out Harlan Ellison’s seminal work on the subject - “Repent Harlequin said the Tick-Tock Man”.

      The rejoinder to the title is:

      “Get stuffed,” said the Harlequin.)

    9. douglas clark — on 3rd May, 2010 at 2:50 am  

      I AM DUFFY @ 7,

      So, what is your position on what KJB posted at 3?

    10. KJB — on 3rd May, 2010 at 3:01 am  

      What is done to the weakest in our society ought to be a measure of that society.

      To even contemplate ‘chipping’ or indeed some wider form of the ‘tagging’ scheme that we all seem so happy about, seems to me to be taking us into a Police State.

      Agreed. I wouldn’t bother asking ‘I AM DUFFY’ what it thinks, though, Douglas. It clearly doesn’t think, as that moronic comment shows.

    11. douglas clark — on 3rd May, 2010 at 3:22 am  

      KJB,

      Cheers.

      You may agree with this then:

      http://dougiesplace.blogspot.com/2010/05/agency-or-not-pat-bertroche.html

    12. 241 — on 3rd May, 2010 at 4:39 am  

      “Agreed. I wouldn’t bother asking ‘I AM DUFFY’ what it thinks, though, Douglas. It clearly doesn’t think, as that moronic comment shows.”

      I am a little confused on your premise and motivation here KJB, on the one hand you seem to be crying out as a libertarian in the name of humanity, on the other hand though, in practice you quickly dehumanise an individual you disagree with referring to them as ‘it.’

      You object to people being equated to canines, which at least are sentient beings, but have no truck with reducing another human being to the status of a thing.

      You certainly, are no better then those your claim to protest against.

    13. I AM DUFFY — on 3rd May, 2010 at 6:02 am  

      @9

      Mr/Ms KJB appears to be floating two propositions at #3.

      The first being that Arizona’s economy would collapse overnight if the illegals were made to go away. Well quel horreur! I suppose it would be tragic if Arizonans were compelled to mow their own lawns, clean their own pools and flip their own burgers but, you know, I have sneaking feeling they’ll somehow pull through despite the overwhelming odds.

      The other point appears to concern ‘chipping’ illegals which I would object to on the grounds of cost (assuming a GPS-based system is what is being proposed). A lower-tech but equally effective and more manageable approach like that currently implmented by Securicor to control the movements of terrorist suspects and other anti-social elements in the UK would seem to to me to be more appropriate. Although I’m open to arguments pro and contra.

      The important thing is that we know what the blighters are up to at any particular point in time, so whether it’s by chipping ‘em or by fitting them with collars or anklets is really by the by.

    14. douglas clark — on 3rd May, 2010 at 6:16 am  

      241,

      Au contraire, young 241.

      I am a tad confused that you identify yourself as a number. You have already stripped yourself of your humanity.

      It seems to me that as ‘I AM DUFFY’, an almost ridiculous combination of being unnecessarily LOUD and NOISY, has been tucked up into bed by his or her fascist parents, perhaps you could answer the question put to the aforesaid person.

      To repeat:

      So, what is your position on what KJB posted at 3?

      You are fine on the vituperation. You are not so good, so far, on the substantive arguement.

      Let’s be clear here. You are supporting some moron that thinks human beings should be compared to dogs.

      In my view, arguing over possessive pronouns rather misses the fucking point.

      Well, how extreme do you want to be?

    15. I AM DUFFY — on 3rd May, 2010 at 6:21 am  

      @12

      Perhaps Mr/Ms KJB is a Kraut, and thus of a mother tongue in which objects can be masculine, feminine or neuter.

      Wasn’t it Mark Twain who remarked that German is the only language in which a girl (ein Mädchen) is neuter whilst a turnip (eine Rübe) is feminine?

      I think we should be told.

    16. I AM DUFFY — on 3rd May, 2010 at 6:27 am  

      @14

      Rather curious that it could have failed to register with someone whose antennae are finely-tuned as your your own that I AM DUFFY is a riff on a recently launched propaganda exercise by other faux-nationalists and, no, it’s not the SNP for a change.

    17. douglas clark — on 3rd May, 2010 at 6:30 am  

      Up early, I AM DUFFY @ 13?

      You assume the need.

      I don’t.

      You cannot reasonably argue as you did @ 7, that:

      What could be more sensible in a state overrun with illegals? It sounds like the sort of jolly good idea that should be introduced in Britain immediately.

      Chip ‘em and tag ‘em.

      Jolly good.

      What if my lot won the fight? We’d chip and tag pathetic little xenophobes like you. And probably put a mini bomb in your stupid nut too.

      If the technology exists to play command and control, it is a winner take all game.

      Most folk can see the fundamental flaw in that idea. Apparently you can’t.

      Not good.

      And why are they ‘blighters’ by the way?

      What the heck have they ever done to you?

    18. douglas clark — on 3rd May, 2010 at 6:35 am  

      I AM DUFFY @ 16,

      You wouldn’t understand the difference between a civic nationalist and the BNP, so I’m not even going to try.

      Duffy, otoh, seems OK to me.

    19. I AM DUFFY — on 3rd May, 2010 at 6:39 am  

      @17

      Up early? And indeed why not. The juiciest worms are are in play.

      What the heck have they ever done to you?

      They offend my sensibility for law and good order, just as I would theirs should I happen to fetch up in their manor uninvited and sans papiers.

    20. douglas clark — on 3rd May, 2010 at 6:42 am  

      I AM DUFFY, henceforth to be known as I am Duffy @ 15,

      Mark Twain is actually quite a boring racist. Try ‘Roughing It’ to see what I mean.

      Waste of time writing that for you, it is for the benefit of the wider audience.

      Interesting that the BNP look unlikely to win a seat, ain’t it?

      That the best you can do?

    21. douglas clark — on 3rd May, 2010 at 6:58 am  

      Well I am Duffy @ 19,

      You are, indeed, quite a juicy worm.

      They offend my sensibility for law and good order, just as I would theirs should I happen to fetch up in their manor uninvited and sans papiers.

      Apparently people from rich countries - and correct me if I am wrong about a cultural sensitive such as your good self - have little or no problem about being papiers as opposed to sans papiers.

      Think about how easy it was for Russian billionaires to come to this fair and pleasant land, pay no taxes and become the means of introducing the word polonium to the wider public. Papiers, sans papiers, so what?

      Yours sir, is a class, or monied based arguement. Money can buy you admittance to a club, or you can just buy the club.

      Which is straying away a bit from the question that you have answered, rather badly from my point of view, at 13.

      For you it comes down to economy.

      ———————-

      I refer you to the answer I gave you at 17.

      Whaddya mean liberals would never, ever do that?

      I repeat, ‘what have they [illegal immigrants or, by extension asylum seekers] ever done to you?’

    22. douglas clark — on 3rd May, 2010 at 7:10 am  

      I am Duffy has sensibilities.

      Well, who’d have thunk it.

      Despite all the wailing and hand-wringing from the bleeding hearts on the loony left, the Arizona legislation merely requires that a police officer who stops, detains or arrests someone, and who has reasonable grounds for suspecting that the individual may be an illegal alien, verifies their immigration status.

      What could be more sensible in a state overrun with illegals? It sounds like the sort of jolly good idea that should be introduced in Britain immediately.

      No-one could see an agenda there. Absolutely no-one.

      It is the

      jolly good

      idea that will see I am Duffy rise to the absolute pinnacle of right wing thought. I would’t be at all surprised if he or she isn’t awaiting a call from David Cameron at this very moment.

    23. I AM DUFFY — on 3rd May, 2010 at 8:20 am  

      I repeat, ‘what have they [illegal immigrants or, by extension asylum seekers] ever done to you?’

      I don’t take a girlyman position in such things and demand to know what they might have or might not have done for me, but rather I focus instead upon the question on what it is they are said to have done for the country as a whole. Which is, truth be told, not that very much if anything at all. Would they be missed, if they were not here? Had they elected not to turn up at all, and gone somewhere else instead, what would we have been deprived of?

      It’s the age-old question. Ball’s in your court.

    24. I AM DUFFY — on 3rd May, 2010 at 8:32 am  

      I meant to enquire in response to Douglas at No. 22, as to whether he thought it somehow inappropriate for policemen to be on the alert for other illegal infractions when apprehending suspects for one reason or another.

      The last time I checked evading immigration controls was as much an indictable offence as driving under the influence, housebreaking and a little light murder. Is the thinking on the loony left that none of this should be any of the police’s business?

    25. douglas clark — on 3rd May, 2010 at 8:33 am  

      i am duffy @ 23,

      It is not really for you to demand anything whatsoever.

      Who are you talking about by the way? It seems that most illegal immigrants are actually people that came here legally and then overstayed, or do you have a wider agenda?

      What’s your attitude to overstaying Americans, or Australians or New Zealanders, for instance. And how do you answer the question of the ad hoc arrangements that, if you have been here 14 years, or in some cases less than that, you are already viewed as a citizen? Or have already been granted an ‘amnesty’.

      See here:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/apr/23/nick-clegg-immigration-amnesties

      And why are exceptions made for multi-millionaires, who apparently contribute nothing in terms of tax to your green and pleasant land?

      Thwack…

      Balls back in your court.

    26. douglas clark — on 3rd May, 2010 at 8:49 am  

      i am duffy @ 24,

      Not really convinced by your arguement. I recall the case of a post graduate student who was looking into terrorist groups and arranged to have the ‘Anarchists Cookbook’ printed off by a friend. Whilst the case, as was, was chucked out, the follow up was to try to have him or his friend thrown out of the country - I forget which - for residency violations.

      You’d see that as ‘fair’ no doubt. I see it as petty minded.

      We ought, all of us, to be concerned about the power of the state. And it’s capacity for vindictiveness. Else we are surrendering our citizenship for a role as subjects.

      You still haven’t said where you stand on the case raised @ 3 above, though I suspect you see him as a Liberal girlyboy too.

    27. Rumbold — on 3rd May, 2010 at 9:52 am  

      Thanks Shamit.

      I AM DUFFY:

      The problem is the the whole. The police and state officials can now be sued if they aren’t seen to be enforcing the law, which puts huge pressure on them to stop all non-whites in the hope of catching some illegal immigrants. It is equivalent to passing a law that says all white people should be stopped and searched because we have violent white extremists in this country. Obviously we want to catch said white extremists, but a massive and permanent stop and search operation is not the answer.

      The important thing is that we know what the blighters are up to at any particular point in time, so whether it’s by chipping ‘em or by fitting them with collars or anklets is really by the by.

      Why is it important? Surely then you should tagged and monitored, as you are capable of committing crimes? Or should only non-whites be treated as potential criminals by default?

    28. Bored in Kavanagsau — on 3rd May, 2010 at 11:11 am  

      http://www.roadtransport.com/blogs/road-freight-crime/2010/03/multiple-arrests-as-illegal-immigrants-found-working-in-heathrow-freight-firm.html

      http://www.hounslowchronicle.co.uk/west-london-news/local-hounslow-news/2010/02/09/10-arrested-in-illegal-immigrant-raid-109642-25796784/

      It seems the only people who can check the migration status of individuals currently are immigration officers as indicated in the news reports above. To Sunny, the jobs in the articles above are “shitty” and not worth protecting for British or Eastern European workers. An analogous application of the Arizona law here, if I read the law correctly, would include PCSOs and Police Officers in search for illegal immigrants. It would divert them other duties but would speed up removal of illegal immigrants; perhaps a volunteer force could be raised to do the same job, checking residences for occupation of illegal immigrants? A BBC investigation acts as a decent prototype for such investigations:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7505574.stm

      Were the BBC racist in looking for high illegal immigrant concentrations in Southall rather than Stratford-Upon-Avon?

      In the case of PCSOs, you may get better value for money by adding illegal immigration searches to their duties as it is not clear what they actually do. This approach would cause resentment among those who think white grannies should be stopped and searched in the same proportion as young Asian men with regard to terrorism offences. The efficacy of stop and search with regards to terrorism is very questionable but it would have much greater validity with regards to illegal migration status: spotting the illegal immigrant in areas such as Hounslow/Southall is a much easier task than the spot the potential terrorist.

      Douglas

      The problem with the case of Australia/NZ is that a large number of overstayers in those countries are British. Any action taken against illegal immigrants should be done in the expectation that their countries could take reciprocal measures against us. If we concentrated on Indian nationals in Southall, as the BBC did in their report, as opposed to Australians in Earls Court, then we should expect India to reply likewise ejecting the huge number of illegal immigrants from Surrey in Punjab. If it is deemed racist to concentrate on areas such as Southall instead of Earls Court, in spite of greater two-way traffic in population which occurs with Aus/NZ compared to the nature of migration from the population reservoir of the subcontinent, then target Aus/NZ nationals as severely but expect larger number of Brits to be kicked back from there than India.

    29. Don — on 3rd May, 2010 at 11:53 am  

      perhaps a volunteer force could be raised to do the same job, checking residences for occupation of illegal immigrants?

      I could hazard a guess at where these volunteers could be found.

    30. MaidMarian — on 3rd May, 2010 at 2:14 pm  

      Rumbold - ‘The police and state officials can now be sued if they aren’t seen to be enforcing the law, which puts huge pressure on them to stop all non-whites in the hope of catching some illegal immigrants. It is equivalent to passing a law that says all white people should be stopped and searched because we have violent white extremists in this country.’

      You are stretching a very long way there. I would hope that the police could be sued for not enforcing the law!

      Your problem here Rumbold, quite brutally is democracy. Illegal immigration is a matter of very high concern and the elected authorities have acted. In the UK, employers are obliged to check the immigration status of those the employ - that to my mind is not a permanent fishing expedition.

      Half a million people are in the state illegally and clearly it is a problem to the exstent of legislation. Simply wishing the problems away under the racist banner does not overcome populist will.

    31. MaidMarian — on 3rd May, 2010 at 2:17 pm  

      douglas clark - ‘And how do you answer the question of the ad hoc arrangements that, if you have been here 14 years, or in some cases less than that, you are already viewed as a citizen? Or have already been granted an ‘amnesty’.’

      I answer it by saying that it is a more crackpot part of human rights, not a cognsant immigration policy as Clegg proposes.. It is policy that is a slap in the face to those like my wife and I who went through the system in good faith and at great cost.

      There seems to be this view forming that when it commes to illegal immigration, provided the people in question are, ‘nice,’ the only thing that they have done wrong is get caught. That is cobblers, these people have defied the law in bad faith. Are there any other people who you would give a, ‘niceness,’ defence to?

    32. 241 — on 3rd May, 2010 at 3:18 pm  

      “I am a tad confused that you identify yourself as a number. You have already stripped yourself of your humanity.”

      Douglas Clark, I can see you really think you are clever but you’re not really. In fact most of your comments are downright bizarre.

      I choose to use a moniker that means to something to me online, that is my choice and my humanity remains intact’ whereas the person you seem desperate to defend actively choose to try and strip someone they didn’t disagree with from theirs as a first resort whilst claiming to be an outraged libertarian.

      I am not sure if you know what the word ‘hypocrisy’ means but it is certainly one you should look into; along with ‘integrity’ and ‘honesty.’

      If you want to say it is OK for someone you identify as an ally to do or say something, that you are saying it is OK for everyone else to do the same.

    33. Vikrant — on 3rd May, 2010 at 4:42 pm  

      douglas clark – ‘And how do you answer the question of the ad hoc arrangements that, if you have been here 14 years, or in some cases less than that, you are already viewed as a citizen? Or have already been granted an ‘amnesty’.’

      I answer it by saying that it is a more crackpot part of human rights, not a cognsant immigration policy as Clegg proposes.. It is policy that is a slap in the face to those like my wife and I who went through the system in good faith and at great cost.

      Not too many people realise what one actually needs to undergo to get to UK legally. So let me enlighten you, assuming you are applying for a Work Permit/Dependent visa, you pay ₤400 as an application fee. You will be interviewed by a visa officer, who decides in roughly 30 seconds whether you get a visa or not. After that you have to undergo medical tests to prove that you dont have tuberculosis or any other diseases. Your personal finances are trawled through (having upwards of ₤50000 in your back acc helps!). Overall you have to basically jump all the hurdles that the Visa facilitation services throw at you. It is just plain unfair to legal immigrants/expats to well reward illegal immigrants.

      Having said that, Arizona law IS racist in a sense that it makes legal foreign residents of US like me, carry our papers on us every single time! I wouldnt want a cop asking for my frickin passport all the time!

    34. MaidMarian — on 3rd May, 2010 at 4:55 pm  

      Vikrant - Thank you for taking the time to follow up.

      I remember when my wife and I went through the marrige system, though I am less familiar with the work permit system - your account does chime with the third hand accounts I have heard. We went through two years of uncertainty with limited leave to remain, had no recourse to public funds, paid the best part of £2000 fees and had to put together detailed information on our lives that ran to more than a box file.

      But why stop there? Each year, many people who legally come to the UK find their immigration status running out. These people ofent leave and return legally. There is nothing compelling people to stay illegally.

      The idea of an amnesty as explicit policy is offensive. And this from Clegg who wants, ‘fairness.’

      As to Arizona - gut instinct is that the law will be overturned in the courts, but fishing expeditions are here to stay, regardless of the law. Tough though it is taking the argument to the public would probably be more effective than going to court.

    35. Vikrant — on 3rd May, 2010 at 5:20 pm  

      MaidMarian,

      But why stop there? Each year, many people who legally come to the UK find their immigration status running out. These people ofent leave and return legally. There is nothing compelling people to stay illegally.

      For people arguing that illegals be given amnesty based on how long they’ve been in the UK is ludicrous. My sisters lost their ILR once they became adults and moved to the US. They basically grew up in Britain, speak in Estuary yet they have to apply for a visa everytime they feel like going “home”. Not that they are complaining, but if legal immigrants (who pay their taxes and perhaps contribute more qualitatively) have it that hard, then it is simply unfair to reward the illegals!

    36. KJB — on 3rd May, 2010 at 5:21 pm  

      I am a little confused on your premise and motivation here KJB, on the one hand you seem to be crying out as a libertarian in the name of humanity, on the other hand though, in practice you quickly dehumanise an individual you disagree with referring to them as ‘it.’

      Oh how sweet! I’m afraid I don’t make a habit of explaining my ‘premise and motivation’, or my political orientation, to concern-trolls, though. And since you think calling a commenter who acts like some kind of spambot ‘it’, is on an equivalent level with advocating the microchipping of illegal immigrants, I’m concerned for you.

      Wrt your comments to Douglas - what was it you said?

      You don’t decide what is relevant in this world.

      Ah, yes. Take your own advice, and take the act elsewhere.

    37. Rumbold — on 3rd May, 2010 at 6:09 pm  

      MaidMarian:

      I would hope that the police could be sued for not enforcing the law!

      The test is only if people feel police aren’t enforcing the law. Which plenty won’t, which will lead to expensive lawsuits, which wastes taxpayers’ money, which leads to pressure on the police to stop and search more people.

      Your problem here Rumbold, quite brutally is democracy. Illegal immigration is a matter of very high concern and the elected authorities have acted. In the UK, employers are obliged to check the immigration status of those the employ – that to my mind is not a permanent fishing expedition.

      I have no problem with people having to prove their legality in order to work/claim certain things. It is a one-off event which is non-judgemental and racially unbiased and known ahead of time. It does not involve being questioned at random by the police in public just in case you might not have the right papers. Democracy needs the rule of law to be at its most effective, as institutions offer protection against extreme populist measures like this one.

      The law in effect forces the police to racially profile, as how else do you ‘spot’ and illegal immigrant (given that most of the illegals are Mexican)? That makes it a racist law. Instead, border security should be improved and more enforcement of existing laws which require proof of identity when trying to claim certain things.

    38. 241 — on 3rd May, 2010 at 6:17 pm  

      KGB,

      You are clearly one of those who equates all people who disagree with them with ‘troll’s; in fact that is pretty much all you do. When challenged to provide a little actual evidence for your inciting claims in a previous thread, you simply couldn’t.

      You are clearly a very angry, very bitter, very ‘chip-on-your-shoulder’ type person who rants and raves about whatever perceived slight you think may affect you personally, however unlikely, rather then opine from a position of rationality and you scream hysterically at anyone who dare object to you.

      And of course, as is almost always the case with such motivations, your first resort in the event that you are not able to force your vague opinions on people is to do the very things you claim to oppose others doing.

      Calling a human being ‘it’ several times because you disagree with them is as nasty, debased and anti-libertarian as it gets and then to explain its because in your exalted take on life, that their opinion is not worthy and renders them to being less then human, in fact some kind of bot, demonstrates exactly the same process of dehumanisation and the same sheer and utter contempt for people different to you that you so ridiculously claim to oppose.

      So I say the same to you as I do Douglas: I am not sure if you know what the word ‘hypocrisy’ means but it is certainly one you should look into; along with ‘integrity’ and ‘honesty.’

      And I’ll go wherever I please you jumped up little fascist. What a hypocrite of the most extraordinary dimensions you are.

    39. I AM DUFFY — on 3rd May, 2010 at 6:57 pm  

      Rumbold @27

      You are rather over-egging the pudding here. The Arizona law is clearly intended to be incidental to the normal duties of the police. They are simply now being required to check the immigration status of a suspect who has come within their purview, and not to embark on state-wide dragnet operations for illegals (that’s the role of the Feds).

      As for the tagging matter, the obvious first priority would be deportation in which case tagging is unnecessary. However there will no doubt be instances when illegals cannot be detained or immediately deported in which case electronic tagging is entirely appropriate.

    40. I AM DUFFY — on 3rd May, 2010 at 7:17 pm  

      And as for Clegg and his barmy amnesty, the only certain outcome of any immigration amnesty is that the guarantee that another amnesty will be along in due course.

    41. MaidMarian — on 3rd May, 2010 at 7:20 pm  

      Vikrant - Thanks.

      Rumbold - ‘how else do you ’spot’ an illegal immigrant (given that most of the illegals are Mexican)?’ An interesting question. Personally I, very much on balance, don’t have a massive issue with profiling, doesn’t your, ‘most,’ suggest that you have accepted the profile? I’m not getting at you, just pointing out that there is something to be said for the profile.

      So what is the alternative. I believe that for the UK what is needed is a massive crackdown. A proper trawl through tax, employment etc records. A real crackdown on universities that will have the whiny academics up in arms and many other things. All of this will be far better and more effective than a fishing expedition.

      However the outcomes of this are almost by definition racial. Just because someone is from a minority does not mean they get an exemption from immigration law because it is racialised in its implementation as of necessity.

      Rumbold - if we are going to ‘sort’ immigration the stark, ugly reality is that something will need to be done and seen to be done. That will involve stepping on sensitive racial toes. I am not comfortable with it, but it is a price to be paid to get compliance with border laws.

    42. MaidMarian — on 3rd May, 2010 at 7:23 pm  

      I AM DUFFY - As I understand it, the Clegg proposal is for a one-off for anyone here on or prior to a date in 2010 to be set.

      To my mind, that is an incentive for anyone here on that date just to stay in the UK for years till the qualify. Other countries have indeed found that one amnesty has followed another. In and of itself that would not be a bad thing were amnesty a sensible policy - the problem is that amnesty itself is a terrible idea.

    43. Rumbold — on 3rd May, 2010 at 7:55 pm  

      MaidMarian:

      I would like to see better checking of documentation at official stages, such as applying for benefits, work, etc, and as you suggest, inspecting random files at universities/colleges in order to show that officials have photocopied and signed the correct documentation.

      This does not have to involve racial profiling in the least, unlike the Arizonian law. That places the emphasis on the police to conduct widespread stop and searches, which will invariably target minorities. As with so many cases, enforcement of existing laws is usually the better option.

      I AM DUFFY:

      The Arizona law is clearly intended to be incidental to the normal duties of the police. They are simply now being required to check the immigration status of a suspect who has come within their purview, and not to embark on state-wide dragnet operations for illegals (that’s the role of the Feds).

      The law does that as well, but by allowing the suing of local authorities it puts heavy pressure of the police to act (and thus reduces the amount of police time available for things like murders, rapes, robbery, etc.).

    44. MaidMarian — on 3rd May, 2010 at 8:01 pm  

      Rumbold - ‘As with so many cases, enforcement of existing laws is usually the better option.’

      Amen to that!

      For too long policy, all policy - not just immigration - has been on the basis of

      something must be done - this is something - therefore this must be done.

      It may get the headlines, but it is a lousy way of operating. But an amnesty still should not happen. Matter of interest, what do you think of amnesties?

    45. I AM DUFFY — on 3rd May, 2010 at 8:11 pm  

      I would like to see better checking of documentation at official stages, such as applying for benefits, work, etc, and as you suggest, inspecting random files at universities/colleges in order to show that officials have photocopied and signed the correct documentation.

      The problem is that the illegal immigrant industry has become so good at what it does that its clients will almost never have any cause to pass through any official stages, unless they have the deep misfortune to encounter the UKBA on one of its periodic ‘sweeps’.

      Illegal entry is facilitated by earlier migrants already present, as is the provision of any necessary identity documentation, as well as employment opportunities. A quick gander at the ‘enforcement’ section on the UKBA’s website will indicate the extent to which illegals find employment within the immigrant community as opposed to the general economy.

      Relying on the efficacy of routine ‘official checks’ to identify illegal immigrants is not likely to be an effective strategy. If it were, they would not be here in the first place.

    46. I AM DUFFY — on 3rd May, 2010 at 8:14 pm  

      Rumbold – ‘As with so many cases, enforcement of existing laws is usually the better option.’

      Well that’s of course the entire raison d’être behind the Arizona law. The federal government is not enforcing its own immigration regulations, forcing those states which bear the brunt of the problem to implement alternative measures.

      It’s a lead that e.g. the GLA might well profitably emulate.

    47. Naadir Jeewa — on 3rd May, 2010 at 8:47 pm  

      From what I’ve read elsewhere, US states don’t do a whole lot of official immigration checks, and it’s been introduced in the UK relatively recently. Most companies and universities have only got full implementation as of this year.

      I suspect that federal immigration reform is on its way, with a view to make sure that the Arizona law gets pre-empted under the supremacy clause.

    48. sonia — on 3rd May, 2010 at 11:16 pm  

      Hmm. A lot of heart-wringing over this, but frankly, i find it all a tad nauseating and shallow. what’s the point about everyone getting all sad about this one law being passed? the whole god-damn system is predicated on exclusivity - that’s the bottom line, that’s the problem.

      its time to admit the nation-state system ain’t working for all, and what do we do about that? if we globally don’t discuss it, it falls to states to sort it out and they will act as per the Arizona case, and are perfectly entitled to - within the framework that is accepted - to carry it out. If we don’t like it, what is it we don’t like? the racist element, or the ‘what about the poor mexicans’ element. or the whole exclusive framework.

      this matter is too serious to ignore for much longer - let’s look at the fundamentals; people want to go where its better for them, this is supposed to be a fundamental human right and clearly is not being met in our current global setup. Given the global climate change crisis, declining resources, and what’s going to happen then?

      either we show the will to acknowledge that, and get some serious discussion behind it, or pouting about ‘racist’ bills is just like faffing about with the icing on a poisonous cake, or wailing about measly expenses when your MP isn’t even representing you so doing the job at hand.

      Overpopulation. Fucked up economies. Greece. Climate change. flooding, volcanoes. Nation-states which will act in their own interests. the divide between citizens and humans.

      What are we going to do everyone? NOt wanting to scare you all or anything..but the time has come.

    49. Shamit — on 4th May, 2010 at 12:40 am  

      Sonia -

      Nation States are here to stay and would continue to stay.

      Within nation states, you have regions be it in India, Bangladesh, or China or Russia - regions want more local control and in many cases independence. Even in Europe you have the Basque as well as not to the same extent you have similar arguments ranging in Scotland and or Wales. And that is because people want local control of resources and administration and to define their way of life.

      A fundamental challenge for Europe has been the supra national control - without accountability and even if Europe was fully accountable and democratically elected you would find regions and historic nation states breaking out of it because they want control of their destinies.

      How are you going to make things more accountable in your idealistic global government? Who defines laws - how would laws be created - why would not everyone want to be in US, EUrope, India and China or Singapore - how do you draw the line? Who gets in where?

      I have a lot of time for your views and even if I disagree I respect your views - and on this one, I think I have to respectfully disagree.

    50. Naadir Jeewa — on 4th May, 2010 at 1:39 am  

      Ditto Shamit.

      More importantly, undermining state sovereignty also undermines democratic, accountable politics.

      As the author argues, we can’t consider democracy without reference to a community of fate that it represents. In which case the “the sovereign state still represents the sturdiest base on which to build a genuinely democratic polity”, based on the ideas of “constituency, consent, legitimacy and constitutional procedure.” The MPs expenses scandal hardly seems like an adequate excuse to give up on the idea of collective self-determination altogether.

      In addition, from a Marxist perspective, as long as we’re talking about capitalist relations, “the firmest guarantee against global extension of exploitation and alienation lies in strengthening the democratic sovereign state,” by way of providing adequate social security nets and constraining the flow of capital.

      The outcome of dealing with climate change, nuclear proliferation, etc… will be a collective security system, not a world government.

    51. Arif — on 4th May, 2010 at 8:50 am  

      I agree with sonia’s argument here. The nation-state framework maybe something we are used to, but it is a construction, and one which can and does enable communal oppression as well as self-protection. Removing it suddenly would be very destabilising, and probably not a good idea. But it is worth exploring other possible frameworks which are more in tune with protection of human rights and ecological sustainability.

      Sovereignty is already something we seem to barter all the time. Any claim for universal human rights, the formation of the WTO, the removal of exchange controls, inviting FDI from multinational companies, the international criminal court…

      All these things can be claimed as an expression of sovereignty as they are agreed between representatives of states in some way or other. States even agree the free movement of people in some ways - within the EU for example. But the free movement of people is seen as a threat more than a human right. It is seen as a capitalist ploy to undermine welfare states, as a socialist ploy to undermine the profitability of investment where there is captive labour, as a islamic ploy to undermine local cultures etc. So I think we need to discuss how we can protect welfare/economic and cultural rights in ways other than through sovereign states. Local currencies, new forms of affiliation, mixtures of supranational and national regulations… such things can all be tried out/promoted by political parties within current state boundaries before borders are opened, particularly in large countries like India, the US, China and then through regional institutions like the EU, ASEAN etc.

      What I would like more immediately, and I think would not be destabilising, is for all countries to agree to contract to the UNHCR the resources, authority and responsibilities for identifying, protecting and resettling political refugees.

      Similarly, I think it is better for us, whatever states we are citizens/subjects of, that our states commit to a global formula for reducing carbon emissions, which can be enforced.

      Fair formulae for such things do presuppose some kind of global citizenship, and that rules are not dictated by currently more powerful states on the less powerful. It depends on the premium we put on fairness compared to human rights and ecological sustainability whether that part is realistic.

    52. Naadir Jeewa — on 4th May, 2010 at 12:23 pm  

      @Arif -

      Your reply deserves a longer response, but it’s my fault for going totally off-topic, so I’ll keep schtum.

      Anyway, Arizona’s introduced ANOTHER intentionally racist law:

      HB 2281:

      Prohibits a school district or charter school from including in its program of instruction any courses or classes that:

      * Promote the overthrow of the United States government.

      * Promote resentment toward a race or class of people.

      * Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.

      * Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.

      Dustin of Savage Minds sets the context and comments:

      The specific target of HB 2281, as I noted last year, is a set of programs offered in Tucson high schools that teach the history of La Raza, but the wider importance is a sort of forced and simple-minded assimilationism that lacks even the nuance of early- and mid-20th century “melting pot” models. Arizona is going on record saying there is one way of life, and one way only, that can be called “American”, and that way involves whiteness, English-speaking, and a subscription to the kind of bogus faux-historical mythical charter that makes up high school US history curricula nation-wide (and which, thanks to near-neighbor Texas, is about to get boguser).

      But here’s the rub: what happens when the Texas curriculum — which, if allowed to stand, will shape history textbooks, and thus history curricula, throughout the nation — comes into conflict with Arizona’s HB 2281? Texas’ standards — and I’d venture the standards Arizona’s legislature wants to see imposed state-wide — are explicitly designed to promote resentment towards non-white and poor people (q.v. the exclusion of labor union history, the downplaying of the anti-slavery and ethnic civil rights movements, the excision of folks like Cesar Chavez as “irrelevant”) and, even more clearly, are designed to promote ethnic solidarity. In fact, HB 2281 itself is designed to promote ethnic solidarity, and quite openly so — the fact that Arizona’s legislators don’t recognize their own whiteness as an ethnicity, and their assimilationism as a way of advocating white ethnic solidarity, does not make it not so.

    53. Ravi.Nk — on 4th May, 2010 at 7:58 pm  

      In a sad footnote, the law marks the final demise of John McCain as someone one could admire even if you disagreed with some of his policies

      Final demise now? What about Sarah Palin as his choice for VP? I can’t think anything worse…. :(

      In any case, McCain today defended that the suspect of a terrorist attack in NY should be stripped of his constitutional rights even though he is an American citizen. Guess who disagreed?

    54. KJB — on 4th May, 2010 at 9:09 pm  

      Naadir - What a find! :-(

      Unsurprising to see that America STILL is having trouble with the fact that it is founded on genocide and to some extent, slavery…

      Btw,have you deactivated your FB until exams are over?

    55. I AM DUFFY — on 4th May, 2010 at 9:52 pm  

      The United States is often held up to benighted Europeans as the classic instance of the credal, or ‘proposition’ nation, founded upon immigration, in which a new people called “Americans” are minted. It does not matter where you are from, or what you look like, the underlying assumption is that everyone who arrives there has come because they value the host society, they appreciate its values and privileges, and want to do their best to ‘fit in’. That has been the underlying concept of the so-called Melting Pot that we have in Europe have been invited to gaze upon in awe.

      But now we’re told that the social system that, according to its promoters here and there, has been the principal driver for that society’s success is little better than ‘a sort of forced and simple-minded assimilationism’ that would have the effect of diminishing the appeal of Chicano separatism.

      So what gives? If the archetypal proposition nation is no longer the shining city on the hill, where to from here?

    56. Naadir Jeewa — on 4th May, 2010 at 10:31 pm  

      @I AM DUFFY

      Yes, in writing of the complexity of the Daily Mail, that’s the oversimplified view of reality that you get.

      @KJB
      Yes, FB is down and out until May 26, unless some app logs in automatically, instantly reactivating the account.

    57. KJB — on 4th May, 2010 at 10:56 pm  

      Hahaha - ‘Dude, fuck your crops!’

      Well, I don’t really have any of your other details (‘cept Google Talk), so *waves* best of luck with the exams! You will be missed - oh, and I met a RL versh of Mango. See you after May 26th, I guess.

    58. douglas clark — on 4th May, 2010 at 11:48 pm  

      241 @ 32,

      Let’s take your arguement a step at a time, shall we? I assume this is what you say and think, for, after all, it is what you said:

      I choose to use a moniker that means to something to me online, that is my choice and my humanity remains intact’ whereas the person you seem desperate to defend actively choose to try and strip someone they didn’t disagree with from theirs as a first resort whilst claiming to be an outraged libertarian.

      I have no idea what that meant.

      Your move, or explanation would be good…

      Perhaps you could try to do so?

    59. douglas clark — on 5th May, 2010 at 10:08 am  

      Sonia @ 48,

      Overpopulation. Fucked up economies. Greece. Climate change. flooding, volcanoes. Nation-states which will act in their own interests. the divide between citizens and humans.

      It will come as a complete surpise, not, that I agree with you….

      Especially the exceptionalism about human beings and citizens. As if the latter is a shield from being the former. Which is what our ‘new friends’ seem to think.

      I’d have thought that kind of accounting is what divides us, unnecessarily. Convenient for racists, right enough…

    60. douglas clark — on 5th May, 2010 at 10:33 am  

      241 @ 32,

      Douglas Clark, I can see you really think you are clever but you’re not really. In fact most of your comments are downright bizarre.

      Really!

      (Frankly, I don’t think I am very clever, and I enjoy being educated by folk that write here. I have learnt a lot by just hanging.)

      My knowledge is perhaps because I retain what people say. Jai, in particular has said stuff that gave me pause for thought.

      Just saying . Even a bizzare person such as me can learn a lot by listening.

      I am very fond of lots of folk that comment here. Not because they are your idea of victims but because they are my idea of successful human beings and likeable and intelligent folk. Which might mean I think they are brighter than me. Which wouldn’t be hard, to be honest.

      I am not very bright. However you, sir, are a completely dim bulb, and not really capable of putting out more than a watt.

      So, let’s discuss my ‘downright bizarre’ comments.

      Why don’t you?

    61. 241 — on 5th May, 2010 at 4:07 pm  

      @ 57 @ 59

      WTF!

      Bizarre was an understatement. Seriously mate, are you hocked up on something funky or on meds or what?! If you’re not you need to be!

      What load of insane old codswallop are you spouting this time?

      You really shouldn’t post comments when you are under the influence of whatever it is that is gripping you.

      You are good entertainment though, yet I know it is wrong to laugh at these less fortunate then ourselves, but you sure do make it hard.

      Pour some cold fizzy water over your head and have a strong coffee before you post next time mate, lest you make a fool of yourself again.

    62. douglas clark — on 5th May, 2010 at 4:53 pm  

      241 @ 60,

      Well, perhaps you could explain what you meant at 32?

      Frankly, I have no idea what the heck this is meant to mean:

      I choose to use a moniker that means to something to me online, that is my choice and my humanity remains intact’ whereas the person you seem desperate to defend actively choose to try and strip someone they didn’t disagree with from theirs as a first resort whilst claiming to be an outraged libertarian.

      Perhaps you see that as English, but I can’t parse it. I am supposed to understand this?

      “whereas the person you seem desperate to defend actively choose to try and strip someone they didn’t disagree with from theirs as a first resort whilst claiming to be an outraged libertarian.”

      If anyone else can make sense of that, please let me know.

      As far as I know, and I’ve checked, I am not an outraged libertarian, in fact I am not a libertarian whatsoever.

      Don’t get me started on what’s wrong with libertarians - sorry Rumbold!

    63. HNIT — on 7th May, 2010 at 7:13 pm  

      A very misguided posting. It isn’t racist to insist that the laws concerning immigration be respected.

      This posting ignores the mafioso elements in this “immigration” ( really just human trafficking)that exploit these migrants and sometimes leave them for dead in the deserts. Hundreds of these “immigrants” die every year after their mafioso handlers abandon them after having gotten their money.

      This posting also ignores the role business plays in this “immigration”. Las fall a giant multinational meat-packing plant in the Midwest was raided by immigration and naturalisation authorities who found that fully half of the workers were illegals, ( some as young as 14)none of whom even made minimum wage.

      Illegal immigrants, making an illegal, substandard wage.

      It’s progressive.

      It’s astounding that the cheerleaders for illegal immigration are totally unaware that they’re simply promoting mafioso thugs, greedy business people and the inhuman exploitation offrightened, marginal individuals.

      Yeah, all those millionare, cigar-chomping boardroom fellas, some of whom would feel right at home in the ranks of the KKK, will tell ya that anyone calling for an end to illegal immigration is a bigot and a racist.

      And they do so because they’re progressives.

    64. David Jones — on 9th May, 2010 at 1:17 am  

      ‘Whom else would cops suspect and arrest but the brown ones?’

      The Economist has the law wrong. The police can’t stop and arrest in order to apply this law. They can only apply this law if they’ve already stopped someone for some other reason.

      Yes, it’s a federal responsibility. But the federal agencies aren’t applying the existing federal law.

      Meanwhile, which city has the 2nd highest kidnapping rate in the world, and the highest outside of Mexico?

      Phoenix, Arizona.

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