Lateens Keep Close Eye on Arizona Immigration Law

Senate Bill 1070, a recent bill passed in Arizona is the toughest immigration law in all of the United States.  Under the law, local policemen can act as immigration agents.  They can detain anyone suspected of being an illegal alien, arrest or fine a person who fails to provide a U.S. identification document, or arrest anyone who hires or transports an undocumented worker.

In other words, Arizona cops will soon have the authority to pull over anyone they “suspect” might be of illegal status, and racial profiling has basically become legal in the state.  The law isn’t expected to go into effect until the middle of the year, but the debate is sure to continue.

Across the nation, Latinos are banding together in protest, and Lateens especially have expressed a strong interest in the topic.  Most Lateens who were born here and are therefore citizens are being spurred into advocacy and action for immigrants’ rights and because of how the immigration law affects their families.  Imagine living in a world where policemen can freely harass your parents, or other relatives simply for being of Hispanic heritage.  Say one day, your mother goes to the grocery store and forgets her pocketbook.  If she’s pulled over before she gets back home and can’t present the officer with proper identification, she’s going to jail, even if she is legal.

Can you say Gestapo?

Throughout the country protest rallies and marches are being organized in an effort to ensure this issue isn’t simply overlooked or forgotten.  And it’s a young effort.  Young Hispanics, those who will make up the nation’s future leadership, are joining hands in this fight against this absurd bill.  Arizona is just one state, but civil rights advocates fear it could be replicated in other states if Washington fails to act.  Hours before the bill was signed, President Obama stated, “Indeed, failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others.  That includes the recent efforts in Arizona which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.”  This is a rare instance where state level legislation has received so much criticism from the federal government.  Hopefully, it’s only a matter of time until very necessary action is taken by the folks in Washington.

In just a few days, North Texas will be in the spotlight in the battle over immigration.  Activists are planning what they call a Mega March on May 1, and they’re hoping to have the same success they had the last time they rallied.  The crowd between 300,000 and 500,000 Latino Americans was protesting controversial immigration proposals in 2006 that were eventually defeated.  Young students are recruiting classmates to protest the strict Arizona law.  This year’s Mega March will lead the masses down the newly renamed Cesar Chavez Boulevard, and Dallas police hope the crowd will be as peaceful as it was in 2006.  Counter protests like those four years ago are expected to spark tension.  But organizers say any conflict with those opposed to immigration reform would only diminish their message of promoting equality and harmony among ethnic groups.  In the Northeast, Hispanic university students rode a bus from New York to Arizona to protest SB-1070. It’s safe to say that young Latinos have found their cause; which may stoke the fires of a Latino pride movement that could unify young Latinos and help define their generation.


1 Tweets that mention Lateens Keep Close Eye on Arizona Immigration Law | Brand Lateen -- { 04.28.10 at 4:18 am }

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2 Elyse Hoed { 04.29.10 at 9:22 pm }

Wow! This is crazy!! Way to get the word out there….this is sick!

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