It led also to a lawsuit filed this year by the U.S. Department of Justice, aimed at the sheriff's widespread discriminatory policing.

All this makes it obvious that increased civil disobedience is necessary to get the point across to the Obama administration.

"There needs to be a show of force," says Soto. "Meaning we're not going to let [the government] operate the way [it] wants to operate. Whatever that means, whatever that looks like."


Isabel Garcia of the Tucson human rights organization Coalicion de Derechos Humanos agrees that Latinos and their supporters must ramp up public protests.

"At some point . . . there will have to be a call for mass disobedience," she says.

Garcia fears that what she calls the "Tucson model" will become standard across the country.

Tucson is 60 miles north of the border, within the Border Patrol's constitution-free zone of operations. When Tucson cops run across someone they believe is undocumented, they call the Border Patrol, and the suspected illegal immigrants are carted away in trucks that look like dog kennels.

"[From Tucson] you can be back across that border in an hour, and your family doesn't know anything," says Garcia. "It's really brutal."

If the Supreme Court rules as predicted, Arizona law enforcement will have an "absolute license" to practice racial profiling, she adds.

Pablo Alvarado, director of the Los Angeles-based National Day Laborer Organizing Network, says his immigrant-rights coalition will "push back, hard," if the Supreme Court upholds the "papers, please" portion of 1070.

That push-back will take many forms: legally (Alvarado's group already is a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits against 1070); by supporting anti-1070 legislation, such as California's proposed TRUST Act; through political pressure to create new "sanctuary cities"; and by taking it to the streets.

"We will create a [moral] dilemma for everyone, friends or foes," Alvarado promises of the coming wave of protest.

His organization plans a Freedom Ride-style bus tour through states with 1070-like laws. In the bus will be scores of undocumented families who will present themselves to local and federal authorities in different cities, daring law enforcement to arrest them.

Alvarado said the idea was inspired by students agitating for the DREAM Act nationwide. In Alabama, D.C., Florida, and Arizona, these activists, brought to this country when they were children, have declared themselves "undocumented and unafraid" while participating in acts of civil disobedience.

One of the more daring examples of DREAM Act civil disobedience occurred in March, when 150 student protesters blocked a street in West Phoenix. Six undocumented students chose not to move from the center of the street and were arrested, thus risking deportation.

In a YouTube clip released to coincide with her arrest with the others, Daniela Cruz explained how she and fellow DREAMers were fed up with living in a limbo where they legally cannot work or go to college at an in-state tuition rate. America is the only home they've ever known, and they demonstrated that they are through being victims.

"I'm willing to risk everything I have," Cruz told her audience. "I'm willing to risk being deported because I'm done seeing people be scared."

To the surprise of both her and her jailers, ICE holds on Cruz and her cohorts mysteriously were lifted during their 28-hour stay in Joe Arpaio's Fourth Avenue Jail. They were released on misdemeanor charges.

Cruz and her pals quickly became heroes in the Latino community.

"One day, we'll be reading about them in history books!" declares Arizona State Senator Steve Gallardo, who is pushing for repeal of 1070.

Gallardo predicts increased public protests in the wake of the expected Supreme Court ruling. "I'll be right there with them," he says.

A demonstration scheduled for June 23 by the Phoenix human rights group Puente will target Arpaio's infamous Tent City. Hundreds of Unitarian Universalists who will convene in Phoenix during that weekend for a national conference will participate in the protest.

The Unitarians and Puente teamed up in 2010 for a massive show of anti-1070 civil disobedience that rocked Phoenix.

Puente organizer Carlos Garcia cites the example set by the DREAM Act kids as one to emulate.

"When undocumented people confront the system, it crumbles," he says. "And it becomes clear that they are more afraid of us than we are of them."

Given the status quo — a deadlocked Congress, an indifferent Supreme Court, and a president who's playing politics at the expense of his Latino constituency — what's needed this election year is the type of unrest this country hasn't seen since the 1970s, something on par with the 2011 student protests in Chile, where thousands of students took over Santiago to protest that country's unequal education system.

A refrain from the Shining Soul song "Papers" sums up the situation Latinos find themselves in — once again.

"Click clack / Where your papers at? / We're under attack / Fight back / It's war."

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
17 comments
xpndibl
xpndibl

jersus: I hope your comments were made in jest. These children of illegal immigrants don't want to go back to Mexico. They don't want to start businesses there, they don't want to live there. They don't want to go back and improve anything. There won't be any raising the conditions in Mexico. The military and police will never be able to control the cartels.  Corruption is so rampant that any law enforcement official (and their families) that decides to go against them are likely to be killed. Every time I hear "Viva La Raza"  I can only guess that those people proudly support the living conditions and lawlessness in the country they decided to flee.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Hey, Mr. Lemons - how did that call to "arms" go - I don't think a little more civil disobedience was what was needed - just a little Supreme justice!

Pedro
Pedro

Escalate, and get deported.

Muhadamdinjad
Muhadamdinjad

our deporter-in-chief, President Barack Obama - imprison that negro!

John Shepard
John Shepard

You really are a picec of shit, Max. Child predator? You know... New Times can get your IP adress and sue you for that pathetic lie. I hope they do. No wonder you'r too chichenshit to post your real name.,

Jersus Christo de Nogalez
Jersus Christo de Nogalez

Barrack Hussein Obama; how you dare deprive Mexico its young educated people. These illegal aliens in the US are the only hope for Mexico and you want to keep them here in the US. They could start businesses, create jobs, and improve the standard of living for the poor people of Mexico. Yet you want to be selfish and deprive Mexico of these talented youth who could make life better for all the people of Mexico. SHAME ON YOU! Have you no compassion for the poor now living in Mexico?

Whatever
Whatever

Eligibility Requirements If you are a green card holder of at least 5 years, you must meet the following requirements in order to apply for naturalization: Be 18 or older Be a green card holder for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization Have lived within the state, or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence, for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing the application Have continuous residence in the United States as a green card holder for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of the filing the application Be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application Reside continuously within the United States from the date of application for naturalization up to the time of naturalization Be able to read, write, and speak English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government (civics). Be a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law. The law is pretty clear.

Whatever
Whatever

Section 312 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires that naturalization applicants must demonstrate an ability to read, write, and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language, and have a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government (civics). To meet the requirements of Section 312 of the INA, applicants must pass a naturalization test to become naturalized citizens. The naturalization test consists of two components – an English and a civics component.

Tomato
Tomato

You're one of them there idgits!

John Shepard
John Shepard

Racists calling Stephen Lemons a racist. Heh, now that's funny. These crackers think they're being so smart, when all they are doing is riling up Mexicans to revolt, as Lemons proposes. Wake up, cracker assholes. We're getting fed up with your trash. Go away while you still can.

John Shepard
John Shepard

Go fuck yourself! Go back to Nazi Germany, racist retard...

Sampaine
Sampaine

If your Brown the law should not apply to you. If you are for equal treatment under the law you are a racist. Tired old Marxist, Alinskyite, Weather Underground, La Raza arguments... How about the effect on Mexico of all the good, hard working people running away and leaving their country to the corrupt, murdering cartels? If there were no place to run the Mexican people would deal with the Cartel's because they wouldn't have any other choice... Viva la Revolucion!

Victorlazlo59
Victorlazlo59

Anyone remember the Brown Berets back in the 70's? No? These people will be forgotten as well, pay them no mind.

inoc34
inoc34

@John Shepard Nazi Germany? you know that disappeared after WW2 right?

 
Phoenix Concert Tickets
Loading...