SB 1070 Fuels a Movement of New Voters

President Barack Obama's major policy shift on June 15, announcing temporary immunity from deportations and access to renewable work permits for certain undocumented youths, illustrates their mounting political power.

"It's huge. There is an overwhelming joy," Viri Hernandez, one of the leaders of Team Awesome, told New Times the day Obama announced his new directive. "It's been a long time coming. It's the first time that we really feel safe."

But, she says, their fight is not over — as his measure stops short of granting a path to full citizenship.

Adriana (right) and other student volunteers look over maps of the Avondale neighborhoods they're planning to work.
Adriana (right) and other student volunteers look over maps of the Avondale neighborhoods they're planning to work.
(From left to right) Adriana, Liliana Martinez, and Griselda Martinez load up on campaign literature to share in the field.
(From left to right) Adriana, Liliana Martinez, and Griselda Martinez load up on campaign literature to share in the field.

"News like this is very energizing," she says. "For years, we've been talking about the power of the Latino voice and, now, we're actually getting results. But we still need to make sure our families are safe. We're going to continue fighting."


When Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law on April 23, 2010, she punctuated more than a century of discriminatory policies in Arizona, as well as the state's decades-long assault on the minority community.

In the 1950s, Mexican-Americans, just like black families, were fighting to end segregation in schools in Arizona and cities across the nation.

Jeanne Powers, an associate professor at ASU's Division of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, described the racial discrimination that included separate "Mexican Schools" for Latinos in a 2008 article.

Arizona school districts approved separating brown students under the guise that they lacked proficiency in English. But the community also was segregated "in other public facilities, such as swimming pools, churches, and movie houses, and institutional discrimination in housing policy," Powers writes in Forgotten History: Mexican American School Segregation in Arizona from 1900-1951.

Community leaders stood up and challenged their treatment in courts, and in 1950, the U.S. District Court of Arizona declared the practice of segregation unconstitutional — three years before the U.S. Supreme Court rendered a similar opinion in Brown v. Board of Education, ending the sham of "separate but equal."

During the same time period, César Chávez and others fought for migrant farm workers' rights, pushing to end poor working conditions, low wages, and discrimination on farms across the country. By 1956, the activists had created what later would be known as the United Farm Workers.

The Chicano Movement, or El Movimiento, was well under way in the 1960s, with Mexican-American activists rallying for their civil rights, engaging in protests across the country. Organizations such as Chicanos por la Causa and MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) were formed to address economic disparities, defend civil rights, and promote the training of new leaders.

But organized movements fizzled and a new wave of thinly veiled discrimination resurfaced.

In the mid-'90s, when Russell Pearce (who would go on to serve in the Arizona Legislature, including as president of the State Senate until his recall last year) was director of the Motor Vehicle Division, he set into motion a law that required proof of citizenship or legal status before obtaining a driver's license.

In 2000, California millionaire Ron Unz bankrolled Proposition 203, a successful ban on bilingual education in Arizona's public schools. In 2004, Proposition 200 required more "papers, please" — this time proof of citizenship before casting a ballot at a polling place.

About 2005, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio created a task force of deputies to hunt illegal immigrants, conducting raids in mostly Latino neighborhoods. Two years later, he launched a hotline on which residents could report suspected illegal immigrants.

He and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas (since disbarred over ethical violations and abusing his power) twisted a law aimed at human smugglers and charged immigrants themselves as co-conspirators guilty of felony offenses.

Increasing the fervor, state Senator Pearce was able to float three more propositions in 2006 demonizing the immigrant community: Prop 300, denying in-state tuition to undocumented students, forcing them to pay higher out-of-state rates or drop out of school; Prop 100, denying bail to illegal immigrants charged with serious felonies; and Prop 102, denying an award of punitive damages in any civil court action to an undocumented plaintiff.

Frightened voters approved all three measures.

Although similar anti-immigrant measures had been passed by Arizona lawmakers years before, they always had been shot down by Governor Janet Napolitano, a Democrat. Brewer, on the other hand, was more than happy to sign SB 1070 into law in 2010, thus securing her seat in that year's governor's race and putting the state of Arizona on the map as the capital of anti-immigration sentiments.

A few months later, lawmakers adopted a broadly written law that plainly intended to shut down Mexican-American ethnic-studies courses in the Tucson Unified School District.

Intoxicated with power, Pearce drew up another slate of anti-immigrant bills last year, with the intent to: deny citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants, ban undocumented immigrants from state universities, make it a crime for them to drive a vehicle in Arizona, and require school districts and hospitals to check the legal status of students and patients.

The cumulative result: protests and marches in the streets, civil disobedience, calls for national conventions, entertainers, and corporate America to boycott Arizona, and a renewed push to register more Latinos to vote.

"We need to stop reacting and start acting. If there is any truth to our numbers, it will only be seen at the voting booth," says Danny Ortega, chairman of the National Council of La Raza, longtime activist and Phoenix lawyer. "We've been lulled into believing that because we've had a significant increase in population, that gives us power. Maybe [it does] from a consumer standpoint, but not from a political standpoint."

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
51 comments
none
none

@swlonewolf.. I totallly agree with you ... .GOP or as others fondly call them Republicans? cannot be trusted... That is why I vote TOTAL democrat... 

Mary H Gomez
Mary H Gomez

Keep the momentum going! Yes! We need a clean sweep of the vile and vicious politicians and police forces to a less fear based people. We can come together for our state and for all people!

all american
all american

To Pat if you are americans vote with an enlish speaking balot only and tell Telemundo, Telefutura, Azteca and Univision that they can no longer broadcast into the United States then I will believe your americans.

Tahoejer
Tahoejer

If our Nation continues to not enforce our immigrtation laws, we are doomed!!!!! Illegal aliens should be deported. Legal immigration made America great! Illegal immigration is bankrupting and destroying America.

David
David

Really, Blowjob, isn't politics the reason your own country didn't want you? That's Europe if you didn't know! And the reason your white asses ended up here in this Continent? How about we throw your white ass back to England so you can get involved in your own countries politics so you can educate your OWN people. Get a clue jerk off before you engage that clueless mind of yours!!!

David
David

John A. Don't waste your energy and time trying to explain nothing to these ignorant Motherfuckers here in this state. They are all led around by there balls by these Scumbag republican bigmouths. All these racists turds don't have anything else to do but run their sewer holes on the Internet, and putting American flags all over their cars and houses, like some how they are more American than anybody of color. Remember who walked this land and cared for it before you greedy white motherfuckers destroyed it. I'm Mexican and a US CITIZEN assholes, WHAT!!!

Uradumbass
Uradumbass

Actually, the politicians are for whatever will get them re-elected; they are but a mirror reflecting the racist, bigoted and ignorant population that exists within our state.

Pat
Pat

stop calling us mexicans monica. we are americans.

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

The entitlement attitude gets handed down from these illegal parents to their illegal children. Now the children hold their hands out for some form of amnesty just like their parents did when they smuggled themselves in our country. When does it end?? Kids of illegals should be trying to right the wrongs that their parents made by high tailing their way to obtain Visa's and green cards. Otherwise all funding should be cut off to these people.

Guest
Guest

I AGREE Lock & Load!!

Jxv605
Jxv605

just shows how ignorant people are...they need to have people run around telling them whats going on..and registar to vote. Dosnt anyone read, or view news events..or local politics! All they are interested today is in stupid ass reality shows..i.e. Kardashians, Jersey shores, and all the other innane superficial and geared towards the morons of our society. Then they wonder how this Obama the Dictator got into office.

Mateonelson
Mateonelson

After watching the video and looking at the pictures of the demonstrators desecrating the Arizona and United States Flags, why are they here. If they dislike the United States so bad then they should leave. They have no respect and have a sence of entitlement. We need to eliminate all illegal aliens from this country no matter which country they originated. Then we need to secure the borders to keep out all illegal aliens. If people wish to emigrate to the United States, they can go through proper channels. Just as if someone wanted to move to Mexico. Immigration does not equal illegal immigration.

jeff c
jeff c

Raul Grijalva is a total ass. sorry he is with the state of az.he got his head so far up obamas ass. him and napolatano both suck.she never done anything when she was so called gov. of az. another worthless ass in office.

Traxx1
Traxx1

Here we go again What is it about the illigals ?? sneak across our borders in the middle of the night, hands stuck out for OUR countrys welefare, don't learn to speak ENGLISH and say they have Rights ?? Bull s%$t GO HOME and come to OUR COUNTRY as a LEGAL IMMIGRENT.

Wacian
Wacian

Don't know about the other candidates they're supporting, but Raul Grijalva is co-chair of the Progressive/Socialist Caucus, a past member of MECha (a separatist Marxist group), and he is connected to the AZ district of Communist Party USA.

diane
diane

If you don't like it, move on.

Jimnbubba
Jimnbubba

Are you talking any hispanic? Or citizens of the USA

Jimnbubba
Jimnbubba

The Obama cover up of Brian Perry's death will be at 10AM in Tucson

TLw3ewe
TLw3ewe

This stupid news should not be here for WEEKS.

diane
diane

Right on.........all the news stations are for the illegals because it supplies them with their daily or weekly news. All the news stories are to make us feel sad about their situation. How about them having stories on legal citizens that can't get any of the 'free' stuff even though they pay taxes so that the illegals can benefit from all the 'free' rewards we seem to give them. Something is very wrong with their morals and values!

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

To my earlier comment, let me add this: (1) According to the 2010 Census data, about 6 percent of Hispanics in Arizona were 15-17. So, by the time 2013 rolls around, a substantial number of Hispanics will be newly eligible. During this time, still younger Hispanics have been moving up the pipeline also. (Theirs is a very young demographic: the median age of Hispanics in Arizona is 25.4 compared with that of non-Hispanic Whites at 44.5 years.) It would be logistically difficult to wait ten years and try to register all of the new voters: much easier to get as many as currently eligible now and work on the new ones as they crop up. That's why voter registration efforts NOW are so critical. (2) Regarding Hispanic voter participation rates for the November 2011 election (i.e., the percentage of Hispanic registered voters who actually voted): overall turnout (all voters, not just Hispanic) was just 26 percent, If the participation rate among Hispanics in Phoenix was 18.8 percent (see earlier comment) then, even though turnout for city elections is low (despite 2011 being a record year for voter participation), Hispanics are still below the average participatio rate. Demographics counts for little if you don't take advantage of it at the polls.

Jesse
Jesse

She should be deport along with the rest of her family. I find it hard for educated prople to not understand the word ILLEGAL.

Mateonelson
Mateonelson

Here is a passage from the article, "Students like Adriana — along with a huge cadre of other volunteers, other organizations — are fighting so that they never have to settle again, fighting to change a political atmosphere in Arizona created by more than a decade of anti-immigrant laws culminating two years ago with Arizona Senate Bill 1070, a law that essentially turns state and local police into immigration-enforcement agents." This New Times article is very slanted, they state "anti-immigrant laws" which is completely false, SB 1070 is anti illegal immigrant oriented. Anyone who is a legal immigrant did it the legal way. Just because you can cross the border without being detected does not entitle you to any benefits of being a citizen of this country no matter how long you have been here undetected. Some of the reasons we have immigration laws is to not allow immigrants into the country due to criminal records, diseases, and ability to support themselves once they are here. My biggest fear is an illegal immigrant could be a murderer or carry communicable diseases that can spread among the population once they enter the country and have contact with people within a city. We need a political lobby for the citizens of this country to combat all the illegal immigrant coalitions who seek protection for illegal immigrants. This is complete madness that we cater to illegal immigrants when we should be catering to the legal citizens of this country, this is what our tax money is for--the legal citizens of the United States of America.

Alchemyetf
Alchemyetf

because the "legal" citizens who vote, that is the key, vote, are conservative, want to keep to themselves, and not be hasseled by government, be it national or state....this is the wild west, ya know

Nicholsdaves
Nicholsdaves

Jan Brewer abused her Government Authority to Defrauded Social Security for $75,000.00 to reward her Knife Point Rapist Son Ron for his Heinous Crime, as he served out his sentence! Jan Brewer is a Crook, and her Knife Point Raping Son Ron Harmed Society. We should Deport them? Jail them if they return? Obama is being very kind to theiving Jan Brewer, and has given Her "Amnesty " from the Jail Time she deserves, and is allowing Her to simply pay back the $75.000.00 that she Stole.

Nicholsdaves
Nicholsdaves

Like the Millions of Good Hard Working un-documented Parents of our own Citizen Children? Like the Millions of America's Hardest, Most Devoted Workers that Prior to the January 2008 start of the E-verify Law, and the I.C.E. Deportation/Incarceration Programs Labored Hard to Make America Great? Like the Millions of Hands that Labored Hard to Feed America? Like Those Many? TO: The Real American "Dream", To be an American. This is our I.C.E.'d Economy,! I.C.E. "Put the Car in the Ditch". Where it is still Stuck! Wake up America.

Traxx1
Traxx1

She is one of the few but what about the meny who are not like her ??

Hercules-monster
Hercules-monster

Nice, people like this should be allowed legal status. Its the crooks & others doing harm to our society that should be deported. Deported quickly & jailed if they return. She has what it takes.

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

You don't want to Deport/Incarcerate Parents away from their legal Citizen Children? We are working on fixing that misread and abused policy too. The 14th Amendment existed for the slaves, noone else, not people lollygaggin' across the border droppin' anchors. It's written clear as day.

Nicholsdaves
Nicholsdaves

The Big Picture? We need to have Responsible Immigration Reform, like what Congress was Debating in 2006. The Decision to Deport, and use "Attrition" to starve our own legal Citizen Children so that their Parentas will leave, was wrong, Morally, and it is Against every thing being an American stands for. It also caused the entire "Foreclosure Crisis", "The Great Recession", and our "New National Deficit." All of which began January 2008. The Hard Work Immigrants gladly did for America was the very Foundation of our Strong Economy, and their Hard Labor actually supported all other American Jobs. Many Millions of these Good, Hard Working un-documented Immigrants have been here for nearly thirty years. This is their Home. They came here undocumented because there is No Line for Poor Working Class Immigrants Period. They have become part of the Fabric of our Society, most of them have legal Citizen Children, and Families. "America is great because it is good, when it ceases to be good, it ceases to be great." Alex De Tocqueville This Great Nation of Immigrants was Built on Far Better Principles, and Values, than to Rip Apart Good, Christian Families, and Deport/Incarcerate Parents away from their legal Citizen Children! This is America's Darkest Hour. Since the January 2008 start of Arizona's Anti Immigrant Rant, which has been fueled in large part by Supremacist's, and Private Prisonn Profiteering, Maricopa County now has over a Half Million Vacated Homes. All Home Values have dropped by about Half. Fact: The Twenty-Five year period prior to January 2008 when Un-documented Immigrants were allowed to Work Hard with us was the "Most Prosperous Period in Total U.S. History." We must all work together to once again make America Strong. To: Right.

Jbprewitt
Jbprewitt

if she is here illegally, then she should"nt be allowed to do any thing. now that we know where she is, she should be picked up and deported.

Guest
Guest

Sounds Like Your Trying Undermine Arizona With Some Corrupt Latino Politictions Like Mexico Has!!! And I Bet Most Of Your Voters Are Here Illegally

Mary Noriega
Mary Noriega

Third generation Mexican,senior citizen supporting SB1070. The illegals are destroying this country known as the USA. They come here produce one child after another to collect welfare benefits. The old myth they will do a job no citizen will do this is no longer true. They refuse to learn english or obey the laws. Obama is reaching out to the illegals who can't vote, the legal Mexican citizens support SB 1070 mostly the senior citizens.

xrated
xrated

You are one classless, America hating, progressive idiot. Yes it is too bad that the native Americans were not smart enough to have and enforce immigration laws. If they had perhaps they would still be in control of this land. Why you advocate the current residents of this country should repeat their mistake makes zero sense. You love Mexicans so much... move to that shithole that is Mexico and live in the filth and corruption that they have wrought on themselves.

swlonewolf
swlonewolf

I'll be voting Democrat. The GOP cannot be trusted.

white
white

It's vary interesting how latino's are tought to love they're race and we are tought to hate ours.

Tomato
Tomato

You get real moron... they're getting Latino *citizens* to register to vote. You don't like; go fuck yourself.

Tomato
Tomato

You're a lying sack of shit. You think you're being smart, right. But, sadly, you're just a racist dumbass.

Big Dawg
Big Dawg

I've known several friends who have been deported after being asked to come down to the Team Awesome Offices which turned out to be a front office for ICE!

Big Dawg
Big Dawg

The use of "volunteers" posing as democrat vote getters and in this case Team Awesome are actually sting operations design to entrap and deport illegals by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. Latinos beware do not speak to anyone from Team Awesome because they are actually from obama team deportation!

Big Dawg
Big Dawg

Team Awesome is actually a sting operation by the local authorities to trap potential illegal aliens in Phoenix. Latinos are well advised not to speak to anyone proporting to be from Team Awesome or else they will face immediate deportation!

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

Illegal=illegal. Plus a sh*t ton of damage control that is on the backs of citizens now! Enforce the damn laws for the safety of its citizens like other countries do!

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

The law remains and was voted constitutional. SB1070 is just a start. States are sick of this illegal bullsh*t they have to put up with and pay for on a daily basis. There will be more if this to come, so pull your panties up and deal with it like other countries that enforce their immigration laws do. It's going to be sink or swim now. California has sunk.

Uradumbass
Uradumbass

Actually, both of you sound like bigots, not racists (at least on this forum - who the fuck knows what goes on inside your heads and in private).

Uradumbass
Uradumbass

Yeah - small government - small enough to fit inside a woman's vagina, right? Fuckin' authoratarians.

 
Phoenix Concert Tickets
Loading...