Joe Arpaio Promises New Sweep; Border Action Network Targets Russell Pearce's Bigoted Bills; and Valley Interfaith Joins the Fray

Joe promises another sweep, creating more evidence of his racial profiling in the process...
Joe promises another sweep, creating more evidence of his racial profiling in the process...

File this under the header, "When the cat's away..." Sheriff Joe's office issued a press release today promising a new anti-immigrant sweep within the next two weeks. 


That message comes one day after Phoenix civil rights leader Sal Reza's announcement that he and his fellow organizers from the Puente Movement will be caravan-ing to D.C., to meet up with the thousands gathering in the nation's capital March 21 for a big pro-immigration rally there.

With the sheriff's nemesis out of town for a couple of weeks, what better time to go round up some brown folks, eh?

What Arpaio may not realize is that only handful of activists are going to D.C. with Reza. There will be more than enough on the ground here in Phoenix to monitor Arpaio's nefarious activities. 

Plus, Phoenix Copwatch, which spearheads the videotaping of the sweeps as they happen, will be rarin' to go. And we all know the U.S. Department of Justice will be watching as well.

So lay on Macduff...

In other news, Border Action Network, the Tucson-based advocacy group, is urging Governor Jan Brewer to veto state Sen. Russell Pearce's latest round of unconstitutional, bigoted legislation --specifically the mirror provisions SB 1070 and HB 2632, which I've been dogging like a blue tick hound for the past couple of weeks. 

As BAN notes in its latest statement, these proposed laws are "the most far-reaching anti-immigrant bills ever introduced in the Arizona legislature." Indeed, the provisions roll "together seven bills that Pearce has tried to push through the last few years but failed." 

Also, BAN correctly observes that, "This year, because of the make-up of the both the legislature and governor, they are likely to become law very quickly."

BAN is assuming the House version will soon be passed, ultimately heading for the Governor's desk. The group is asking people to write the Governor a postcard imploring her to veto the measure. BAN will present the postcards this Wednesday, March 10 during a rally at the state Capitol.

Personally, I think the House Dems need to show some spine and filibuster HB 2632, or at least try. I spoke to House Minority Leader David Lujan recently, and he seemed open to the idea. 

Ultimately, it wouldn't stop the bill, but it would show that the Dems are willing to make the Republicans pay for moving on such heinous legislation.

If you agree, e-mail Representative David Lujan at dlujan@azleg.gov and encourage him to get his fellow Dems to filibuster. If the state GOP's gonna ramrod apartheid-like bills through the legislature, the Dems should give no quarter and exercise all options while throwing roadblocks in their way.

The local faith-based group Valley Interfaith Project has also committed itself to a press conference at the Capitol, but this one on Tuesday, March 9. Supposedly, the presser has to do with the Pearce legislation. 

At least that's what I've been told second hand, but VIP, as its acronym suggests, tends to be somewhat aloof. It doesn't play well with other advocacy groups for whatever reason. I put in a call to VIP yesterday, but have yet to hear a peep back. Still, the Capitol calendar has them down for a five hour time slot that day.  

In any case, I'll stop by at their presser Tuesday to see what the VIPers have to say. The more the merrier when it comes to piling on Pearce, if that's what they are indeed doing. 

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