Welcome to Phoenix, the ethnic cleansing begins at noon.
As further proof that a coterie of loudmouthed, reactionary extremists are calling the shots in our benighted Valley of the Sun, and winning in their push for the ethnic cleansing of the local Hispanic population, Channel 3 reports that, "The Phoenix Police Department's upper brass has assembled a committee to explore revising Operations Order 1.4.3."
That's the operations order that basically keeps beat cops from calling ICE on every brown person they stop for a traffic ticket or minor infraction. Currently, PHX PD only alerts Immigration and Customs Enforcement if a serious felony offense has occurred.
That last statement's a bit misleading. As a result of Prop 100, which denies bail to illegal immigrants accused of certain felonies, if a suspect is booked into the county jail on a Class 4 felony or above, paperwork is filled out upon checking them in, notifying the jailer that: 1) the person may be in the country illegally; and 2) that the individual is alleged to have committed a Class 4 felony or above.
Forgery, for instance, is a Class 4 felony. If the person has questionable documentation, that would count as suspected forgery. The sheriff's office has deputies cross-trained as ICE agents. So let's say someone gets pulled for a busted tail light, and the driver has a forged I.D., as many illegal immigrants do. That person could be on a bus to Nogales in a matter of days, especially if they sign voluntary removal paperwork.
This is happening on a daily basis. Recently I wrote about the plight of North High honors student Virginia Gutierrez, who was arrested for forgery after going to the PHX PD to get her car out of impound. Once in jail, the 18-year-old, who had been awarded scholarships to attend ASU, was convinced to sign a voluntary removal order. She's currently in Mexico, and if she ever tries to come back, there's a bench warrant out for her arrest in the forgery matter. See, because she had been deported, she couldn't make a preliminary hearing on the forgery charge, so the judge issued a warrant. Even Franz Kafka couldn't make this stuff up.
Gutierrez was a notable example because she was a model student and would have made a model U.S. citizen if we had a Dream Act in this country. But the same deportation hustle is being played on countless immigrants in the state illegally. I hear about new cases almost every other day. I'm sure the nativist assholes out there cheer every one. Most of these people have done nothing to earn such hatred, other than working their asses off at jobs these dumb crackers would never do anyway.
Ever since the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police spoke out on this issue on October 8, warning of the consequences of having beat cops enforce immigration law, PHX Police Chief Jack Harris has been skewered mercilessly on talk radio by such wing-nuts as Darrell Ankarlo and former congressman-turned-AM-lip-flapper J.D. Hayworth. Local nutbar nativists use Harris' name as a form of invective, and rage incessantly about Operations Order 1.4.3. The pressure is working. Thus the reconsideration of PHX PD policy.
Mexican-hating wackos no doubt envision a white-dominated utopia where anyone with less than a creamy complexion is immediately suspected of being in the country illegally. In other words, being too tan is probable cause enough for a stop. (Do you really think cops will be stopping wayward Canadians?) And once Russell Pearce's racist employer sanctions law goes into effect in '08, the nativists' ethnic cleansing pincer move will be complete. Only Caucasians will be able to avoid being harassed for DWB (Driving While Brown), WWB (Walking While Brown) or just BB (Being Brown). Black folk already get this treatment, though at least they don't have to worry about being deported.
Be careful what you wish for, all you KKK-wannabes out there. Because this is the world you want to live in, if it comes to fruition, you don't get to complain if you're being raped or robbed and the cops are too busy busting Juan for not having the proper paperwork. There aren't enough cops to go around as it is. Put them to work pinching otherwise law-abiding illegals, and they may not have time to investigate murders and other violent crimes. No bitching will be allowed when you reap what you've sown.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.