This reminds me of the old days when my parents generation was incarcerated in the AZ desert for the war years because they were Japanese Americans, and it reminds me of the atmosphere of hatred and fear in the 1960s that racists kept using to increase violence and division and to try to keep their slimy grasp on power.

Stop the Criminalization of Immigrants, End Racial Profiling!

Tell AZ Governor to Veto Anti-immigrant Bill

The Arizona State Legislature just passed a law (SB1070) that legalizes unchecked racial profiling by police of anyone they “suspect” is undocumented. It would criminalize all undocumented immigrants as “trespassers” and subject them to misdemeanor or in some cases, felony charges for a new “trespass” crime.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is expected to sign the bill into law any day now. Tell Governor Brewer to stand up for human and civil rights and veto this anti-immigrant, racial profiling bill.

via Harry Gamboa

from Amnesty International:

The Arizona House and Senate have passed a bill (SB1070) that would empower police officers to stop and interrogate every individual in the state regarding citizenship status and make it a crime to be an undocumented person in Arizona. If a person does not immediately present documents proving that she is legally in the US, she may be criminally prosecuted, jailed and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation. The bill contains no safeguards against racial profiling and increases the likelihood of arbitrary arrest and detention. These are all human rights violations. Because SB1070 has already passed in the Arizona house, it’s next stop is the governor’s office. Tell Governor Jan Brewer to veto the bill. Join activists across the US as they visit the Governor on April 20th to express opposition to this bill.

Governor Jan Brewer’s Contact Information:
Phone number: 1-800-253-0883

The scapegoating of migrants, the deliberate fuelling of fear and the nurturing of discriminatory, racist and xenophobic sentiments by some politicians and parts of the media have been accompanied by measures that have trampled on some of the most basic human rights of migrants, including the right to liberty and security of the person. Much of the public debate about migration is couched in terminology which is loaded and derogatory. People trying to enter another country are vilified as “illegal immigrants”, “gate-crashers”, and even as “invaders” seeking to breach the defenses of the US with malicious intent. The clear implication is that they are abusing the system and exploiting the generosity of states. Such descriptions create the impression not only that migrants have no right to enter, but that they have no rights at all.

Dear Governor Jan Brewer,

AZ SB1070 is a hateful and discriminatory legislation that reminds me of Executive Order 9066, which was signed in 1942 and which sent my mother and her Japanese American family into incarceration at Poston in the Arizona desert for the war years. As teenager, my mother (who is a U.S. citizen) graduated from high school imprisoned in a camp. Her whole family lost livelihoods for years, lost the lives they had built up over the years, lost possessions and their freedom. Only some of them survived to receive a presidential apology in 1990 for these injustices perpetrated against 120,000 people.

Some historians characterize that racist injustice against Japanese Americans as a sort of “hysteria” which white politicians were somehow emotionally swayed by, because of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. But the West had long been afflicted by virulent anti-Asian racism, with pogroms, lynchings and violence directed at Asians for generations—all given a cover of legitimacy by prior Asian exclusion laws, anti-miscegenation laws and laws prohibiting Asians from owning property. Nowadays hate crimes, violence and “hysteria” are directed against border-crossers and immigrants, while hateful discriminatory laws like AZ SB1070 are drafted to encode that violence, to give discrimination and injustice a cover of propriety, politesse and law. Whatever the stated intent of this law, its actual effects will be to foment division, violence and prejudice.

Arizona does not need to foment new methods of anti-immigrant and racial hatred equivalent to the white “citizen’s councils” of the South in 1965, when civil rights marchers were attacked and beaten, and freedom riders were murdered. Arizona shares with the Western states a xenophobic history of violence and injustice against minorities. Your action in vetoing AZ SB1070 can avert further development of these legacies of injustice and hatred. Your action in vetoing this discriminatory bill can send a message that there are other options besides hatred encoded into discriminatory law, and injustice made the official practice of the state of Arizona.


Sesshu Foster
Alhambra, CA