It continues to amaze me how much TV coverage a couple hundred to a few thousand tea party or anti-immigration reform supporters garner any time they so much as sneeze in a public space. When compared to mainstream coverage of events with tens of thousands—or even hundreds of thousands– of immigration reform supporters, it’s absurd to say the least.
As AZ Central reports, last weekend’s rally with former Representative Tom Tancredo, in support of Arizona’s controversial new immigration law, drew about 1/5 of the expected crowd–a paltry 2,000 people.
Last month, Governor Jan Brewer sparked national controversy by signing Arizona’s new “papers please” immigration bill into law. Her justification has been that Arizona’s border has supposedly been “overrun” with violent crime. Turns out crime in Arizona is down and border security is way up, so the “secure the border” mantra being parroted by Brewer and her friends at FOX has much more to do with empty election-year rhetoric than reality. Even Arizona cops can tell you that.
Over Memorial Day weekend, tens of thousands of people marched in Phoenix, AZ to protest SB1070, a law that immigrants to carry papers at all times and makes it possible for any police officer to detain on suspicion of immigration status alone.
At RaceWire, Jorge Rivas reports that “an official crowd estimate was not available for Saturday’s SB1070 protest,” but that “officials overheard on the police scanner estimated the crowd at about 30,000.” Marchers also demanded that President Barack Obama nullify SB1070 by means of a legal challenge from the Justice Department.
The nation’s top cops say that making them check the residency status of suspects will set back years of trust-building in communities of color.
Today Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (who’s getting heat in the blogosphere today for wrongly claiming her father was killed fighting Nazi Germany) has secured herself a White House meeting with the President, scheduled for this afternoon. A range of local and national organizations that support federal reform plan to demonstrate in front of the White House, beginning at 1 pm, with a message that the Arizona law must stop in Arizona.
To welcome you back from the long weekend, immigration blips from across the blogosphere.
First, Politico’s Jonathan Martin reports that California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman may be facing a new ad campaign en Español as a result of her own English-language TV advertising on immigration:
The California Nurses Association is launching an ad this week on Spanish-language radio featuring a clip from the commercial Meg Whitman’s campaign is running that touts her tough stance on illegal immigration and support from former Gov. Pete Wilson.
Ten police chiefs from cities across the country, including three from Arizona, traveled to Washington, DC today to meet with Attorney General Eric Holder and reiterate what they’ve been saying for weeks: Arizona’s new immigration enforcement law will make their jobs harder, erode working relationships built on mutual trust and cooperation between law enforcement and immigrants, and make communities less safe. The federal government should step in to prevent more states from following suit.
Memo to Congress: The gloves are coming off. Three undocumented students were arrested this week after organizing a nonviolent sit-in at Republican Sen. John McCain’s congressional office in Tucson, Arizona. The sit-in was part of an effort to pressure lawmakers to support comprehensive immigration reform, and it’s only the beginning. Reform Immigration For America, one of the nation’s leading immigrant rights coalitions, has just called for a sustained civil disobedience campaign to bolster support for reform.
Last week, a group of Arizona clergy, including Catholic and Methodist bishops and Evangelical pastors, felt called to mount an “emergency delegation” to Washington to “prod, encourage and advocate” (as Catholic Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson told the Los Angeles Times) for passage of comprehensive immigration reform and a delay in putting Arizona law SB 1070 into effect. During a meeting with their senator John McCain, the faith leaders bore witness to the lessons they’ve learned ministering to Arizonans: border security is only one part of an effective and humane solution to our broken immigration system that only leaders in Washington will be able to build.
Lakers star Kobe Bryant’s wife, Vanessa, took a jab at Coach Phil Jackson, who has refused to denounce Arizona’s paper’s-please law, even after “Los Suns” made a strong statement earlier this month. Vanessa, pictured to the right here, is sporting a “Do I look illegal?” tee. Arizona’s Governor, Jan Brewer, has admitted that she has clue what an “illegal immigrant looks like.”