Latino activists prepare for the Supreme Court's ruling on Arizona's SB 1070

Latino activists prepare for the Supreme Court's ruling on Arizona's SB 1070
See more images in this slide show: Xico Artists Featured in "Crossing the Line"

The U.S. Supreme Court and President Obama leave the undocumented and their allies no choice but to escalate civil disobedience.

Today in America, one in four Latino voters knows someone in deportation proceedings.

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court don't care.

Frank Ybarra, "Our Lady of Guadalupe, AZ." See more images in this slide show: Xico Artists Featured in "Crossing the Line"
Frank Ybarra
Frank Ybarra, "Our Lady of Guadalupe, AZ." See more images in this slide show: Xico Artists Featured in "Crossing the Line"
Reggie Casillas, "Educated Immigrant."Reggie Casillas was born in south Phoenix and exposed to the arts and his Hispanic heritage at a young age. Growing up as the son of a prominent artist and a highly motivated mother, he learned to incorporate his life experiences into his art to create pieces that are visually striking with a story to tell. See more images in this slide show: Xico Artists Featured in "Crossing the Line"
Reggie Casillas
Reggie Casillas, "Educated Immigrant."Reggie Casillas was born in south Phoenix and exposed to the arts and his Hispanic heritage at a young age. Growing up as the son of a prominent artist and a highly motivated mother, he learned to incorporate his life experiences into his art to create pieces that are visually striking with a story to tell. See more images in this slide show: Xico Artists Featured in "Crossing the Line"

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More Crossing the Line viewpoints:

"Bordering on revolution: America's war on Mexicans has gone too far," by Michael Lacey

"Welcome back, Jim Crow: A tradition of keeping African-Americans voters from the polls," by Chuck Strouse

"Love the beans, hate the beaner: America's love-hate relationship with Mexicans and Mexican food," by Gustavo Arellano



Village Voice Media commissioned artists associated with the Phoenix-based cultural collective Xico to produce a series of covers for its papers -- each one is unique to each city -- for its national story on Arizona SB1070, "Crossing the Line." Here are those images with additional artworks and biographical information on the individual artists. Founded in 1975, Xico is a nonprofit organization that promotes Chicano, Latino and Native American heritage through the arts. Its programing includes arts classes and workshops for underserved youth, community exhibitions, artist education, printmaking workshops, the valley's oldest Dia de los Muertos/A Celebration of Life festival and small-venue performances. To find out more, visit www.xicoinc.org.

What else can be concluded from their questions and comments during oral arguments over Senate Bill 1070, Arizona's notorious stab at ethnic cleansing?

Likewise, Latinos shouldn't expect any succor from our Deporter-in-Chief, President Barack Obama.

Recently, Obama told a Univision reporter that he hoped to tackle comprehensive immigration reform in the first year of his second term.

Obama made the exact promise in 2008 for the first year of his first term. It didn't happen.

Instead, four years of Obama has meant 1.5 million individuals deported, more than were sent home by his Republican predecessor in eight years.

In other words, it is time for a ride in the souped-up DeLorean back to the 1950s. Instead of blacks relegated to second-class status, it will be browns.

If the Supreme Court rules as many predict and upholds 1070, anyone who even resembles a Latino in states adopting similar statutes had better get used to the third degree.

The president has the power to halt all deportations by executive fiat. A recent letter to Obama signed by ninety immigration-law professors detailed how he could legally do this on behalf of students who would benefit from proposed DREAM Act legislation.

But our prevaricating POTUS will not issue any such executive order. He doesn't need to politically.

Meanwhile, the president's rival, Mitt Romney, has signed off on "self-deportation," the equivalent to 1070's stated intent of "attrition through enforcement."

Generous with the lip service Obama may be, but he doesn't have to care. With Romney the alternative, Latinos have no choice but to vote for him.

Indeed, Obama's immigration polices look like a fulfillment of Operation Endgame, a notorious (and supposedly defunct) plan hatched post-9/11 by ICE's Office of Detention and Removal, setting as its "golden measure of success" the removal of "all removable aliens" by 2012.

We're off by a few years, but the goal remains the same. Another term for Obama means four more years of massive deportations, and all the family disruption, human tragedy and unjust incarceration that accompanies them.

So if the Supreme Court heads in the direction it seems to be heading later this month, the question for immigrants and their advocates and allies becomes, how do we make the political establishment care?

The answer? By making it pay through disruption, rebellion and resistance.

That combination of anger and action was building to a crescendo throughout 2010. But U.S. District Court Judge Susan R. Bolton's injunction against the most offensive parts of 1070 on July 28 of that year hit the pause button.

On July 29, because groups inside and outside Arizona had mobilized and organized for the day 1070 was scheduled to go into effect, massive civil disobedience created public chaos.

Scores were arrested and jailed for taking over streets, disobeying police orders and locking their arms together in PVC pipe, a move known as the "sleeping dragon."

Leading up to that day had been numerous acts of protest and demonstration: marches, rallies, students chaining themselves to the Arizona Capitol building, as well as acts of defiance organized by smaller groups.

Perhaps the boldest action was taken by six activists who occupied the U.S. Border Patrol's offices at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. In a sleeping dragon, with U-shaped bicycle locks joining their necks, the activists refused to move, leaving the Border Patrol helpless to respond.

For pro-immigrant activist Alex Soto, a member of the Tohono O'odham Nation and member of the hip-hop duo Shining Soul, the action was a means of striking back at an enemy that effectively occupies O'odham land, where Border Patrol vehicles are as common as cactus.

"They're already escalating," Soto says of the increased militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border. "I understand the necessity [of working for change by registering more Latino voters, for instance]. On the other hand, anger is not bad...."

SB 1070 is just one way immigrants are criminalized, Soto says.

The Border Patrol he rails against operates in 100-mile swaths of what the American Civil Liberties Union refers to as "constitution-free zones," extending out from the border.

Within these zones, it sets up checkpoints, operates unmanned drones, and patrols public transportation, all the time subjecting non-whites to heightened scrutiny.

Then there's ICE, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (as is the Border Patrol).

ICE administers the government's Orwellian Secure Communities program, which operates in jails nationwide and is supposed to check the immigration status of all those booked.

But Latinos are run through at higher rates than non-Latinos. So far, 3,600 American citizens have been wrongly arrested through the program.

ICE has begun to phase out its 287(g) program, which cross-deputizes local law enforcement as federal immigration agents. None other than Sheriff Joe Arpaio once maintained the largest 287(g) force in the nation.

Ironically, it was with this force that Arpaio wreaked terror on Latino communities in Maricopa County through immigrant-hunting sweeps utilizing racial-profiling tactics that, in turn, led to Arpaio's 287(g) contract getting discontinued.

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7 comments
TrollMeaT
TrollMeaT

No other race/creed has had issues with becoming a citizen, learning the language and working hard to make a better future, why do they?

Remnant777
Remnant777

Regarding Michael Lacey's story. PSSSST....... Michael..... If someone is living and working in the US without documentation they are already a criminal. SB 1070 didn't criminalize anyone. Who is really at fault if a couple come into the US illegally and has a kid then gets caught and deported? You also left out 2 other benifits,in your story, brought to us by the illegal aliens. Check out the percentages of rapes committed in the US by illegal aliens to any other race. Check out the percentages of hit and runs committed by uninsured illegaly aliens to any other race.

Ram Fan
Ram Fan

ummm are you kidding me? Racism has nothing to do with illegal immigration. This law requires people to provide legal documentation of being in this country. Nowhere does it say: "Deport all the Mexicans" like you are insinuating. Read the law.

Ram Mcelroy
Ram Mcelroy

This is excellent. They'll gather up all the illegals in one place. Saving us a TON of time!

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

Or send them back to country of origin together, then nobody gets hurt. They are hurting tax paying citizens of the U.S.A. and we are tired of getting soaked by them.

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

Tell your bretheren then to stop breaking into our country to demand handouts and come in the front door like normal people do.

Luis F Lopez
Luis F Lopez

Looks like all the racists are coming out of the woodwork !! remember when you guys used to come out in the middle of the night and burn black people houses and left burning crosses on their front yards ? then the hooded Casper look like clowns marching in the woods ? I wonder what the end will be ??? stay tooned !!

 
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