Folks in support of SB 1070 have argued that it’s not that inconvient to have to carry your immigration papers everywhere you go. Well, I just got this from my local international students and services office:
Be certain to keep your I-94 card safe. If the I-94 card is lost, stolen or damaged, it must be replaced by applying for a replacement through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Currently USCIS charges $320 and the average processing time is 2.5 months. As a result, it is a costly and time-consuming process to replace an I-94 card.
So… SB 1070 tells international students and legal immigrants to keep your immigration documents in a safe place. As long as that safe place is your purse or your back pocket. And if you lose your immigration papers? Why, that’ll only be $320 of your money, and 3 months of your time when you cannot leave the country.
Raul Grijalva is leading the charge to protest SB 1070 -- by trying to bankrupt the state with boycotts. Y'know, if state legislators won't listen to reason...
Yesterday, CNN’s Jack Cafferty wrote a (racist) column suggesting that SB 1070 is “already working” to stop illegal immigration. His evidence: Mexico recently issued a travel advisory alert warning Mexican citizens that they may be racially harassed if they visit Arizona. Touting the usual right-wing propaganda, Cafferty cites the usual, anti-Latino tropes about the illegal immigration “problem”: he thinks all illegal immigrants are Mexican, and all Mexicans are violent, sociopathic drug lords.
We have already begun to feel an impact from SB1070. The families of a number of out-of-state students (to date all of them honors students) have told us that they are changing their plans and will be sending their children to universities in other states. This should sadden anyone who cares about attracting the best and brightest students to Arizona.
Additionally, large numbers of UA students, faculty, staff and appointed professionals have expressed concerns that they or members of their families or their friends may now be subject to unwarranted detainment by police. Many of these individuals are from families that have been residents of Arizona for generations. While I am completely confident that no one need fear the way that UAPD will approach the application of this law, I nevertheless appreciate the anxiety that friends and colleagues are feeling. It is a concern and fear that no one should have to harbor.
If Shelton is correct (and there’s no reason to think he would be lying on this point), Arizona is already suffering a blow when it comes to attracting high-quality students to the state. For a state already suffering from enough brain drain that we rank last in the country when it comes to education, Arizona can ill-afford losing this kind of ground when it comes to academia. And we all know that poorer state-wide educatin leads to poorer state-wide economy and fewer jobs — something Arionza should know all too well since Arizona’s state government is virtually bankrupt.
So clearly, SB 1070 is already working — to drive another nail into Arizona’s coffin.
Be afraid, for the Asians are mobilizing against racism!
The media seems intent on painting SB 1070, the bill signed into law last week that would make being an undocumented immigrant a state crime, as an anti-Latino law. Everywhere you turn, you hear about the ramifications of this bill against Latino residents of Arizona, both legal and undocumented. But, while the impact of this bill on the Latino community will be profound here in Arizona, I think this insistence on focusing exclusively on SB 1070 as a “Latino” issue creates the same divisive wedge normally used to prevent minority communities from forming coalitions and building bridges. Even Reverend Al Sharpton, who spoke the other night on Larry King Live, failed to talk about the impact of SB 1070 on the non-Hispanic community.
The truth is that SB 1070 is harmful to all Americans, both White and of colour. Yet, we aren’t talking about the fact that the second largest group of undocumented immigrants who cross into America along Arizona’s southern border are ethnic Chinese; Asians in Arizona are also very likely to be targeted for racial profiling by Arizona’s state cops when SB 1070 comes into effect this summer. And we certainly aren’t talking about the dangerous precedent that Arizona’s anti-immigrant law will have across the nation, in terms of state’s rights, legalized racial profiling, and privacy issues; yet, it is these consequences that can have dangerous ramifications for all people of colour.
It is for these reasons that progressive and minority communities should be mobilizing in full force against SB 1070, and not be distracted by the false notion that the law will not affect you. Beyond the fact that we shouldn’t stand idly by while minorities are disenfranchised, we must also recognize how we, too, are threatened by this unjust law.
New American Media has a short article about Chinese American groups on both the east and west coasts urging their members to participate in protests against SB 1070. Here’s the article:
Chinese Americans to Join Protest against Arizona Law
Chinese American leaders on the east and west coasts urged community members joining the Labor Day demonstration to protest against Arizona’s anti-immigration law. The leaders also called for immigration reform, reports China Press.
Hong Zhen from the New York Immigration Coalition described the Arizona law as “non-American”and an ugly way to criminalize undocumented immigrants. He urged President Obama to reform the immigration system. Li Hua from Chinese Staffs and Workers Association said criminalizing undocumented worker violated human rights.
Meanwhile, Asian community leaders in San Francisco said that even though the Arizona law targeted Latino communities, Asian Americans and members of other ethnic groups should fully participate and show their disagreement on any anti-immigrant law
As a Japanese American who spent part of my childhood in an internment camp, I know all too well the effects of scapegoating and racial profiling. I suffered through what happens when governments pass policies based on fear and misguided attempts at law and order.
This law is un-American as it unjustly targets communities of color, in particular immigrant communities, which have been critical to the economic growth of our country throughout our nation’s history.
The law’s enactment also demonstrates the urgent political and moral imperative for the federal government to act now on comprehensive immigration reform.
Comprehensive immigration reform is particularly important for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. There are currently 1.5 million undocumented Asian immigrants who contribute to our communities and economy everyday and who could contribute more if they were legalized. Millions of families are separated for years, sometimes decades, waiting in the backlogs of our broken family visa system.
Kiran Ahuja is the Executive Director of the White House's AAPI Initiative.
With Asian American Heritage Month just around the corner, the White House’s Asian American Pacific Islander Initiative announced today that it will be holding a series of events and round-table discussions with APIA community leaders to improve access and participation in federal programs.
White House Initiative Launches Campaign to Increase Asian American and Pacific Islander Access, Participation in Federal Programs
In advance of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders today announced the Obama administration’s efforts to improve the lives of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities underserved by federal resources. The Initiative will collaborate with top agency officials and community leaders in roundtable discussions on education opportunities, housing, jobs, employment issues and health disparities. Experts with hands-on community experience will advise federal agencies on critical issues and share innovative models of proven success.
“We want all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to know what resources the Obama administration has available to help improve their lives,” Executive Director Kiran Ahuja said. “By building strong collaboration between federal agency officials and community leaders, we’re taking the first step towards investing in a mutually beneficial partnership to create easier access to educational opportunities and program services.”
“The President is committed to maximizing the government’s ability to address the needs of the AAPI communities through this initiative,” Chris Lu, assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary, said. “President Obama and his administration are doing everything we can to support the efforts to increase AAPI access and participation in federal programs, especially during these tough economic times.”
Like all Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are suffering severe challenges in the current economic crises. AAPIs have experienced the largest decline in homeownership of any racial group over the last year. Poverty rates, work-related injuries and job losses also have increased.
Working with Initiative co-chairs U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Ahuja has already built a strong team at the Initiative. She has enlisted many administration officials to hold dozens of events during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will discuss employment and labor issues with community leaders. Secretary Locke will hold a Web chat to discuss the Initiative’s work, and Secretary Duncan will visit a public school with a high percentage of Asian American students and a strong bilingual education program.
Check out this thiry-second TV ad, called “Language”, from Tim James, a Republican running for Albama governor. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Can you believe this mess?
Tim James is honestly campaigning on a platform of language discrimination. One of his campaign promises is actually to disenfranchise American citizen who don’t speak English by eliminating non-English government documents.
It’s probably unnecessary for me to point out, but a full 20% of Americans speak primarily a language other than English at home. Of those, roughly 20% speak an Asian language. So, we’re talking about a good chunk of Americans, including a sizeable portion of the Asian American community, who may rely on non-English government documents to function. Further, most of the other 80% of Americans who speak a non-English language at home are Spanish-speaking. Thus, eliminating non-English government documents will overwhelmingly affect members of the Asian and Latino communities — who collectively make up about 4% of Alabama’s population.