I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sanctuary Cities, Citizen's Initiatives and Russ Pearce

I just don't get how something that's a "citizen's initiative" is being driven by a legislator who couldn't get it into the legislative package for some reason, and supported by Judicial Watch..."democracy" in Arizona at work again, I guess.

 This is old news from Pearce, picked up off the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC  forum (that link takes you to their "platform". Not a source of anything objective about migration. They're all over the place funding and facilitating anti-immigrant "citizen initiatives". I wouldn't go so far as to say that they are primarily white supremacists, but I don't think they have such a problem with Anglo immigrants. Nobody ever talks abut them when referring to illegal immigration - it's all about the Mexican border.

 Don't trust anything you read from FAIR, either, by the way, without double-checking any sources there you use. Here is the link to FAIR's page saying who they are.


Arizona Capitol Times
October 21, 2009
By Jim Small

Sen. Russell Pearce, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee said illegal immigration is his top priority, even as Arizona grapples with the largest budget deficit in state history.

"I just don't know what it takes to wake people up," Pearce, a Mesa Republican, said during a press conference on Oct. 21.

Pearce is planning a twin-pronged effort to strengthen Arizona laws against illegal immigrants: He will push lawmakers to adopt the reforms but, in the event that is unsuccessful, he said he will also pursue a citizen's initiative.

"If something fails (at the Legislature in 2010), the citizens will have the last say," Pearce said. "We'll take back America one state at a time. "

His capstone proposal would end what illegal immigration opponents call "sanctuary city" policies, where local governments or law enforcement agencies have policies that prevent workers and police officers from questioning someone's immigration status.

Brandon Judd, vice president of the Arizona chapter of the National Border Patrol Council, a union for Border Patrol agents, said that would do more to stem the flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico than anything else.

"Sanctuary cities are a magnet to illegal aliens," he said.

Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, will join Pearce in pushing the initiative for the 2010 ballot. The group is also working on "sanctuary city" ballot measures in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and Maryland.

Although the state is facing a $1.5 billion budget deficit this fiscal year, as well as forecasts for deficits greater than $2 billion in future years, Pearce said illegal immigration should still be a priority for lawmakers.

"There is not a greater impact on the financial status of this state than illegal immigration - (we spend) $1 billion on education alone," he said. That statistic purportedly comes from the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

However, that group's Web site lists education costs for illegal immigrants in Arizona in 2004 at $330 million. It also notes that $480 million is spent on educating the American-citizen children of illegal immigrants.

Pearce said he was initially hoping for a special legislative session to address the immigration issues, but backed off of that after speaking with Gov. Jan Brewer's office.

"They thought the first week of session would be a better idea," he said. "I want to make sure everyone's here and we have the votes. "

Pearce said Brewer has supported him in the past and he "expects" to get her support on these bills, too.

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