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

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

SB 1070, et al: The worst is yet to come.

This is the latest from my friend who writes Chaparral Respects No Borders. I think she's on to something, so listen up and think about where we may need to adapt our strategies across the movement. There are so many levels to the oppression and exploitation of non-citizens and citizens alike that it's a mistake to concentrate our energies on the bigotry of local personalities, even if they're the sheriff or chair of the State Senate Appropriations Committee... it is the machinery, not simply its engineers and mechanics, that needs to be torn down. It is a fascist architecture which limits our vision and reach - we need to build something new.

--------------------------[Chaparral respects no borders]--------------------------

SB1070: Will Be Stopped, but Worse Will Come ...

Date: Monday, July 5, 2010, 3:39 PM

Here's my prediction about SB1070. It may or may not go into effect on July 29th, but I think it will be stopped in some way, probably by the federal government. Then the federal government will come up with some Comprehensive Immigration Reform that is as bad or worse than SB1070, but not as blatantly horrible. It will provide a few crumbs for certain folks- perhaps to buy off the some of ones with the most capacity to build resistance, but it will involve more border security and attrition through enforcement (with a new gentler formula). We are also possibly going to see a guest worker program and perhaps some sort of id that involves biometrics.

After Prop 187 in California passed it was found to be unconstitutional. Yet it was important historically because it set things in motion. In particular, the federal government passed welfare reform that instituted restrictions on welfare to immigrants that mirrored some of prop 187.

The excerpts at the end of this post, from Border lines blog discuss the reasons the federal approach to immigration is not likely to be much different from AZ's.

This is why I say This is bigger than SB1070. We have people coming to Arizona from out of town, doing this Arizona Freedom Summer (beware the RCP) and thirty actions in thirty days sorts of things, but need to be clear that SB 1070 is not the main issue here. People keep voting for Sheriff Joe and racist legislation- there need to be some efforts to change minds and/or undermine the strength of racism here. As I've mentioned before, if we don't look beyond the pieces of legislation and the bad sheriffs and the raids, the economic situation that so many face is overlooked. We also have a criminal "justice" system that seeks to criminalize people they see as a problem- particularly people of color, whether immigrants or not. In seeking to move immigration reform along, some folks think it's okay to further militarize the border even when it already harms the communities such as the O'odham down at the border.

For more reading on these topics (especially if you're new to these issues in AZ), see This is Bigger than SB 1070. Whether or not my prediction comes true, this is still bigger than the latest law. It was too big before.

From Border Lines blog:
It’s likely that SB 1070 will be judged, in whole or in part, as unconstitutional and will never be fully implemented. Even so the Arizona law marks another step forward in the consolidation of the attrition through enforcement strategy, just as its Legal Workers Act of 2008, which the courts have upheld, signaled the deepening dimensions of immigration law enforcement...

The Arizona law highlights a deepening conundrum for the federal government. By no means is DHS opposed on principle to having local law enforcement join in immigration enforcement. But it does insist that such cooperation be on the terms it sets. Having opened the door to federal-local cooperation, DHS is finding it hard to control the eagerness of localities to join in the immigrant crackdown...

With its Support Local Law Enforcement Act, Arizona not only adopted the “attrition through enforcement’ framework of the restrictionist institutes. It also adapted parts of the federal playbook for immigration enforcement: identifying new ways to increase what DHS calls “law enforcement partnerships” and extending the federal government’s own focus on the expanding category of “criminal aliens.”

Rather than waiting for DHS to reach out and expand its own federal-local collaborative programs, Arizona politicians have asserted the state’s right to enforce existing federal immigration laws. In the view of the supporters of the new law, the main problem they are attempting to address is not some inadequacy in federal immigration law. Rather it’s the failure of the federal agencies to adequately enforce the law...

The federal government has not explicitly endorsed ["attrition through enforcement"], but its actions are closely attuned with this restrictionist agenda.

Even as the White House and DHS continued to insist that only a CIR strategy will fix the broken immigration system, it has systematically moved to make it increasingly difficult for unauthorized immigrants (illegal border crossers and those overstaying their visas) and for legal immigrants who have violated criminal laws (mostly drug use) to live and work in the country. At the same time, DHS has steadily strengthened border control through increased checkpoints, increased agents, and increased border-control infrastructure...

The Obama administration has also proved an ardent advocate of increased federal-local cooperation in immigration enforcement. Among other things, it has strongly supported collaborative programs initiated by the Bush administration such as Operation Community Shield, Criminal Alien Program, Fugitive Operation Teams, Operation Stonegarden, Border Enforcement Security Taskforces (BEST), and the 287(g) program – all of which involve local police and sheriff deputies in the enforcement of immigration law.

In addition, the Obama administration has consolidated and promoted the Secure Communities program, which was developed under DHS Secretary Chertoff as a pilot project to encourage and facilitate the checking of the immigration status of all those arrested by local law enforcement. Secure Communities is advancing rapidly under Secretary Napolitano, who has prioritized the detention and removal of all those DHS and the Justice Department identity as “criminal aliens.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the DHS agency responsible for immigration investigations and interior enforcement, has a special program to promote what its calls “law enforcement partnerships.” ICE Access (Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security) “provides local law enforcement agencies an opportunity to team up with ICE to combat specific challenges in their communities.”

Established in 2007, ICE Access underscores the increasing outreach of DHS to local law enforcement officials in immigration and other homeland security matters. The program supports “a multi-agency/multi/authority approach that encompasses federal, state, and local resources, skills, and expertise.”

Posted By chaparral to Chaparral respects no borders at 7/05/2010 03:39:00 PM