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

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Our well-informed Governor...

This speaks for itself....


Just when you thought the illegal immigration fight in Arizona couldn't get any hotter, the governor lobbed a grenade into the fiery controversy, saying that most illegal immigrants are smuggling drugs across the border.

"We all know that the majority of the people that are coming to Arizona and trespassing are now become drug mules," Gov. Jan Brewer told the Arizona Republic Friday.

"They're coming across our borders in huge numbers. The drug cartels have taken control of the immigration."

Brewer made similar remarks last week during a televised debate between the states four Republican candidates for governor.

One of Brewer's opponents suggested the majority of people crossing the border illegally do so to feed their families. Brewer shot back: "They're coming here, and they're bringing drugs."

Illegal immigrants looking for work are being "accosted" by drug cartels, she said.

Brewer's comments Friday detonated outcries that the Governor's claims were exaggerated and racist.

University of Arizona history professor Oscar Martinez challenged Brewer to produce stats to back up her comments.

"If she has no data and is just mouthing off for political reasons, as I believe she is doing, then she must apologize to the people of Arizona for lying to them so blatantly," he said.

A spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol also downplayed the comments.

"I wouldn't say that every person that is apprehended is being used as a mule," Mario Escalante said.

Crime rates in Arizona's border towns have been flat for the past 10 years, the Arizona Republic reports, even as drug violence in Mexico intensifies.

Border Patrol and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency were unable to provide data to support or dispute Brewer.

However, the president of the Border Patrol union said that since drug charges carry stiffer penalties, few illegal immigrants trying to find work were willing to take the risk of prison time.

"The majority of people continue to come across in search of work, not to smuggle drugs," T.J. Bonner said.

In April, Brewer signed the controversial SB 1070 law which allows law enforcement to question a person's immigration status if they have reasonable suspicion the person is in the U.S. illegally.

The law is scheduled to take effect July 29, barring any legal challenges.

The Department of Justice says it is exploring the possibility of suing the state.

According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 61% support Brewer in her race to win the Republican nomination for Governor. Further bolstering Brewer, 89% of GOP voters support the immigration law.