Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May Day March for Immigration Rights in San Francisco

All photos taken by Chuleenan on May 1, 2010 in San Francisco


On saturday afternoon May 1, 2010 Chuleenan and I joined a huge crowd of thousands in San Francisco on a march for immigration reform and in determined opposition to the new heinous and oppressive law sanctioning racial profiling of Latin0 American citizens in the state of Arizona. As the photos above clearly demonstrate a massive and well organized multicultural and multiracial throng of American citizens led by the Mexican American/Chicano Mission District community in San Francisco marched from the the heart of the Mission--one of the largest and oldest Latino American communities in this country-- to the downtown Civic Center where the march became a huge rally in front of San Francisco's City Hall. It was a wonderful expression of mass democracy in action and the boisterous and disciplined crowd gave voice to the paramount need and demand for real progressive federal government regulated immigration reform that doesn't oppress, harass, and exploit Latino American citizens and their labor as Arizona's new and clearly unconstitutional law does and as many other states are now trying to do following Arizona's ugly, racist example. This national struggle is a major one for all people truly concerned about justice, freedom, and equality under the law in this country and the coordinated immigration reform/anti racial profiling marches all across the nation on MayDay 2010 (like in Los Angeles where over 60,000 marched!) is a very clear signal that the Obama Administration and Congress will have to decisively act soon to seriously address these crucial national issues because they are most decidely not going away...




What we really need in this country at this point are onerous laws and regulations that racially profile and systematically harass white Americans for being....white. Seriously. It's the only thing that MIGHT make these venomously racist assholes actually see, feel, and suffer the consequences of being unjustly and oppressively singled out for punishment and scorn because of who THEY are and what THEY look like...But I'm dreaming aren't I? In a rabidly white supremacist nation like this one that will never happen...


Poll Shows Most in U.S. Want Overhaul of Immigration Laws

New York Times

LOS ANGELES — The overwhelming majority of Americans think the country’s immigration policies need to be seriously overhauled. And despite protests against Arizona’s stringent new immigration enforcement law, a majority of Americans support it, even though they say it may lead to racial profiling.
With the signing of the Arizona law on April 23 and reports of renewed efforts in Washington to rethink immigration, there has been an uptick in the number of Americans who describe illegal immigration as a serious problem.

But the poll — conducted April 28 through May 2 with 1,079 adults, and with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points — suggests that Americans remain deeply divided about what to do.

The public broadly agrees, across party lines, that the United States could be doing more along its border to keep illegal immigrants out. The view was shared by 78 percent of the respondents.

That unity, however, fractures on the question of what to do with illegal immigrants who are already here and the role of states in enforcing immigration law, normally a federal responsibility.

A majority of the people polled, 57 percent, said the federal government should determine the laws addressing illegal immigration. But 51 percent said the Arizona law was “about right” in its approach to the problem. Thirty-six percent said it went too far and 9 percent said it did not go far enough.

The law has recharged the national debate over securing the border and what to do about the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already in the country.

The Arizona law gives local police officers broad power to detain people they suspect are in the country illegally and check their legal status. Lawsuits have already been filed on several grounds, including the argument that it will lead to the racial profiling of legal residents and that the state has unconstitutionally intruded on federal authority.

Under a torrent of criticism, the Arizona Legislature and Gov. Jan Brewer made changes to the law on Friday that they say explicitly ban the police from racial profiling and allow officers to inquire about immigration status only of people they stop, detain or arrest in enforcing existing state law. But the new immigration law also now includes civil violations of municipal codes as grounds to check papers, and opponents were not mollified by the changes.

In follow-up interviews, poll respondents who embraced the thrust of the Arizona law still called for a national solution.

“The Arizona law is fine, but the federal government has to step in and come up with something — and they’re not doing it,” said Pat Turkos, 64, a library worker and Republican from Baltimore.

She said: “I don’t think they should be stopped just walking down the street, only if they’re stopped for speeding, for example. I believe everybody has the right to come here, but I think they have to be made legal citizens.”

Although the respondents broadly agreed that the Arizona law would result in racial profiling, overburden local and state law enforcement agencies and decrease the willingness of illegal immigrants to report crimes for fear of deportation, large majorities said it would reduce the number of illegal immigrants in the state, deter illegal border crossings and, to a lesser extent, reduce crime.

Some attitudes about immigration have remained stable among the public. Most still say illegal immigrants weaken the nation’s economy rather than strengthen it, and public opinion remains divided over how the United States should handle illegal immigrants currently in the country.

But American attitudes toward the law and whether illegal immigrants already here should have a path to citizenship differed markedly across regions and parties. Westerners and Northeasterners, for example, are significantly more likely than those in other regions to say the recent law in Arizona goes too far. And Democrats are much more likely than Republicans or independents to support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants now in the country.

Just 8 percent of Americans said the immigration system needed only minor changes. The vast majority said it needed reworking, including 44 percent who said it needed to be completely rebuilt and 45 percent who said it needed fundamental changes.

Three quarters said that, over all, illegal immigrants were a drain on the economy because they did not all pay taxes but used public services like hospitals and schools. Nearly 2 in 10 said the immigrants strengthened the economy by providing low-cost labor and buying goods and services, a chief argument among many of their advocates.

“I do think the federal government should deal with it, because illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes and don’t contribute to our government,” said Deborah Adams, 53, a Democrat from Ephrata, Pa., and a paramedic who called the Arizona law a “necessary evil.”

“They take jobs from American citizens who need to work and pay into Social Security,” Ms. Adams said.

In fact, many illegal immigrants do pay taxes into the Social Security system, but never see a return on their contributions.

At immigration rallies in several cities on Saturday, demonstrators pressed the case for overhauling immigration law.

So far no bill has been introduced in Congress. President Obama, while supportive of the idea of immigration reform, has questioned whether lawmakers have the appetite for a divisive battle over it after a year of other political fights and in the middle of a campaign.

A delegation of Arizonans opposed to the law, including Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, plans to meet with Justice Department officials on Tuesday to urge them to step into the brewing legal battle over the law.

On Monday, one of the law’s staunchest advocates, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County in the Phoenix area, announced that after toying with the idea, he would not run for governor.

Randal C. Archibold reported from Los Angeles, and Megan Thee-Brennan from New York. Marina Stefan contributed reporting from New York