SB 1070: Battle at the Grassroots

May 11, 2010 by Guest Blogger · Comments Off
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration, Politics 

By Joel Olson

In the struggle over the notorious anti-immigrant, anti-Latino, anti-working class law SB 1070, a person might be tempted to see this as a conflict that plays out among the elites of Arizona politics: legislators, governors, sheriffs, newspaper editors, judges, lawyers, and nonprofits. This view would be understandable, but wrong. The real battle is at the grassroots.

On the one hand, there is a strong nativist movement afoot in Arizona that is overwhelmingly white, mostly over the age of fifty, and largely male. They fear that “illegals are invading” and causing all manner of mayhem, from home invasions to overcrowded emergency rooms to automated voices forcing them to “press 1 for English.” They are represented by the Tea Party and local politicians such as State Senator Russell Pearce. Their goal is to hound and harass all “illegal aliens” out of Arizona—and if they have to check the papers of every brown-skinned person in the state to do it, fine. “Attrition through enforcement,” Pearce calls it. That phrase is now written into Arizona law. At their demand, SB 1070 turns every cop in the state into an immigration officer, practically requires racial profiling, and denies the freedom of Arizonans to associate with whoever they please, documented or not. With the passage of 1070, nativists are confident that they control the territory.

But what happens when you hold a Tea Party and a bunch of “illegals” show up? Read more

Study Finds that Europeans Want Jobless Immigrants Out

March 21, 2009 by Stephen Piggott · 1 Comment
Filed under: Immigration, International 

A recent Financial Times study found that citizens in Europe’s “big 5” countries of Spain, UK, France, Italy, and Germany want jobless immigrants to leave their countries. According to the poll, 79% of Italians, 78% of Britons, 71% of Spaniards, 67% of Germans and 51% of French nationals would back proposals to ask jobless immigrants to leave their country. Unemployment rates have soared in the EU’s largest countries and jobless nationals are looking for someone to blame. As usual, nationals pick on immigrants and blame them for all of their troubles.

To be honest, I am really getting sick of reading about anti-immigrant protests that have swept throughout Europe since the beginning of the global credit crisis. Instead of blaming the bankers and the people in the financial sector who literally threw people’s money away, EU nationals instead blame the easy target: immigrants. What most people in Europe do not know is that when the EU was formed, one of its 4 fundamental economic freedoms was the freedom of movement of labor among EU citizens. Many Europeans would argue my point and say that North Africans make up the bulk of the immigrants in their countries but that is not necessarily true. London now boasts the largest population of Polish people outside of the Polish capital Warsaw. Many EU policy makers believe that the freedom of movement of labor has helped fill gaps in EU labor markets and foreign workers helped grow the EU’s economy before the recession. Read more