Protesters in Arizona and all over the U.S. stand up for immigrants

Demonstrators dressed as members of the Ku Klux Klan, protested outside the US Embassy in Mexico City against Arizona’s immigration law, according to the Times Online

Thousands marched in Phoenix with separate rallies of supporters and opponents filling an 8km (five-mile) stretch of the city. There were also protests in Texas, Oregon and San Francisco. Critics said that the law could lead to racial profiling.

Police would not estimate the size of the crowd, but it appeared at least 10,000 to 20,000, braved temperatures forecast to reach 95 degrees Fahrenheit by mid-afternoon. Organisers had said they expected the demonstration to bring as many as 50,000 people. (AP).

Other opponents protested at state capitals in Texas and Oregon (The Guardian).  And “Hundreds of people gathered in a small central Florida town to protest Arizona’s controversial new immigration law,” according to the Miami Herald.

Just how widespread is opposition to this law? Consider this: Ten police chiefs, including three from Arizona, traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to tell Attorney General Eric Holder that Arizona’s new law will make their jobs harder, erode working relationships built on mutual trust and cooperation between law enforcement and immigrants and make communities less safe. The federal government should step in to prevent more states from following suit, they told Holder. (AFL-CIO).

Also from the AFL-CIO:

A study released this week shows undocumented immigrants embody traditional values much more than native-born Americans. For example, 94 percent of undocumented immigrant men work or actively are seeking work, compared with 83 percent of native born men. Undocumented immigrants are more than twice as likely to support traditional families with children: 47 percent of undocumented immigrants today are part of couples with children, compared with 21 percent of native-born Americans. Robert Shapiro authored the report by the New Policy Institute (NPI) a Washington, D.C., research organization.

Undocumented workers don’t lower wages for native-born workers either, Shapiro says. In fact, studies show immigration has increased the average wage of Americans modestly in the short-run, and by more over the long-term as capital investment rises to take account of the larger number of workers. Check out Shapiro’s report here.

The pro-SB 1070 folks showed up too:

Two men carrying loaded weapons and waiving a confederate flag said they were there to support SB 1070.  One man was carrying a loaded shotgun and wearing a White People’s Party shirt.  The other said he was a big fan of Hitler, calling him a “great White civil rights leader.” (AZ Family).

Republicans like to say that they are only against “illegal immigrants.”  Well, does that mean they would support making folks legal via another amnesty?  Or that they support making it easier to enter our country legally?  Nope.

So what do Libertarians think about immigration? I turned to the national Libertarian Party’s website for answers to this question. Here are a few excerpts from an article I found, that was published on April 26, of this year:

The Libertarian Party has a long history of defending immigration. Our website has an article discussing immigration. I think that if there’s a problem with massive illegal immigration, then one of the best solutions is to make legal immigration easier.

From an economic point of view, immigrants are an asset, not a liability. Business owners usually understand that, but politicians often either don’t understand or don’t care. In an environment of fear, which is where many politicians seem to want to keep us, they use immigrants (both legal and illegal) as scapegoats so they can duck blame for problems caused by too much government.

Republican George W. Bush gave us the enormously expensive Medicare prescription entitlement. Republican Senator John McCain famously put his 2008 presidential campaign on hold to rush back to Washington to bail out failed banks and businesses. When times are tough, focusing on immigrants helps distract from these homegrown threats to our economy.

The scapegoating of Mexicans by Republicans is going to destroy their party.

Click here to see pictures taken at the Phoenix airport.

About Art Pedroza