The Right and Wrongs of SB 1070

May 18th, 2010 · 17 Comments

The following is another blog post by David Molina, a Commissioner on the Oregon Commission of Hispanic Affairs, about Arizona’s SB 1070.

I was listening to a local Spanish-talk radio program, and the caller argued for why SB 1070 might be good. He argued that the federal government deducted $287 from his paycheck, for almost ten years now, but that he will never see a dime of that. His argument was that SB 1070 might propel the Congress and the White House to initiate comprehensive immigration reform, and therefore, he might in the future begin to see the fruit of his labor.

Americans, by nature, whether documented or undocumented have interests and we play to those. Clearly, Latinos aren’t going anywhere. We’ve purchased (or rented) into the American dream, including buying homes, cars/big pickups, groceries, technology, and sending our kids to American colleges. Whether this gentlemen’s predictions are right is for another column, but I do know SB 1070 has created a hornets nest of discussions on TV, radio and the internet. My fellow Chair and former Vice Chairman wrote “The Two Arizonas” in the state’s largest-circulated newspaper, and they were asked by an commenter to show their green card.

Massive mobilizations have been and continue to be organized using radio, TV, social media networks, email campaigns and text messages. We’ve seen these before, but what will be different? How will these mobilizations using offline or online methods curtail or exponentially grow SB 1070s across the country? Already, about a dozen other states are considering similar legislation, including Utah, Georgia, Colorado, Maryland, Ohio, North Carolina, Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska. There’s a sentiment by undocumented immigrants alike: SB 1070 is the clearest example that immigrants are welcome to rent and buy in America, pay federal and sales taxes, but you’re not allowed to become a true American citizen. How many more SB 1070s will it take for the Congress to act? And more pointedly, what will it take for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to taken seriously in this debate? The right and wrongs of SB 1070 did not begin in Arizona or neo-nazi marches that ferment the Grand Old Party (GOP). They began when Latinos and Americans alike failed to get involved in the democratic process before the historic signature signing that created this discussion.

Tags: community organizing and activism · Congressional Hispanic Caucus · David Molina · GOP · Immigration · racism · Republican Party

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 What the .. // May 18, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    The typical Latino victim mentality, if you believe in America, become an American citizen, I encourage you to go for it.
    Stop the crying, the decisions you make are your own. Take responsibility for your actions. Citizenship is not an entitlement because one feels they deserve it, or inadvertently had a child, or felt they worked long enough illegally to deserve it. Basta! There is no value in a free lunch. I never see a dime of what the Federal Government takes from my paycheck, its because they call it taxes. If you are Illegal paying taxes, well thats the price you pay for the opportunity to work in the US, of course, illegally. First, you need to renounce your Mexican citizenship, there is no such thing as dual citizenship and being loyal to America. Learn to speak English, and assimulate into the melting pot we call America. Do the right thing, America is far from perfect, but aligning yourself solely on ethnicity is divisive, and can be construed as racism. Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.
    Cesar Chavez

  • 2 Larry // May 18, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    I know this is a one-sided website, and I’m gonna get attacked, but here goes. First, you’re right, immigration reform needs to be done. However, the laws already in place are not being enforced, which is why this anti-ILLEGAL immigration backlash is occurring.

    I have to disagree strongly, and am insulted by you, that those who have issue with ILLEGAL immigration to this country are racist. That is such a small part of the group. You know there are radicals on the other side of the argument, right?

    On a similar topic, why do you have “La Raza” in your banner, as opposed to “Una Raza?” The Latino population is A race, not the race. Kind of reminds of another group that claimed they were THE race in the 1930s and 1940s.

    Please note I am not naming them (as some on the other side wantonly do) or even saying you are a member (which would be stupid, I realize), but the similarity is striking on that point. Pride in one’s ethnic group is great, but to a point.

    Got sidetracked here at the end, kind of like your article (which was good up until the name-calling). I hope I get thoughtful and respectful replies, and not name-calling, but we’ll see.

  • 3 webmaster // May 19, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Larry : ‘On a similar topic, why do you have “La Raza” in your banner, as opposed to “Una Raza?”’

    In Spanish, the term raza is used to mean “the people.” It is often used interchangeably with the term “gente” – which also means the people. We are using it here to describe the Hispanic or Latino people.

    And actually, Latinos are made up of multiple races. There can be white Latinos, Afro-Latinos, Mestizos, etc. We come in all colors, so we aren’t necessarily a ‘race’, which is why there is some irony in the term.

  • 4 Larry // May 19, 2010 at 10:16 am

    @webmaster: Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I guess my inference was that the group La Raza has done some pretty controversial things in the past, and this has not (to my knowledge) been addressed by those on the pro-(sometimes illegal) immigration side. I know that I have to apologize for the nuts on my side all the time.

  • 5 webmaster // May 19, 2010 at 12:27 pm


    “the group La Raza” is actually the National Council of La Raza or NCLR, which is an organization based in Washington, DC. Many people keep saying ‘la raza’ as if it is synonymous with the organization, and that isn’t the case.

    While on topic, my father pointed out to me that Jews often call themselves the ‘chosen people.’ Every group has a name or description for itself. Does this mean that Jews are any more chosen or important than the rest of us?

  • 6 irma // May 19, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    A rabbi friend of mine explained to me their view of being the “chosen people.” They believe literally that God (their definition not the Christian one) offered Jews a set of rules that would govern the way they would live their life. In their view, their God chose to give them these rules and they also chose to accept them.
    The “chosen of God” chose God so to speak.
    Interesting isnt it? The Jewish view of the relationship between God and Jews is one that involves free will. Indeed, this relationship is traditionally viewed a legal binding contract.
    And every year at Yom Kippur, Jews are given the opportunity to opt out! The Jewish view of
    their God’s relationship with the rest of humanity is that each group/person must work out whatever that will be.

  • 7 Chicano future tense // May 19, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Dear Mr.Molina,
    God bless you,heaven knows you’re in a mighty tough position there in Oregon trying to be an impartial voice amidst the controversy surrounding SB1070..It must be awfully tough being caught between a rock and a hard place-doing a balancing act trying to sound critical of sb1070 and at the same time trying to keep your position safe..we understand and appreciate your compassion for your undocumented Mexicano brothers and sisters..we can read between the lines..

    BUT,Mr Molina,I feel I have to call you out on the title of your article.. “The Rights and Wrongs of SB 1070″..
    IMHO..there aren’t any “rights” to be found in SB1070…just wrongs..and plenty of them..starting with racial profiling..clearly a “wrong”..and another thing..Latinos didn’t have anything to do with bringing about sb1070..they didn’t draft it,they didn’t push it through state government..we know it was a cowardly white supremacist neo-nazi clown named William Pierce who along with his fellow racist minutemen and white supremacist groups put all their muscle behind this fascistic piece of garbage called please don’t blame Latinos for somehow sharing responsibility for the creation of sb1070-that’s twisted and ingenuous logic….and you know damn well Latinos had nothing to do with helping sb1070 become law…
    Also,let’s not forget to also thank “What the”.. for his encouraging undocumented Mexicanos to become US citizens,learn English and pay taxes..welcome on board Mr.What the!
    God Bless you Mr.”What the..” being encouraged millions of Mexicanos ,Chicanos and other US citizens flooded the streets of Americas cities in 2006 and now again in 2010..why?.. because they were “encouraged” enough to get out in the streets and march because they want so bad to become US citizens just like you encourage them to we thank you for that!
    Mr.Larry….yes you are right! it’s a shame that you poor persecuted white folks are so discriminated against by us mean ole Latinos..
    I mean after all you white folks did lose all your lands to those mean ole Native Americans who murdered, robbed and pillaged your people..right?
    And wasn’t it those mean ole Africans who stole you white folks from Europe and sent you to Africa to become slaves on African plantations?..oh my!
    And wasn’t it also those mean ole Mexicans who stole half of Europe and created strict immigration laws to keep y’all from crossing the border from Lapland and Finland into the United States of Mexico? oh my!
    Ahh yes,those poor persecuted oppressed white must pity them..terrible..terrible..

  • 8 Al // May 19, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    There they go again. Conservatives always argue about the cost of everything and the value of nothing. This guy’s 287 might be money he really misses, but what he is really missing out on, is the understanding of what it pays for. Roads, telephone lines, subsidized (read as corporate welfare) farming, airplane industry standards, the quality of life we have, military, fire, police, free education till 12th grade, all of this is paid for by taxes. If he thinks that by deporting people more often, he will somehow see more of his money then perhaps he should consider this: Most Economists (real ones) have shown time and time again that immigrant low-wage workers give more to an economy, save more industries from leaving, and profit our economy more than having them deported. If undocumenteds were forced out of California, for example, food would cost perhaps 50% more, come from other countries more often, and the serving of it would cost more. Farmers either must choose between having immigrants pick their produce, and in many cases process it, and Going Out of Business. They can’t compete otherwise. Translate this thinking to restaurants, service industries, and more–and you realize that these persons do difficult and often dangerous or painful jobs other Americans wouldn’t and for lower than 50% of what it would take for other Americans to do it. Bill Clinton, a man who knows about Economic Growth and Balancing Budgets simultaneously, said recently that it will take more immigrants, not fewer, to pay off the deficit. And this deficit, was almost exclusively created by Presidents of the Conservative variety. When Reagan came into office, the deficit was 560 billion, when he left it was about 2.8 trillion (his defense spending buddies in California benefited).
    When Bush I came into office, the budget was 2.8 trillion or so and it was 3.4 when he left. Clinton balanced his own annual budgets and reduced the total budget principal outstanding. When Bush II left office, he had negated Clinton’s progress, despite a booming economy, and our total debt was around ten trillion dollars. For those people who constantly decry Democratic Tax and Spenders, behold the real Spenders were: Reagan, Bush, and Bush. Bush II gave away all of the oil in the nation of Iraq to four companies (including BP–AND THIS IS CORPORATE WELFARE) then didn’t even ask them to re-pay our debt for the war. Obama was left with this mess. While I don’t love him, he has at least done more than Bush did for the common man or the recession. And everyone with an economics degree in the world knows that an economy must deficit spend in the face of a severe downturn or reap the whirlwind. Perhaps I should send this gentleman $287 in the hopes that it might raise his economic understanding. I am a Mexican-American with an education, an argument, and evidence. That is worth more than decrying paying more federal tax than General Electric did last year (Yes–that means Corporate Welfare dissolved their entire amount of taxes).

  • 9 Al // May 19, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    By the way, to the gentleman named Cesar Chavez on this comment list above, there is such a thing as dual citizenship. One may file the appropriate forms to obtain this status. You are right that decisions based upon race = race-ism, Yes. But that is hardly what these people are arguing. They have a right to decide what they think citizenship is worth. In many cases, they are, essentially, economic refugees and they make our society work much better and much cheaper than it would without them. Our country has given citizenship to known-Nazis, criminals, whites simply because they were from Northern Europe, and athletes who later committed felonies. They also gave citizenship to millions simply because they “Found” their way here. So just because these people have a different idea of what deserves citizenship does not mean that they are wrong. They might not have the current legal requirements of citizenship but they have the same ideas the Irish, the Russians, the Italians, and the English did–those people all felt they deserved it because they did the dirty work to build a country. What a novel idea?!!!

  • 10 Larry // May 20, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    @webmaster: you’re still not getting that I’m saying the Council of La Raza does some pretty left-wing and questionable stuff, supporting some radical groups (look it up).

    @chicano future tense: Who says I’m white? That nothing to do with my argument. Blacks, Latinos, Europeans, etc. who have been here legally awhile want their country’s economy and people protected. I personally can’t do side jobs anymore because someone will do it for next to nothing, and my teenage son can’t find a job [many legal children of illegal parents in our neighborhood], and the illegal immigrants in our LA jails and violence in Arizona attest to crime being an issue.

    Your rant about whites just shows your bias against whites, which you may have had issues with in your life, I’m sorry about that. But don’t compare me with people who lived before me.

  • 11 Larry // May 20, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Regarding SB1070, you know if you get pulled over anywhere, they check on you for any warrants or such, right? So, if legal immigrants are supposed to have their documentation by law anyway, what’s wrong with checking, unless you’re illegal; especially in an area where illegal immigration is an issue.

    I know from my discussions with those on the other side of the issue that they favor more open immigration in general, and this would hinder that. I don’t think that view is a fair balance of our rights as citizens with those of protecting illegal immigrants, no matter their story (and yes, I personally know some with very tough stories-and no I won’t rat them out). There are just too many in this country.

  • 12 Miss Karma // May 24, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Chicano Future tense: Well Said! It is truly amazing how some white folks are real quick to claim the victim mentality when none of them have been put on a boat and shipped halfway across the sea and to have only three-fifths of them to be considered human, shot at 41 times for carrying a wallet, and dragged out of their homes in the dead of night and hung just because they wanted to vote, or to endure things like redlining and when one wants to start a business, has to practically threaten to sue in order to get the loan. Sadly Chicano, the ignorance of some never ceases to amaze me.

    Al (comment 8): Very Well Said and it’s not said enough! Let me add the amount of time that it takes for the paperwork to be processed. One of my best friends and many of my former neighbors had this problem–some of whom were spouses of men who put their butts on the line in a war based on lies about weapons of mass destruction. Oh, and shall we begin to talk about the School of the Americas–err uh I mean the Wesern Hemisphere Institute for Security Corporation (WHISC)?–Not a peep from the fleabaggers, UN-FAIR, or Federation of American Immigration Reform and the other Klan-lite organizations out there.

    Training soldiers in our country to wreak havoc and destruction in the homelands of both legal and illegal immigrants and then some people in this country have the nerve to complain about them coming here? Pathetic.

  • 13 Miss Karma // May 24, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    As far as I’m concerned if NAFTA isn’t repealed, the School of the Americas—I mean WHISC, isn’t shut down, and the employers who hire illegal immigrants aren’t locked up and fined $250,000, then SB1070 is really BS 1070.

    …gee I wonder why the state of Arizona didn’t include locking up the employers who hire illegal immigrants. Should we follow the money trail and will it lead to some of the politicians who voted for this law to be implemented?

    Tim Wise summed up this whole thing

  • 14 What The ... // May 25, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    One thing there are laws against hiring illegal undocumented aliens in SB 1070. The one thing to remember that employers will have to request documentation from all employee candidates, they will need to see their papers. Unlike, the misinformation ensuing law enforcement. Whereby they can only ask for verification with due cause after a violation has ensued, such as a traffic violation, and no drivers license, insurance, registration etc.
    Sec. 6. Section 23-212, Arizona Revised Statutes, : 23-212. Knowingly employing unauthorized aliens; A. An employer shall not knowingly employ an unauthorized alien. If, in the case when an employer uses a contract, subcontract or other independent contractor agreement to obtain the labor of an alien in this state, the employer knowingly contracts with an unauthorized alien or with a person who employs or contracts with an unauthorized alien to perform the labor, the employer violates this subsection.
    On a finding of a violation of subsection A of this section: 1. For a first violation, as described in paragraph 3 of this subsection, the court: (a) Shall order the employer to terminate the employment of all unauthorized aliens.
    (b) Shall order the employer to be subject to a three year probationary period for the business location where the unauthorized alien performed work. During the probationary period the employer shall file quarterly reports in the form provided in section 23-722.01 with the county attorney of each new employee who is hired by the employer at the business location where the unauthorized alien performed work.
    (c) Shall order the employer to file a signed sworn affidavit with the county attorney within three business days after the order is issued. The affidavit shall state that the employer has terminated the employment of all unauthorized aliens in this state and that the employer will not intentionally or knowingly employ an unauthorized alien in this state. The court shall order the appropriate agencies to suspend all licenses subject to this subdivision that are held by the employer if the employer fails to file a signed sworn affidavit with the county attorney within three business days after the order is issued. All licenses that are suspended under this subdivision shall remain suspended until the employer files a signed sworn affidavit with the county attorney.
    For a second violation, as described in paragraph 3 of this subsection, the court shall order the appropriate agencies to permanently revoke all licenses that are held by the employer specific to the business location where the unauthorized alien performed work. If the employer does not hold a license specific to the business location where the unauthorized alien performed work, but a license is necessary to operate the employer’s business in general, the court shall order the appropriate agencies to permanently revoke all licenses that are held by the employer at the employer’s primary place of business.
    Remember, SB 1070 is Federal Immigration Law, the State of Arizona has only mirrored the federal laws at the state level. Of course, as with all laws you will have abuse at some small level, and that should be dealt with appropriately. But as a result of all the scrutiny, law enforcement will have to be on their toes to make sure their is no inference of racial profiling. The bigger problem the State of Arizona is having, which hasn’t been addressed in this blog, is the surge of the drug cartels, the abuse of the coyotes in human and prostitution smuggling rings, the real violence against law enforcement, not to mention kidnapping, rate number two next to Columbia. Pretty bad stuff. This is a state that has to protect themselves and has a duty to Arizona residents to do so. Well, they did. This isn’t racial, its necessary.

  • 15 Miss Karma // May 31, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Once again no mention of JAIL TIME in BS 1070 and heavy fines for employers who hire illegal immigrants.

    The Federation of American Immigration (FAIR) reform has openly taken credit for putting BS1070 on the law books.

    FAIR has been funded by the Pioneer Fund, which has supported the likes of Charles Murray’s Bell Curve Theory that Blacks were genetically less intelligent than whites and so forth. Russell Pearce, the senator who spearheaded BS 1070, was linked by emails to the uhh WHITE NATIONALIST MOVEMENT (as per the Associated Press)
    A quote from FAIR founder John Tanton (did I mention that he is STILL on FAIR’S Board of Directors)
    “Perhaps this is the first instance in which those with their pants up are going to get caught by those with their pants down!…As whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they go quietly into the night? Or will there be an explosion?”

    John Tanton is STILL on FAIR’s Board of Directiors, and FAIR has taken credit for this law, and Russel Pearce has associated (and been pictured) with Domestic Terrorists.

    But remember boys and girls this has nothing to do with race or skin color. Suuuuure it doesn’t (rolls eyes)

    Oh and before you start mentioning Robert Byrd, (which is what a lot of right wingers do to deflect attention off of themselves) Byrd has continuously admitted being wrong countless times, in interview after interview.

    Insofar as drugs are concerned I’m all for going after cartels INCLUDING the Aryan Brotherhood and its umbrella organization the Nazi Low-Riders who apparently don’t have a problem with the cartels in their drug trade either but we don’t hear too much about them and their alliances with the drug cartels now do we? We only hear about the alliances of MS13 and the Bloods. I guess it helps when you have Russell Pearce in the state senate to keep the heat away–oh but that’s right, none of this has anything to do with race.

  • 16 Miss Karma // May 31, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    If they can’t get it right now what makes anyone think it’s going to be any different once the law goes into effect?

    …and speaking of horrible crimes any news updates on former minutewoman Shawna Forde. She is accused of murdering two people-on of whom was a nine year-old girl. It was very interesting to see and read about the other minutemen trying to distance themselves from her when she was arrested.

  • 17 JAMES // Jun 13, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    I must admit that I see many points on both sides, along with a good point regarding the”actual” enforcement of the bill. I must admit that I was more in favor of the abolition of SB 1070 than for it, but after doing some further research as well as reading the comments on this blog I now have some concerns.

    First off I was much in favor of Miss Karma’s arguments, but I feel that the comment about whites going quietly vs explosion was quite arrogant to say the least. It also makes me question your views on racism. (towards whites that is).

    Also has anyone looked at Mexicos laws regarding immigration. Talk about harsh! I couldn’t get away with so much as having an opinion let alone run for public office, yet their President comes over here and bashes Arizona’s laws. Miss Karma, why is it ok for them to enforce these laws in Mexico but not us here in America? No one seems to ask that question.

    Another thing I would like to know is why not address the fact that the illegal immigrants in question need not have any allegance towards America but instead want to be here illegally while remaining 100% to Mexico. I know that attitude doesn’t fly there so why should it here? Not to mention the 20 plus million tax free dollars they send back home (since they of course want their loyalty to lie there). Yet another thing Mexico wouldn’t tollerate from an illegal.

    I could go on forever but that isn’t the point. If someone/anyone could help me make sense of these questions I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks for your time.

Leave a Comment