VIDEO: “My Mother Was Stopped Because of SB 1070″

Now that Arizona's "Show me your papers" provision of the controversial SB 1070 is now in effect, those who continue to question the provision's intent are using YouTube to record how police are enacting the law. 

Below is one video that a family made when the family's mother was pulled over by the Mesa police.

MALDEF Writes to Governor Brewer: Don’t Even Think of Implementing SB1070

We knew it would happen sooner than later. Following a ruling by the Supreme Court last Monday—which basically struck down Arizona's controversial SB1070 law immigration, but allowed for the section 2(B) "show me your papers" provision to continue—organizations are beginning to challenge section 2(B), fearing that it will lead to racial profiling.

On Wednesday, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) sent a letter to all the defendants (including Arizona Governor Jan Brewer) in Friendly Hill v. Whiting, the original case that led to Arizona v. United States being heard in the Supreme Court. The message from MALDEF? Don't even think of implementing Section 2(B), because you can't. This is what MALDEF posted on its Facebook site this week:

The coalition representing the plaintiffs in the ongoing civil rights legal challenge to SB 1070, Friendly House v. Whiting, sent a letter to counsel for all defendants, including Governor Brewer, explaining that SB1070 's racial profiling provision, Section 2 (B), cannot be implemented unless a federal court dissolves the injunction. The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Arizona v. United States did not lift the injunction, and the case will be sent to the lower courts for further proceedings. As a result, no law enforcement agency in Arizona should currently be implementing Section 2(B).

Here is the letter that was sent:

Complete Video of Senate’s Subcommittee Hearing About SB1070 Immigration Law

Here is a video of yesterday's entire Senate subcommittee hearing about Arizona's SB 1070 immigration law.

Former Arizona state senator Russell Pearce yesterday in Washington, DC. CREDIT: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Today, the US Supreme Court will be listening to oral arguments for and against the Arizona law.

Our favorite part of yesterday's hearing? Former Arizona Senator Dennis DeConcini's appearance.

“I apologize for Arizona’s actions toward the Latino community," said the former Democratic senator.

Another notable quote comes from State Senator Steve Gallardo (D-Phoenix).

“I would submit to you that Senate Bill 1070’s true intention … is to make second-class citizens out of Latinos,” Gallardo said.

And of course, kudos to Russell Pearce (yes, former state senator Russell Pearce), who is the chief sponsor of SB 1070. At least he showed up to share his opinions, which, as you all know, we don't agree with. New York Senator Charles Schumer and Pearce had an interesting exchange, to say the least.

Here is a partial transcript:

SEN. SCHUMER: OK. I want to show you a blowup of the official training manual given to the Arizona police officers on SB 1070. Behind me here on the screen are the factors that training say police may consider in developing a reasonable suspicion that a person is an illegal immigrant and needs to be checked. I'm going to highlight a few. It says in the company of other unlawfully present aliens. It says the vehicle is overcrowded or rides heavily. It says dress. And then it says demeanor, for example, unusual or unexplained nervousness, erratic behavior, refusal to make eye contact.

The one that arouses my curiosity and bothers me is dress. What does an illegal immigrant dress like? Why is dress in those factors — listed in those factors?

MR. PEARCE: Mr. Chairman, that was put together by AZ POST, and I understand they worked in cooperation with ICE to develop the profile of those folks after making legitimate contacts.

SEN. SCHUMER: But explain to me, as the author, do you think dress is an appropriate –

MR. PEARCE: Mr. Chairman, this is not — this is from AZ POST. This is training material for AZ POST, not a part of the bill.

SEN. SCHUMER: Yes, from the Arizona police.

MR. PEARCE: Right, not a part of the bill.

SEN. SCHUMER: I understand. Well, do you think dress is an inappropriate measure? Is there a reason to stop somebody because of their dress?

MR. PEARCE: I think when you have a problem –

SEN. SCHUMER: And then, I would ask you if it's not inappropriate, what does an illegal immigrant dress like?

MR. PEARCE: Mr. Chairman, almost all — when you train a police officer — I've been in this business for a long time, in law enforcement and public safety — it's a compilation of issues that tend to raise the level of suspicion to the level of probable cause, not any one isolated incident. This is just a list of things that lead you to ask questions. I know questions are dangerous things. People might not actually give you an answer. So –

SEN. SCHUMER: Sometimes questions are a dangerous thing because they lead to profiling.


SEN. SCHUMER: And it seems to me when the word dress is used — I mean, just give me a — do you — in your experience, you've lived in Arizona your whole life, I believe?

MR. PEARCE: Yes, sir.

SEN. SCHUMER: Do illegal immigrants dress any differently than legal immigrants or American citizens?

MR. PEARCE: Mr. Chairman; I don't want to be confrontational, Mr. Chairman.

SEN. SCHUMER: No, I know.

MR. PEARCE: But I want to tell you this is a list of things to look for and they're trained by ICE. This was ICE training in terms of a compilation. But it's like anything –

SEN. SCHUMER: ICE didn't –

MR. PEARCE: No one issue does — if I'm looking into a bank robbery or a Circle K robbery and I've got a description kicked out by radio of a white male, average height, white t-shirt, dark pants running down the street; I'm responding to that crime and a I see a white male, white t-shirt, dark pants that turn out to be jogging pants. I stop him and I have a pretty good reason to ask him a few questions.

When I get to the Circle K and I find out he's not the guy, he gets released. You have to respond to reasonable suspicion to do your job, Mr. Chairman.

SEN. SCHUMER: My argument –

MR. PEARCE: And this is just a list of things to look for.

SEN. SCHUMER: Right. First, I don't believe ICE sanctioned the use of the word dress. We'll check that out.

MR. PEARCE: I'm just told that that's what they worked with in cooperation with developing of that criteria, Mr. Chairman.

SEN. SCHUMER: OK Right. So let me ask you this question. Instead of going through these criteria and other criteria, why didn't you just say — and again, the criteria are not yours, the Arizona police, as you say. That's what we say up there — mandatory check.

But why didn't you just say that everyone who is stopped by police has to be checked for legal immigration status? Why do you require the police to form opinions about whether a person is an illegal immigrant first before requiring police to ask that person for proof of legal status? Doesn't the way you wrote the law either require or certainly invade towards racial profiling?

MR. PEARCE: Just the opposite, Mr. Chairman. Again, under federal law — you know, under the U.S. Constitution and the Arizona constitution you know, we have the Equal Protection Clause. I knew those kinds of issues would be raised by those open border folks that are against any enforcement.

We've been sued on everything we've done, from voting fraud to stop voting fraud, welfare fraud, to going after illegal (person who compete ?) illegally, immorally, and have a competitive advantage over the honest employer. Doesn't it seem like no matter what we do, Mr. Chairman, we're attacked for simply enforcing the law and trying to protect American citizens and jobs for Americans. So you knew those questions would be asked, you knew you'd — they'd come after you. We simply wrote the bill to preempt those kinds of silly arguments and try to protect — try to protect everybody's rights. As a civil libertarian, I'm a believer that everybody — you have to have a reason to do stuff. I don't want a police state. I want a reason to do something. That's why those — that's why that bill was written in the manner it was written.

SEN. SCHUMER: So let me ask you again. If you want — why wouldn't it have done just what you say, rule of law, not discriminate — why wouldn't it have been better to say that everyone stopped by the police should be checked for their status? Why come up with obviously a really problematic definition of suspicion? And you've seen in the regulations that it is problematic.

MR. PEARCE: Well, Mr. Chairman, I don't agree that it is problematic. In Arizona, first of all, we made the proper exceptions. If you have an Arizona's driver's license or a driver's license from a state that requires proof of citizenship or legal residence, you're automatically exempt from that. That is — that is — (inaudible) — at that point, reasonably, that you're legal. All we wanted to do in this bill is common sense.


The GOP’s Stance on Immigration and Its Immigration Rhetoric is “Unbelievable”

Just a little music tribute to all those GOPers who insist that tough talk of immigration enforcement will actually win them votes in 2012.

From the national candidates….

To the local ones who just got recalled but whose ego is bigger than the actual size of Arizona…

Good luck with that. Hit it!

DNC Releases “Mitt Romney: The GOP’s Most Extreme Candidate” Video Where He Praises Arizona SB1070

Last night, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said that he thinks that Arizona's immigration law is a "model" for the rest of the country. Does this guy REALLY want to capture more than 10% of the US Latino vote in a general election? Did he not read the cover of TIME yesterday online? Arizona SB 1070 is a wedge issue for the vast majority of US Latino voters, who, as anyone one who understands politics this year, are literally the swing vote.

Nonetheless, the DNC quickly responded with the following ad. Our take: Republicans should start focusing on 2016 because 2012 is game over for them.


Update: TUSD Says That Book Ban Is Completely False and Misleading

Here is an update from Tucson Unified School District on the book ban. 


From TUSD:
Reports of TUSD book ban
completely false and misleading
Tucson Unified School District (January 17, 2012)

Tucson, AZ, Jan. 17,2011 – Tucson Unified School District has not banned any books as has been widely and incorrectly reported.

Seven books that were used as supporting materials for curriculum in Mexcian American Studies classes have been moved to the district storage facility because the classes have been suspended as per the ruling by Arizona Superintendent for Public Instruction John Huppenthal. Superintendent Huppenthal upheld an Office of Administration Hearings' ruling that the classes were in violation of state law ARS 15-112.

The books are:

Critical Race Theory by Richard Delgado
500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures edited by Elizabeth Martinez
Message to AZTLAN by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales
Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement by Arturo Rosales
Occupied America: A History of Chicanos by Rodolfo Acuna
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years by Bill Bigelow

NONE of the above books have been banned by TUSD. Each book has been boxed and stored as part of the process of suspending the classes. The books listed above were cited in the ruling that found the classes out of compliance with state law.

Every one of the books listed above is still available to students through several school libraries. Many of the schools where Mexican American Studies classes were taught have the books available in their libraries. Also, all students throughout the district may reserve the books through the library system.

Other books have also been falsely reported as being banned by TUSD. It has been incorrectly reported that William Shakespeare's "The Tempest" is not allowed for instruction. Teachers may continue to use materials in their classrooms as appropriate for the course curriculum. "The Tempest" and other books approved for curriculum are still viable options for instructors.

The suspended Mexican American Studies classes were converted last week to standard grade-level courses with a general curriculum featuring multiple perspectives, as per the directive by the state superintendent. Students remained in classes with their teachers, who are now teaching general curriculum.

As the district has taken action to comply with the order from the state, the goal of the district has continued to be to prevent disruption to student learning. Books used as instructional materials in the former Mexican American Studies classes were collected only from classrooms in schools where the courses were taught. Again, all the books are still available to students through the TUSD library system.

In one instance, at Tucson High Magnet School, materials were collected from a filing cabinet while students were in class though teaching did not stop during the process.

Tucson High Magnet School Principal Dr. Abel Morado acknowledges that the gathering of materials could have been accomplished outside of class time in all instances.

"We had a directive to be in compliance with the law and acted quickly to meet that need," says Morado. "Part of that directive is communicating with teachers, students and parents, and collecting materials. We regret that in one instance materials were collected during class time."

For further information:
Cara Rene
Director of Communications
Tucson Unified School District
[email protected]
(520) 225-6101

Tucson Ethnic Studies Program: Banned Books

The Ethnic Studies Ban has made headlines across the nation. Detractors have called the ban unconstitutional and  “have defended the Mexican-American studies program as no different than African-American or Native American studies classes.” Here at Latino Rebels we decided to give you a bit of an in-depth look at some of the books that are “deemed to be divisive.”

Here are three of the books targeted by state superintendent John Huppenthal:

Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years by Bill Bigelow  is composed of poems, essay and interviews of Native Americans who were oppressed 

by the “European invasion of North America.”

We need to listen to a wider range of voices. We need to hear from those whose lands and rights were taken away by those who "discovered" them. Their stories, too often suppressed, tell of 500 years of courageous struggle, and the lasting wisdom of native peoples. Understanding what really happened to them in 1492 is key to understanding why people suffer the same injustices today.

Occupied America: A History of Chicanos by Rodolfo Acuna  All reviews were positive for this book. Some have called it bias but one of the best books on Chicano history.

Authored by one of the most influential and highly-regarded voices of Chicano history and ethnic studies, Occupied America the most definitive introduction to Chicano history. This comprehensive overview of Chicano history is passionately written and extensively researched. With a concise and engaged narrative, and timelines that give students a context for pivotal events in Chicano history, Occupied America illuminates the struggles and decisions that frame Chicano identity today.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire 

First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in English in 1970. The methodology of the late Paulo Freire has helped to empower countless impoverished and illiterate people throughout the world. Freire’s work has taken on especial urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers is increasingly accepted as the norm.

The history of the United States goes beyond just Europeans landing on Plymouth Rock and Thanksgiving. Both sides of slavery, oppression, racism and discrimination were unfortunate events that were fundamental into shaping  the country into what it is today. The purpose of education is not only to teach but to encourage students to expand their knowledge. If  students in Arizona  are stripped off of learning about this important piece of history then  John Huppenthal is no better than the oppressors cited in these textbooks that they have xcluded from the educational system.

Update: Below you will find other textbooks banned by the State Superintendent:

Critical Race Theory by Richard Delgado

500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures edited by Elizabeth Martinez

Message to AZTLAN by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales

Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement by Arturo Rosales

Tempest by Shakespeare