Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Immigration News Roundup from AZ

The MinuteMan Project Militia are preparing their return to the borderlands in two weeks. They're also taking credit for the national debate currently raging on immigration reform.

Love or hate 'em, those who follow the illegal immigration debate say the original Minuteman Project conducted in April 2005 in Cochise County and a subsequent patrol in October brought increased national attention to the Arizona stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border. Some even credit the group with pushing legislators to create border enforcement bills
Too many of them, in fact.
Upwards of 50 bills dealing with the border and illegal immigration have come before the Republican-controlled Legislature this session, more than in any other session in state history.
Meanwhile human beings are still dying, and in some cases, getting assaulted by bandits

Armed robberies of illegal immigrants are on the rise along the Arizona-Mexico border, with notable spikes in remote areas increasingly favored by illegal immigrants, authorities say.

The increases reflect competition between smugglers pressured by U.S. Border Patrol crackdowns and bandits eager to take advantage of easy targets, officials say.

continued below the fold...

J.D. Hayworth (Wingnut-AZ5), who deserves permanent retirement this fall, is sending out anti-immigrant literature paid for with taxpayer money. Follow the link to view the mailing, and if you have a hard copy, AZ Congress Watch is looking for additional scans.

On the Dem-side, Blog for Arizona has an interview posted with Jeff Latas, who is one of several candidates for AZ's Congressional District 8. With Republican Jim Kolbe's retirement announcement, we have a good shot at picking up that seat (as long as the Democratic Primary doesn't produce any casualties). Here's part of the section where Jeff talks about immigration.

J: Obviously there is a real concern about using government resources in order to provide schools and medical treatment and such services. But there are certain cases where illegal immigrants pay their own way through their taxes. Some of that is failing to get back here to the states where the money is being spent, however. This issue needs close study of the facts. There might need to be a ‘fencing off’ of certain funds from those revenue sources, so that it can be sent back into the local economy where the impacts are. For instance, the state prisons here that are owed money for holding criminals who are Mexican nationals.

The immigrants generally are helping our society out and benefiting us greatly. I think much of the negative rhetoric is used to conceal that simple fact. A lot of it might be hate-based and prejudiceÂ… IÂ’m not willing to say that someone like Randy Graf is a bigot, but there are definitely people who are bigots who are attracted to this issue.


Finally, the Tucson Citizen has a two-page profile up regarding a unique photography project underway that is trying to capture the human aspect of two opposing sides of the debate: immigrants and the Minutemen. They are handing out disposable cameras to various groups, along with a return envelope, and documenting the response.

"We were hoping to tell the story of the U.S.-Mexico border in a new and fresh way," said Adler, who graduated from Arcadia High School and the University of Arizona and works as a designer and filmmaker in New York City.

"Our goal was to show the journey without it being tainted by our own perspective and by just our presence there."

Crossposted from my humble blog

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