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On Immigration And Arizona

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¡Coja la frontera, coja la migra, coja las fascistas, y lucha la poder!

 

The following statistics are from a Wikipedia table that cites the State Department and the USCIS. I use this table only because it is neater.

Category

Eligibility

Annual Quota

Immigrant Visa Backlog

Family-Sponsored

IR

Immediate relative (spouses, minor children & parents) of U.S. citizens
(A U.S. citizen must be at least 21 years of age in order to sponsor his or her parents.)

No numerical limita

 

F1

Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age or older) of U.S. citizens

23,400

6–7 yearsb

F2A

Spouses and minor children (under 21 year old) of lawful permanent residents

87,934

4–5 yearsb

F2B

Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age or older) of lawful permanent residents

26,266

9–10 yearsb

F3

Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens

23,400

8–9 yearsb

F4

Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens

65,000

10–11 yearsb

Employment-Based

EB1

Priority workers. There are three sub-groups:Foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics OR Foreign nationals that are outstanding professors or researchers with at least three years' experience in teaching or research and who are recognized internationally. OR Foreign nationals that are managers and executives subject to international transfer to the United States.

40,000

currently available

EB2

Professionals holding advanced degrees (Ph.D., master's degree, or at least 5 years of progressive post-baccalaureate experience) or persons of exceptional ability in sciences, arts, or business

40,000

currently availableb

EB3

Skilled workers, professionals, and other workers

40,000

7–8 yearsb

EB4

Certain special immigrants—ministers, religious workers, current or former U.S. government workers, etc.

10,000

currently available

EB5

Investors

10,000

currently available

Diversity Immigrant (DV)

50,000

 

Political Asylum

No numerical limit

 

Refugee

70,000

 

a 300,000–500,000 immediate relatives admitted annually.
b No more than 7 percent of the visas may be issued to natives of any one country. Currently, individuals from China (mainland), India, Mexico and the Philippines are subject to per-country quotas in the most of categories, and the waiting time may take longer. As of June 2009, in some categories, USCIS is still processing applications filled in 2001. See the State Department Visa Bulletins and USCIS Processing Dates for details.

 

          As this shows, there is a huge backlog in visa applications in all family-related immigration circumstances except immediate family-related immigration, and a huge backlog in work-related immigration for workers who do not have higher education or religious or governmental affiliation (i.e. migrant laborers, factory workers, farm workers, etc.) and that’s assuming they can even read and write well enough to apply. According to the U.N. Common Database, illiteracy among Mexican adults is around 8%, and that’s an inability to understand simple statements, not to mention complicated and numerous legal documents. On top of that, as stated, only 7% of visas issued can be issued to any one country, insuring an even worse situation for those in Mexico and Central and South America trying to escape the ravages of neoliberalism upon their homes and livelihoods than the massive backlogs would show. According to projections made back as far back as June 2001, NAFTA has displaced 15 million workers, and that was before even the first decade of its implementation was over (http://www.citizen.org/publications/publicationredirect.cfm?ID=6788) (in the Mexican Farm Income section, search it). 7% of 40,000, or around 5,714, is the number of “skilled workers, professionals, and other workers” in Mexico that can be given visas each year. In the 16 years since NAFTA has been implemented, that amounts to 91,424 visas. NAFTA has displaced exponentially more than 15 million small farmers, who fit into that category above, and many of whom are indigenous peoples who suffer from the treatment that they suffer from the Mexican government, which includes education even more inadequate than the education given to non-indigenous peoples. The idea that they could fill out complicated legal documents, none of which are in the tribal language they speak, is patently ridiculous. So, no, NAFTA is a plague on workers in both rural and urban environments, in all countries it affects, but most so in Mexico, and the idea that those who have seen their livelihoods and cultures destroyed by neoliberalism and wish to emigrate have a decent chance to do so “legally” is patently false. NAFTA displaced 15 million in 7 and a half years, only .006 of that number of visas has been issued in 16 years. Fair? Haha.

            The idea that Mexicans and other Latin Americans are provided with adequate means to enter the United States is patently false. But outside of that debate, the idea of the border itself needs to be questioned. Many of those who are “illegal” immigrants are migrant indigenous people whose cultures are negatively imposed upon by arbitrary boundaries created by European colonial powers, and later American colonial powers as well. What right did Columbus, Cortez, and everyone else since have to disrupt these cultures with arrangements suitable to them, to create random borders based solely on state and monetary interests? None. So what right do the indigenous migrants have to cross borders that were and are brutally forced upon them? Every right. What right do governments have to open the borders to corporations, but further criminalize the actions of working people who cross the border? None. What right do people have, as free, moral beings, to travel where they please, especially to find a place to support themselves and their family? Every one.

            Something else that’s interesting, relating specifically to the current Arizona situation. The new law’s major sponsor was Russell Pearce, who has connections with white supremacist, nativist, neo-Nazi and anti-immigrant extremists. He has been photographed and filmed with neo-Nazi and white power activists, including a man named J.T. Ready, at anti-immigrant rallies, and in 2006 he circulated emails he received from the National Alliance, a white power group, that defended some who "looks askance at miscegenation or at the rapidly darkening racial situation in America” and who blames the media for “forcing” the idea of racial equality on the public, along with the truth about the Holocaust and "the wickedness of attempting to halt the flood of non-White aliens pouring across our borders ..." He proposed a bill that would have made groups that made race an organizing principal illegal in Arizona, including school groups, saying that “Public tax dollars used in public schools should not be used to denigrate American values and the teachings of Western civilization." He has also, among other things advocated the reinstatement of a 1950’s federal deportation program called Operation Wetback.

Even Tom Tancredo, the man who’s anti-immigrant activism has led even to saying that Barack Obama wouldn’t have been elected if voters were given English literacy tests, has denounced this bill for going to far. All of this comes from Myron Pitts, a columnist at The Fayetville Observer, in his piece “Arizona Immigration Bill Sponsor Russell Pearce Has White Supremacist Ties, Nativist Views,” published yesterday (4/27/10) (http://live-blogs.fayobserver.com/myronpitts/April-2010/Arizona-Bill-Sponsor-Russell-Pearce-Has-Racist-and).  To quote Myron, “This is the man we are supposed to believe crafted a law that will be fair and balanced in treatment of Latinos and non-whites?
Give.
Me.
A.
Break.”

            Those who would claim that the law only applies to those who are under arrest or in any other situation that would require the person in question to present ID (i.e. traffic stop) are blatantly proven wrong by this passage from the bill itself, S.B. 1070. “FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON. THE PERSON'S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).” (http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070s.pdf) Where does that say anything about arrest? Governor Jan Brewer has instituted a 90-day training period before the law takes effect (that period is not in the law, despite what apologists for racists may claim) to train the police on what is “reasonable suspicion” and what is not. How is that going to work? What other way can you “suspect” an illegal immigrant, other than perceived foreignness? Nervousness around cops? I’m nervous around cops; they can shoot for no reason, then claim justifiable homicide and always get off. So that’s a no-good indicator. How do you enforce this law and not start racially profiling those you come in contact with?

            And this is just the beginning. As I speak, more racism and xenophobia are becoming de jure in Arizona’s government. The Arizona School Board is preventing teachers with heavy accents from instructing those with limited English skills, in any subject. A bill, just passed, outlaws classes taught from specific ethnic viewpoints, like Latin-American heritage classes because they encourage racial solidarity (http://immigration.change.org/blog/view/arizona_purges_accents_and_ethnic_studies_from_schools). When will they start banning history classes, because most of the United States’ history is bloody, racist, sexist, and hateful, and those in power don’t want students to even possibly learn that history in school?

So, essentially, the environment in this country is one in which there is a culture that only those Latin Americans fortunate enough to win the visa lottery or to be selected as one in only 700 per year, in some cases, once the backlog resolves itself, of course, are deserving of citizenship, that they are the hard workers, and the rest are just drug dealing scum. And of course, that’s just the position promoted by the official policy of the U.S. government. Plenty of ignorant citizens still see all Latin Americans as gang bangers, drug slingers, or just plain lazy drains on the economy, despite the fact that they are a significant portion of the working people in this country, and many of them go without the menial labor protections that the rest of the workforce has. This new law in Arizona is just one example. How else is one to suspect someone of being an illegal immigrant than looking at their skin, or cultural things they are wearing? Some U.S. citizens just fail to realize that NAFTA kills, or that NAFTA doesn’t only kill in the U.S., that the current immigration limits are broken beyond repair, not letting nearly enough people through to allow even a decent amount to leave Mexico and Latin America “legally,” or that some people have different conceptions of land and property than the strict lines put down by white Europeans and Americans. This ignorance allows all immigration to become the target of racists who seek to blame the U.S.’s problems on working people who are forced elsewhere to find work, and it allows those racists’ attitudes to spread unchallenged and become a major scapegoat. The old stereotype of the sex-crime-committing, drug-dealing, “lazy Negro” stereotype that so frightened whites has been confined to the fringes of public discourse, but the “lazy wetback” is still fair game. It is not good for the business of capitalism for people to wake up to the rights violated by borders, by these laws; the rights of all, not just the indigenous, but all those hurt on all sides by neoliberalism, and more broadly, the rights of all to make their own decisions as long as they hurt and oppress no other person.

¡Coja la frontera, coja la migra, coja las fascistas, y lucha la poder!

 

Comentarios

yawn...personally, I think

yawn...personally, I think immediate families of US citizens and those persons who have skills/educations that can contribute to America's workforce should be allowed, and smaller quotas for political asylum, diversity, refugees, etc...

These arguments based around the notion that the borders are illegitimate or there's some right to immigration are silly, they amount to people saying "because I say so" and have no moral, legal or popular force behind them.

Wow, someone's uninformed.

No moral, legal or popular force behind them?

Shouldn't you be commenting on some story on NBC or Fox News? You're obviously unaware of the VAST popular resistance to arbitrary borders, you're obviously unaware that they are merely fictions created by white, rich Europeans, and that there is no legal basis for this total anti-border argument because the entire legal code is written, again, by white, rich, Europeans who were looking merely to work things out to the interests of their class. The same goes from colonial times to modern day, with NAFTA and other neoliberal policies keeping borders porous for wealth, but not for workers.

And besides, you completely ignore the arguments I make solely against the current policies relating to immigration, both federal and state. Ignorance is bliss, friend, ignorance is bliss.

People like you keep the system alive.

Wow, someone's uninformed.

No moral, legal or popular force behind them?

Shouldn't you be commenting on some story on NBC or Fox News? You're obviously unaware of the VAST popular resistance to arbitrary borders, you're obviously unaware that they are merely fictions created by white, rich Europeans, and that there is no legal basis for this total anti-border argument because the entire legal code is written, again, by white, rich, Europeans who were looking merely to work things out to the interests of their class. The same goes from colonial times to modern day, with NAFTA and other neoliberal policies keeping borders porous for wealth, but not for workers.

And besides, you completely ignore the arguments I make solely against the current policies relating to immigration, both federal and state. Ignorance is bliss, friend, ignorance is bliss.

People like you keep the system alive.