Me Reacting to Romney’s Reaction

Barack Obama’s change in immigration enforcement is entirely political. I know this because a series of Republican politicians put out well crafted press releases yesterday carefully worded to appeal their base in the next primary said so.

Mitt Romney’s first reaction was not to say anything about the substance of the issue, but to argue that Obama’s action make a compromise over immigration harder to get to.

This, apparently, because Congress was just about ready to offer such a compromise. Obama went and ruined it.

He also argued that this is problematic because it is an “executive order” that can be reversed by the next president. Despite being the only currently feasible “next president,” he declined to say whether he’d reverse the order. Ah, that Mitt Romney.

By the way, it isn’t actually an executive order.

I’d love to go after Romney’s position on the issue. However, just like Romney, I don’t know what his position is.

Possibly the Funniest Political News of the Week

You may have read a little bit about this; it even made Wonkette.

Russell Pearce had a fundraiser scheduled yesterday, and he had to cancel it when no one wanted to host it.

The fundraiser was organized by lobbyist Gretchen Jacobs (yes, there are lobbyists who still like Pearce), an ally of pro-bullying activist Cathy Herrod. The event was originally scheduled for a Macayo’s restaurant in Phoenix.

Then, to use the passive, calls were placed. Some were organized by a group in Phoenix called the Tequila Party, but also organizations that schedule events there like the Arizona Education Association made their displeasure known. The Macayo folks didn’t want to deal with the grief, so they canceled the event. This left Jacobs with only a few hours to find a new location.

Jacobs picked a new restaurant: Oaxaca Restaurant and Cantina. My Baja Arizona readers might not be familiar with the place, but it is near the capitol and has become a hangout for politicos of all persuasions. It is a favorite spot for Ed Pastor.

Here is the fun part: the family that used to own the place had to give it up and it is now owned by Chicanos por la Causa. CPLC doesn’t exactly form a part of Pearce’s political base.

The manager told the Capitol Times that Jacobs didn’t tell him who the event was for. Needless to say, when the manager found out that it was on behalf of Pearce, he was less than amused.

This left Jacobs to move the event with even shorter notice. She arrived at holding it at the Phoenix Central High School library, ’cause Pearce’s folks are so into books.

The school cancelled the event citing short notice, the size of the event plus possible protestors. It couldn’t have helped much that the school board, which includes Laura Pastor, got wind of it.

Time for the Irony Board. Here is Pearce quoted in the Capitol Times:

Make no mistake: I am undeterred by a few individuals who are motivated by hatred in lieu of discussing the issues

Yeah, that doesn’t sound like anyone I know.

A Bit of Good News

Janet Napolitano announced this morning that DHS will no longer deport “low priority” illegal immigrants. These would be folks who migrated before their sixteenth birthday, have committed no major crimes and are under the age of 30.

It goes without saying that this will cause the usual veins-in-the-neck popping snit from certain folks who have made their name on claiming the administration is soft on them durned ill-eagles. I don’t know how many hundreds of thousands need to be deported before someone is no longer soft. I guess since we haven’t made the state look like the no man’s land at Flanders, we’re soft.

By the way, anybody want to take bets on who will be the first Republican to coin the phrase “Backdoor DREAM Act”?

(Even as I type, Joe Arpaio is on the radio in Phoenix bloviating about how this is all political. He’s running for re-election too which has nothing to do with anything.)

Press release from Raúl Grijalva after the jump.

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Supremes, but no Florence Ballard

At the congressional hearings on SB 1070 yesterday, Russell Pearce once again responded to worries about racial profiling with the tired cannard of “illegal is not a race.”

Yeah, that’s fun to say isn’t it? It’s a lot easier than addressing the issue.

So, has any supporter of 1070 actually bothered to explain how it will be enforced without racial profiling? I mean without the glib slogans.

Since we don’t live in a Philip Jose Farmer novel, people’s foreheads aren’t imprinted with engrams to mark the undocumented. So, we gotta ask people, but we’re only going to be asking certain people, admit it. How are we picking these “certain people”? Careful how you answer that.

I suppose we gotta ask everyone. Given that we just had a legislative debate over whether red light cameras were too much Big Brotherness, I doubt that the folks who wrote this really want everyone checked.

Unfortunately, the arguments before the Supreme Court are going to be more about federalism than about profiling. It’s too bad, because I’d like to see supporters make an argument that takes more thought than a bumper sticker.

And by “Reasoned” He Means…

Just so y’all know, Russell Pearce was not our only former legislative leader at the capitol for the hearings on SB 1070. Kirk Adams was up there taking time out from fundraising for his congressional race to tweet the hearings.

Here’s a sample:

Lesson so far? Impossible to have reasoned discussion here about how to solve this problem.Hearing is everything that was expected. #SB1070

Yes, Speaker Adams. What we need is a fact based, calm, reasoned discussion of immigration policy. It’s too bad you and your former colleagues never took the time to give us one here in Arizona.

Because It Is Never, Ever About Race, Part 2

You’ve probably seen this video, but check it out again:

The player being taunted there is Ángel Rodríguez. Rodríguez was raised in Florida and born in Puerto Rico. Yep, he’s a citizen and even his ancestors have never had green cards.

There has been a great deal of ink spilt (it’s the 21st Century, so it’s metaphorical ink) over accusing the Southern Mississippi band of not knowing the status of Puerto Rico or its citizens. Thinking these slopeheads need a lesson in the Jones-Shafroth Act is giving them too much credit.

Line-ups of NCAA basketball teams include many non-American players. Anyone rememember a “green card” taunt being thrown at, say, the U of A’s Ukranian-born Kyryl Natyazhko? Any other European player? No? Now, why is that?

Maybe a few history lessons about the Spanish-American War and it’s aftermath would have helped, but I have my doubts. How many of the students doing the taunting even knew Rodríguez’s family origins? I can tell you for sure what they did know: they knew his last name was Rodríguez.

It wouldn’t have mattered if Rodríguez crawled under the fence in Douglas, came over in a canoe from Cuba or was descended from the founders of Santa Fe. He’s got that last name, so questioning his right to be in this country is fair game.

And people still wonder why so many Hispanics are edgy about anti-immigrant laws?

NB – One of the lines being thrown around in this discussion is that Puerto Ricans have fought and died in every war since the island became part of the United States, but it actually goes back further than that. In the Revolutionary War, Bernardo de Gálvez recruited troops from Puerto Rico and he led them in engagements throughout what is now the American South that prevented the British from encircling Washington’s army.

Because John Joel Glanton Was Unavailable

One of the most disturbing things of the current era of our state’s politics has been just how much racist claptrap has become welcome in polite conversation. Yes, there are plenty of people who support tougher immigration policy that aren’t racist. My question is, why do the non-racists continue to put up with the slopeheads and knuckledraggers?

It becomes difficult for those of us on my side to swallow that it isn’t about race when we read stuff like this:

Nativist extremist and documented anti-Semite Glenn Spencer spoke today at the state Senate Border Security, Federalism, and States’ Rights Committee, a seriously loony legislative panel chaired by crackpot Republican state Senator Sylvia Allen.

But remember: the real racial extremists are the ones making kids read Bless Me Ultima.

NB: By the way, this isn’t the first time Spencer has been invited to speak to the legislature.

Robert Meza: WTF?

Despite the removal of Russell Pearce, there are still plenty of ridiculous anti-immigration and “border security” bills at the legislature. With the diminished Democratic minority, it would be nice if we could count them to oppose those bills.

For example this week saw a vote on SB 1083, a bill pushed by Sylvia Allen (R – Usual Suspect), in the Border Security, Federalism and States Sovereignty committee. The bill would establish a Arizona State Guard, under control of the governor to deploy at the border and funded from $1.4 million taken from GITEM funds, which are for local law enforcement for gang interdiction. Both the National Guard and Police Officers Standards and Training Board had misgivings about the bill. But, it was supported by at least one Democrat.

There are two Democrats on the committee. Steve Gallardo was out of the room when the vote was taken. It burns me a little bit, since I would have liked him to have been on record. But, he’s put his butt on the line a number of times on issues like this, so a bit of slack cutting is in order. Just don’t make a habit of it, Steve.

Infuriating, however, is the vote of Robert Meza, who voted for this bill. Really? Come the heck on. For what possible reason? What next dude? An endorsement of Joe Arpaio? An appearance at one of Roy Warden’s flag burnings?

Meza, by the way, missed a chunk of the session this month when he went on vacation. One advantage to that was that he didn’t give the Republicans bi-partisan cover for this sort of nonsense.

One person on the committee voted against the bill: Jerry Lewis. Yep, the guy that replaced Pearce. We can count on the East Valley Republican before we can count on Meza.

Facts Are Inconvienient Things

Remember when John McCain toured the Wallow Fire and then blamed illegal immigrants for the damage?

Well, about that

Two Southern Arizona cousins have been charged in connection with the half-million acre Wallow Fire in May.

Caleb and David Malboeu are accused of leaving a campfire unattended while hiking, causing the wildfire that burned for weeks in Arizona’s mountains, said a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.