Government of Arizona Has Much in Common With Cuba


The collective, explosive mix of rage and compassion that has confronted the evil which Arizona’s new law, SB1070, represents, has sheared away all of the complex barriers that surround the issue of unlawful migration. In other words, our cause is clear: Human Rights.

We–those who have been writing, working, etc,–to push through a comprehensive immigration reform have, since Arizona’s law passed, spent a disproportionate amount of time analyzing and subsequently eviscerating the basic tenets of the Nativist monster law in Arizona. And it is not that hard–when one sheds the weak justifications for the law, one is left with an irrefutable conclusion: the United States has taken a significant step within our geographical confines–the criminalization of humanity–away from maintaining basic respect for the rights of Humans, be they an American Citizen or not.   I would like to thank those that have provided excellent coverage on SB1070, including the Phoenix New Times, Long Island Wins, Vivirlatino, The Unapologetic Mexican, the Immigration Law Professor Blog, and Latina Lista, who have, despite the high volume of vitriol sent their way, vigilantly maintained their ground to defend the rights of others.

Cuba, why Cuba, you may ask. Because there is an inextricable link,  and the grave human rights situation there puts our own crisis in perspective. The Americas include Latin America; the people that inhabit the latter are our neighbors. They are, believe it or not, indistinguishable from us; they are humans. A crime against one human is a crime against all humans, regardless of where that human was born. That being said, the fighters for human rights in Cuba are in an indubitably more difficult position than those in the United States. However, only one crucial defense in the U.S. stands in the way from a descent into that more difficult position: the Courts.

Pure Democracy, as has been shown recently in Arizona, is just as potentially tyrannical, or even more so, than a pure totalitarian state. SB1070 would, but for constitution and the Courts’ interpretation of it, be exponentially more aggressive in its scope; it would mandate the arrest and detention of every Latino individual until each and every person’s immigration status was verified. And given the disturbing “ethnic cleansing” bill that aims to erase the collective memory of minorities’ origins, maybe Pearce and co. would get rid of Latino citizens and Legal Permanent Residents as well. And it will still likely be found unconstitutional. Thank God.

The last paragraph is not an exaggeration. Attrition through enforcement is quite clear in its intent: to rid the whole state of all undocumented persons. And given that most undocumented in Arizona are of Latino descent, it would make perfect logical sense to do a Nazi-style round-up to achieve its goal.

Thus, we must be ever-vigilant, even if society frowns upon our stance. Human Rights surpass the transient sentiments of society, and in order to maintain Human Rights, there must be a strong enforcer. That is where the extreme Libertarianism comes in, best represented by the Tea Party movement.

Much of the Tea Party wants use the 10th amendment as a vehicle to a state-oriented government, with the Federal Government as a weak ancillary. In light of the recent egregious errors by the federal government(see Iraq War, lobbyist domination of the electoral process, etc), the states’ rights position is not so objectionable. But is it not a choice of lesser evils?

The idea that we, the people, should have unbridled freedom in all that we do sounds good. I am the last one that will do what an authority tells me to do if I believe the order to be unjust. But, I am but a human, with all the accompanying deep flaws. The exercise of my freedom very well may, if I am conscious of it or not, impinge upon the freedom of another. When one places an individual in a group of like-minded individuals, the risk of impinging upon others increases. This is what has happened in Arizona, with SB1070. The majority of Arizonans, for a variety of reasons, succumbed to the superficially sweet invitation to solve all of the problems facing them by allowing their government to dehumanize and subsequently criminalize 400,000+ people living in their midst. I wish I could write this off as a fluke, or say that it will all be made better when the Federal Courts strike down SB1070, but alas I cannot. The Courts, especially in light of the surging Tea Party movement, are not infallible in their ability to exert their power upon the people.

Keep in mind of what the Supreme Court of United States is: 9 judges who write opinions. The judges do not have military or financial might. The efficacy of their decisions hinges upon the good-faith of the other power-broker branches, Congress and the Executive. All one need to do is look at the recent opinion expressed by Rand Paul, who is up for election for the Senate in Kentucky. In an interview with Rachel Maddow, Paul indicated that he believed the government should not be able to mandate non-discrimination of private institutions. Granted, the motivation for this is, apparently, his interpretation of the Commerce Clause of the constitution, in which he has a modicum of justification. I will not bore you with how the Federal Government can control States’ actions(i.e. private establishments) through the Commerce Clause, but I will leave it at this: the interpretation is not straightforward and can,and has been actually, interpreted otherwise to limit the reach of the federal government’s control. Put differently, but for the Commerce Clause’s interpretation, Rand Paul would have his way and your local diner would be free to have a “whites only” sign in its window.

If the anti-establishment(the establishment being possible by the decisions of the Supreme Court) wave continues and takes control of the Federal Government, and puts its states’ rights/individual rights into action, one tactic to achieve this goal would be to ignore the Supreme Court, which is in direct conflict with the Tea Party’s deeply held principles. At this point, I find this scenario unlikely, but it could happen, and what is happening in Arizona would spread like a scourge upon this land. All in the name of freedom.


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