Right on, St. Paul!

Well, it’s sort of regional… might be a good idea for Duluth:

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman orders boycott of city-funded travel to Arizona

33 Comments

Claire

about 11 years ago

Right on, St Paul, is right!!! Good for Mayor Coleman. I hope other government leaders and public figures everywhere join him.

Chris

about 11 years ago

Great gesture!

But then there's this guy...

http://www.twincities.com/politics/ci_14976415?source=pkg

Grrr...

conrad

about 11 years ago

Inform me what it is people don't like about this law. And I am being honest and not snotty  I understand that people think that this is going to lead to racial profiling and that is a drawback of this law.

I am I reading it wrong?  Is it basically giving police the ability to follow through with a law that is already in place, which is, you have to be a citizen to live in America or be an "on the books traveler" with visa?  I guess I don't understand the outrage on this.  Please inform me.

edgeways

about 11 years ago

The law is written to be excessively arbitrary in enforcement and targets a select group of people (including citizens) because they look a certain way. It is not intended to be a law applied to all, but to a select group, including 30% of the legal citizens of AZ. Any truck driver passing through the state that looks Hispanic, any tourist, or visiting family member be they from New Mexico, Florida... wherever all better carry their birth-certificate with them at all times in public, and better hope that jack-assed sheriff in middle of nowhere AZ knows what a legitimate FL. birth-certificate even looks like..

Now, as a citizen of the US are you comfortable with giving law enforcement agencies the right to arbitrarily pull you over and demand proof of citizenship on the spot (keep in min a drivers license is not proof of citizenship)? If you are unable to do so you are then arrested until you can? And if you don't have your birth certificate, or lost it, or just don't know where it is, you are screwed. 

I understand people are concerned about undocumented immigrants, but this is an idiotic law that is very probable unconstitutional. Where the hell are all the Tea Party Constitutionalists now? Awfully damn quiet.

The outrage, is not necessarily because it targets undocumented workers, but that it targets all people, citizens and non-citizens alike, of a certain skin tone, indiscriminately. 

It doesn't lead to racial profiling, it codifies it into law.

ben

about 11 years ago

Those who would give up Essential Liberty
to purchase a little Temporary Safety,
deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

ms dean

about 11 years ago

Well said, edgeways.

Claire

about 11 years ago

Edgeways is right -- plus it is racial profiling at its worst. Who's going to get pulled over and questioned? Not blue-eyed blondes, but dark-skinned people. I have relatives and friends who are pretty dark-skinned. I'd really rather they not be pulled over for going about their business while dark-skinned. I too would like to hear from the Tea Partiers on this -- if this law isn't a blatant violation of Arizonans's individual rights and liberties, I don't know what is.

The Big E

about 11 years ago

I don't know--I've been watching the guy down the street, as he looks awfully Canadian.

Jeff

about 11 years ago

Since 1940, it has been a federal crime for aliens to fail to keep such registration documents with them. The Arizona law simply adds a state penalty to what was already a federal crime. As anyone who has traveled abroad knows, other nations have similar documentation requirements.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reasonable_suspicion

When you say "Reasonable Suspicion" please know what it means. They can't pull you over for being dark skinned. They can pull you over for having expired plates or something of the sort. Is that justified? 

How about we try this:

1) You immigrate to our country you have to speak the native language;

(2) You must be a professional or an investor...no unskilled workers allowed;

(3) No special bilingual programs in the schools;

(4) No special ballots for elections;

(5) No government business will be conducted in your language;

(6) Foreigners cannot vote or hold political office;

(7) You cannot be a burden on society....no welfare, no food stamps or other government handouts;

(8) You can come if you invest here...an amount equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage;

(9) If you want to buy land, it will be restricted....no waterfront properties and you have to relinquish individual rights to the property;

(10)  You're not allowed to protest, no demonstrations, no waving of foreign flags, no political organizing, and no badmouthing of our President or his policies; and

(11) If you come here illegally, you're going to jail.


Oh wait, those are some of Mexico's immigration policies. And yet we televise Mexican President Felipe Calderon criticizing the US and Arizona.

Just my thoughts.

edgeways

about 11 years ago

So, an officer can pull you over for expired plates or a "broken taillight" and then demand you prove you are a citizen?

Yeah, sorry, fuck that. Exactly what constitutes reasonable suspicion that one is an illegal immigrant?

Jeff

about 11 years ago

Scenario 1

Officer: Excuse me do you know why I pulled you over?

Driver: um, no

O: You have expired plates, you were speeding, tail light is out, ran the stop sign, failed to yield, whatever.

(this is the tricky part)

Can I see your license and registration.

D: I don't have one.

edgeways

about 11 years ago

Which would earn the Latino a trip to the Immigration holding center and the White boy a ticket for driving without a license. Because, clearly, the white kids are not illegal immigrants, but the Latinos are.

Jeff

about 11 years ago

Are you saying that is not where he belongs if he is illegal? If so, our dialog is mute.

edgeways

about 11 years ago

I think our dialog is mute, we are just talking at each other and not agreeing. For the record though, in this argument, I am not saying that this not where an undocumented immigrant should be, I am arguing that this law leads directly to legally codifying different punitive treatments based on ethnicity. Weather you are a citizen or not. And that I think citizens should not have to worry about unequal application of the law, whereby one group has to carry different documentation than another. IF the AZ city, county, and State police are going to demand proof of citizenship based on a shifting subjective criteria such as reasonable suspicion, then it should be for ALL police encounters irrespective of ethnicity, and the penalty for failure to provide such proof (again, a drivers license is not considered proof of citizenship) should be unilaterally applied without consideration of ethnicity. While Latinos make up the bulk of undocumented immigrants they are not the entirety of this population. 

Hell, until 10 years ago I didn't have the correct documents to prove I am a US citizen, 2 of my sisters do not currently have such documentation, despite being citizens. Getting it requires about $600, a prayer that our parents (notoriously bad record keepers) have the right proofs from 3 decades ago, a 400 mile round trip and at least 48 hours away from home during the work week (loss of income). And, yet, because they are white, chances are they could travel just fine through AZ despite being unable to prove their citizenship. But, there is a non-zero chance they could be deported, despite 20 years of working and paying taxes and being a citizen of the US. 

That's about all I'm going to say, I'll leave you to have the last word.

Barrett Chase

about 11 years ago

Are you saying that is not where he belongs if he is illegal?

Do you belong there, Jeff? Because this law pretty much ensures that many, many people who are just like you, with the sole exception of race,  will end up there. That is the main argument.

Would you support this law if it meant that you might be violated in this way? Or is it only okay because certain groups of Americans, to which you don't belong, are affected?

It's one thing to create a law that allows law enforcement to do their jobs better. It's another thing to create laws that take the rights away from innocent people.

Danny

about 11 years ago

I hesitate to jump in on this (and I tend to be on the side of the immigrants, by the way) but where is this idea coming from that an AZ driver's license isn't considered proof of citizenship?

Barrett Chase

about 11 years ago

Oh, and the word is "moot," not "mute."

edgeways

about 11 years ago

stupid me, saying I wouldn't say anymore. *sigh*

Anyways, Danny, the the text of the law says determination of immigration status would not be made by AZ officials but by Federal agency. Unless I am way off base (and I don't think I am), Federal agencies do not use individual State issued identification cards (including Drivers Licenses) as proof of citizenship because there is such a wide disparity of requirements from State to State to issue the cards. My first drivers license was WI issued, and all I showed was my Canadian birth certificate and proof I lived at such and such address.

What finally prompted me to finally go through the rigmarole of getting my Certificate of Citizenship was being detained for several hours coming back from Europe. I was told point blank that my DL did not constitute proof of citizenship. If this had happened post 9/11 I have no doubt I would not have been permitted entry.

Paul Lundgren

about 11 years ago

This law is a conspiracy launched by Michael Moore so he can make a movie about it.

dbrewing

about 11 years ago

Is there something we can do to get rid of the Finlanders?

Jeff

about 11 years ago

What law do they have to break for you to be ok with them checking their immigration status?

Arizona's law does not require anyone, alien or otherwise, to carry a driver's license. Rather, it gives any alien with a license a free pass if his immigration status is in doubt. Because Arizona allows only lawful residents to obtain licenses, an officer must presume that someone who produces one is legally in the country.

Bret

about 11 years ago

Carrying your papers to prove "legality" is not unprecedented.  "Free blacks" in the U.S. had to do it in the 1850s as well as Jews in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

***sarcasm strongly intended***  

This law is unconscionable as well as counterproductive for police work.  For instance, witnesses and victims of crimes could face deportation.  

And, since Arizona is in the U.S. due to an unlawful war against Mexico, who's the real "illegal"?

Danny

about 11 years ago

Wait a second, edgeways.  So here's what I don't get then.  Now I'm really confused.  So does it say anywhere in the law that the AZ police (not referencing the Feds here) do NOT look at the drivers license of who is being detained?

Again, I tend to side with the immigrants on this stuff but I think there is a helluva lot of confusion on what this law really does.

camptadicaca

about 11 years ago

Rather than ask for their identification, they should just provide them with one way bus tickets to Minnesota.

Michael Latsch

about 11 years ago

Regardless of anyone's feelings on the law itself (I think it's pretty bad), I find it spectacularly bad policy for a municipality to attempt to enforce a travel boycott on a state. Strikes me as politically irresponsible, not really the venue to enter when there are many avenues of constitutional challenge open, not to mention the problem of striking out against a state as a whole because of the actions of some of its legislators.

vicarious

about 11 years ago

The Big E said it best, humorously, and the most succinctly. 

To reiterate: "I don't know - I've been watching the guy down the street, as he looks awfully Canadian."

There really is no better way to argue the point.

As for Coleman's edict: 

Michael Latsch, he's not trying to enforce a general boycott on Arizona; he's just saying that the City of St. Paul won't send anyone there (with the result of supporting the Arizona economy). It was hard to tell by your comment to which type of boycott you were referring.

TimK

about 11 years ago

Boycotts and divestitures helped bring apartheid to an end in South Africa. If you think a political entity (in this case, a state) is wrong, one way to demonstrate your point is with your wallet. We do it all the time through the choices we make. If you think fast food or WalMart are bad, don't patronize them. If you think a state has passed a punitive law, don't give them any of your business.

Resolutionary

about 11 years ago

I appreciate the respectful tone of this conversation.

It's important for leaders elsewhere in the nation to take a stand, even if mostly symbolic, and clearly assert we do not share the values of Arizona's leadership. Coleman did this at significant political risk, and I applaud him.

American exceptionalism, generally a fanciful allusion God's on our side, may be justifiable in the context of immigration.  That is, we are strong because we are a nation of immigrants, constantly being renewed by different newcomers. How can it be so hard for descendents of immigrants to understand our diversity is our best asset?  Among other benefits, this attribute gives our country a direct line to every corner of the world.

The racism in the Arizona law is barely even obscured. The implementation of the law, will erode constitutional rights, further entrench the police state, and increase animosity between lawful citizens and their governments. 

Yes, our immigration policy is irrational and needs to be reformed; in the meantime I will stand with my brown-skinned brothers to protect their rights and dignity.

Michael Latsch

about 11 years ago

To alleviate confusion: I am aware that this travel boycott is a matter of municipal employee policy and not an attempt to keep all San Franciscans from heading to AZ. I also recognize the important role that boycotts and divestitures have played in past campaigns of social action-indeed the role that they play in one ongoing campaign that I support strongly http://mn.breakthebonds.org/ an attempt to get the state to divest from Israeli government bonds as a way of pressuring the government there to stop various abuses of international law and human rights. 

However, all of these other cases have taken place after various legal means had failed. My impression (and I am not an expert on this) is that there are at least two viable constitutional challenges to the Arizona law that are starting to work their way up the courts.  Hopefully before these are decided at the federal level some court will be able to issue an injunction halting enforcement of the law pending further review. To my tactical sense, to go ahead and encourage direct action when the constitutionality of the law is very much in doubt is to do things out of order, to open civic breaches unnecessarily, and to some extent undermine whatever moral authority American jurisprudence still has. 

Of course, when and if these means fail or are stalled beyond reasonable patience, direct action on the part of citizens and governmental bodies is to be encouraged.

Resolutionary

about 11 years ago

Michael, challenging the constitutionality of the law is key, but direct action needs to happen alongside the legal challenges. There is no reason to wait for cases to clunk around a myriad of courts for years or decades.

Claire

about 11 years ago

What TimK said. If the state of Arizona is going to pass such an obviously discriminatory law, don't visit there, don't buy anything mail order from an Arizona company, perhaps even tell such companies why. Money talks, and if the state suffers financial consequences, maybe they'll reconsider their stance.

I too love Big E's point about his neighbor looking a little too Canadian. Funny.

dbrewing

about 11 years ago

So we're stuck with the Finlanders?

rediguana

about 11 years ago

I agree with Resolutionary. The law has already failed [email protected] Arizonans. There is absolutely no reason to wait on the government before launching boycotts and civil disobedience; in fact that is a recipe for spectacular failure of a civil rights movement. What if the Supreme Court sides with Arizona? It's not exactly the objective institution of late that you learned about in school. We need to apply as much public pressure as possible to make sure that they don't. I applaud any municipality that stands in solidarity with the oppressed.

I second Bret. Perhaps we should be deporting all of the white English-speakers in Arizona back to the Midwest so Mexico can have its rightful territory back. (Or, how about let's just let people live where they want and stop scapegoating them)

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