Pico: May 2008 Archives
Today on NOVA, I heard the usual outrage. Asked if an American would work a 12-hour day in a [dangerous, highly exploitative , blood-slick, bone-chilling, puke-inducing] meat packing plant for $6.25 an hour, the caller yelled, irate: “No! Americans won’t work for that! ‘Illegals’ are holding down the wages at these places!”
Whoever he is, he doesn’t know whether to wind his watch or run.
He could be any Anglo camped outside the Macehualli Worker’s Center in North Phoenix. We may even have seen him pounding his flagpole, screaming curses through his bullhorn at the (obviously legal) immigrants waiting inside the chain link fence for somebody like us to give them a day job. He might even have been Rick Galeener himself, that sun-addled, publicly urinating , dried up, racist old rattlesnake who, probably, was the guy videotaping my license plate and my face as I got out to make arrangements with Sal Reza , the tough and beloved de facto leader of pro-migrant Phoenicians.
I wanted to say to him, “So Ricky baby. You’re saying you “Christian patriots” do want to pay $15 a pound for raw, uncut chicken, right?” Guys like Galeener can’t have it both ways. No undocumented, exploited immigrants, no $1.99/lb roasters. No $4.95 Church’s fried, either, with or without jalapenos on the side.
This is the bottom line that American racist-nativists happy to have cheap chicken as long as they don’t have to see who provides it aren’t willing to talk about. They don't realize it yet, but the self-limited choice, the sublimely short-sighted and settle-for-nothing choice they offer is this: Grow your own or tolerate “illegals.” Which will it be?
Those of us with considerably higher self esteem and a much more wholesome vision for tomorrow see a way better way. For starters, we don’t advocate exploiting anybody. Read on.
In a deft strike at the Maricopa County Sheriff's highly controversial anti-immigrant round-up/deportation neighborhood sweeps, AZ Governor Janet Napolitano (D) has issued an executive order directing the state's Department of Public Safety (DPS) to give priority to targeting the tens of thousands of felons in the state: The executive order directs the DPS to immediately deploy a squad to address the backlog of nearly 60,000 open felony warrants statewide, with priority on gang-related felonies and fugitives who are undocumented immigrants.
This update from The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 10, 2008, gets my vote for the "What's Going On?" Award of the month. Its lead intrigues:
After two days of confusion over whether North Carolina’s 58 community colleges may admit illegal immigrants, federal officials cleared the air somewhat on Friday, stating that “it is left for the school to decide whether or not to enroll” those students, The News & Observer reported today.
In a statement released by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, the officials said, “The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not require any school to determine a student’s status.” The statement, issued at the request of the newspaper, noted that illegal immigrants were subject to being prosecuted and deported. But the statement said colleges were not required to report such students unless they had violated the terms of their student visas under the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.
Although the news is good for the moment, it will be surprising if this ICE opinion doesn't receive swift and unwelcome attention from the always-wrong Right. While the measure affects only 112 of some 297,000 NC students, it is doubtful that the GOP will overlook any opportunity, no matter how small, to attack and alienate hard-working students preparing for lifetimes of contributing to the US economy. Stay tuned to Citizen Orange for developments in this case as they occur.
Continue reading The Chronicle's update.