Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Arizona, Saturday's MegaMarch and my neighbors

This coming Saturday, May 1, beginning at 1 p.m. at Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe (2215 Ross Avenue in Downtown Dallas) the 2010 MegaMarch for immigration reform will gather thousands who will stand for justice and long, long overdue legislation to address our current national crisis.

I remember marching in the Palm Sunday demonstration in 2006 (see photo at left) when an estimated 500,000 walked peacefully through the streets of Downtown Dallas.  We expect to witness a similar scene this Saturday.

Plan now to join us! 

Quotes from media--Major Religious Groups Condemn Inhumane Anti-Immigrant Law in Arizona:

As AZ Bill is Signed into Law, Faith Community Urgently Calls for Comprehensive Reform

As Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signs into law today the most extreme anti-immigrant legislation in the country (SB-1070), the national and Arizona faith community are condemning it as an affront to moral conscience that will divide families and communities. The inhumane legislation demonstrates the urgent need for national political leadership to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Arizona Senate Bill 1070 tasks law enforcement with checking papers for anyone they suspect as undocumented and penalizes those who provide aid to illegal immigrants.

Below are statements on Arizona’s anti-immigrant bill from a dozen evangelical, mainline Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish leaders representing millions of Americans:

Rev. Jan Flaaten, Executive Director, Arizona Ecumenical Council
"All the religious leaders of Arizona know and understand that this law will not solve the issue of crime along the border or in our state, but it will demonize anyone who looks suspiciously like an undocumented person leading to inevitable racial profiling. Our religious traditions ask us to treat people with dignity and respect, and we look for a more enlightened and hopeful way of working with the undocumented people who live along side us."

Bishop Minerva CarcaƱo, United Methodist Church, Desert Southwest Conference
“This bill does nothing to address any border security concerns. At our borders and in our congregations, schools, workplaces and service programs, we witness the human consequences of an inadequate, outdated system. The passage of SB1070 demonstrates why America needs Comprehensive Immigration Reform: frustration with our broken immigration system is driving Arizona to make inappropriate and self-defeating efforts in this area. We want our broken immigration system to be healed through a just transformation of the law at the appropriate federal level of jurisdiction, which makes it possible to meet the labor needs of American business while making our border secure.”

Peg Chemberlin, President, National Council of Churches
“Our current immigration system serves no one well: not those of us worried about our jobs and the future of our children, nor the businesses that need labor that complements our own skills, nor those who want a better life for themselves and for their children. But this Arizona law changes none of that, instead it heightens tensions, crosses constitutional boundaries, and will be intolerably costly. Comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level has never been more needed.”

Rev. Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners
“The law signed today by Arizona Gov. Brewer is a social and racial sin, and should be denounced as such by people of faith and conscience across the nation. It is not just about Arizona, but about all of us, and about what kind of country we want to be. It is not only mean-spirited – it will be ineffective and will only serve to further divide communities in Arizona, making everyone more fearful and less safe. This radical new measure, which crosses many moral and legal lines, is a clear demonstration of the fundamental mistake of separating enforcement from comprehensive immigration reform. Enforcement without reform of the system is merely cruel. Enforcement without compassion is immoral. Enforcement that breaks up families is unacceptable. This law will make it illegal to love your neighbor in Arizona, and will force us to disobey Jesus and his gospel. We will not comply.”


Anonymous said...

Please explain why 70% of the citizens of Arizona support this law. We are talking about people who are in the US illegally, and please don't use the term undocumented. They didn't forget their passports. They broke the law.

R Corum

Anonymous said...

So how do you know all these protestors will stand for justice?

Daniel said...

R Corum, please explain why 70% of the U.S. supported segregation in the 1950's? I'm making this statistic up, but just because a majority of people feel a certain way about an issue -- it doesn't make them right. Some of the most ill-informed and hate-filled rhetoric has been spewed by mob rule throughout history.

A lot of people have broken laws in the pursuit of what they believe to be justice. "An unjust law is no law at all." - Augustine

Larry James said...

Thanks, Daniel. RC, clearly we all have benefited from the exploitation of undocumented (sorry, I can't bring myself to refer to any human being as "illegal")workers. The law is bad; the govt response is spineless and the motivation for much of this is unacknowleged racism. I will walk with my friends on Saturday.

BTW--would you have supported and obeyed the Jim Crow laws had you lived in Nashville or Memphis or Montgomery in 1950? The "law and order" stick is like a dog that won't hunt in this conversation.

Mikey said...

The issues regarding this situation have nothing to do with the whether illegal immigrants are here illegally. The issues deal specifically with the problems of enforcement and consequences.

It is difficult to imagine ways to practically enforce this law without the use of racial profiling. And it is difficult to imagine that certain modern law enforcement practices will be possible when civilian informants are no longer willing to assist police because they aren't white or because they have an accent.

I'll see you downtown, Larry.

rcorum said...

Larry, how in the world can you compare illegal immigration with Jim Crow? That is a question not a retorical statement. It is so easy and in my opinion a copout to assume that the real reason why people support this law is because they are all a bunch of racists. If yoru reasoning is true then the whole country of Mexico are racists. Their immigration laws are a thousand times tougher than ours. Why can't people come here legally? I am not against legal immigration no matter their race. Daniel, is it possible that so many people are for this law for some reason other than racism? All you seem to have done is created a straw man, and Larry if a person breaks the law they have committed an illegal act. We either have laws that we inforce or we just do away with the laws. I also find it interesting that there are large numbers of hispanics in Arizona who also support this law. What are they? Larry, I again appreciate your willingness to allow people on the right to express themselves, and I do my best to keep my mind open. By the way, Larry, do you every read the other side, in particular the "Heritage Foundation." One more question for Daniel. Have you actually read the Arizona law. It sure doesn't sound like Jim Crow to me.

Larry James said...

rc, my point was would you have obeyed or engaged in civil disobedience?

Anonymous said...

what is so wrong with the idea that those that want to come to America actually abide by our laws and come to America through the proper legal channels? What is so wrong with requiring people to follow the laws? The underlying reason for the democrats in Congress wanting to strike down the Arizona law and allow a porous border is to strengthen and broaden their voting base, plain and simple.


Daniel said...

Straw man 1 : a weak or imaginary opposition (as an argument or adversary) set up only to be easily confuted


You created the straw man, not me. Your straw man was:
majority rule = right.

When I used the example of segregation, it was to refute your straw man, because I showed an example where:
majority rule ≠ right

I did not need to read the law in question for the purpose of refuting your argument.

rcorum said...


I cannot believe I just read what you wrote. For starters it does matter that you don't have a clue of what the bill says. I never, never, never said that might makes right. I simply asked for an explanation for the strong support for the new law in Arizona. To me the real straw man is to equate this to Jim Crow. In the Jim Crow South there was no way that a person of color could attain equal status under the law. Today our country is filled with millions of legal hispanic immigrants. There is a legal way for people to come to this country. Daniel, you make me laugh when you use your typical caustic rhetoric when you speak of "ill-informed and hate-filled rhetoric," and you haven't even read the law. Who is ill-informed?

Larry, you ask me about what I would have done during the 1950's. I really don't know. What did your father do? The only reason why I bring him up is that from all you have ever said he was a fine God fearing people loving person, but I don't remember any reference to him fighting against Jim Crow laws in Texas. There were some people who did not stand up against Jim Crow out of ignorance and others out of racism.

With liberals the race card seems to always be an easy card to play. What right do you have to judge. I like to read this blog, but I often am just left shaking my head. By the way, do you ever even taken a look at the work at the Heritage Foundation?

Anonymous said...

So let's follow your plan to allow "undocumented" imigration to continue unchecked. What will happen to the economy? How will these imigrants get a good education, good jobs, and good healthcare? Who will pay for the cost of imprisoning those that commit serious crimes? If there is no such thing as illegal immigration, what does it mean to be a citizen of any country?

Daniel said...

Richard, I did not say I haven't read the law -- simply that refuting your point did not require an understanding of it. I could have used any other analogy besides segregation -- at another time and place, I might try to draw more similarities between Jim Crow and immigration, but I'm not doing that here and now.

Please reread my statement and show me where I actually claimed to have not read the law.

I know you knew me as a child, but I'm an adult now. Every time we have a discussion you resort to comments about my laughable-ness or hot-headed temper. I request that you treat me as an adult and refrain from ad hominem attacks.

rcorum said...

Daniel, I am speaking to you as a man. If I think your argument is off based and makes no sense to me I will say so. I don't know why you even brought up the fact that I knew you when you were young. I simply think that you sometimes make blanket statements condemning others, but if you perceive to have been the recipient of a personal attack it really seems to get to you. Remember, I did not mention in any manner the fact that I knew you in your growing up years.

Anonymous said...

All the "major religious groups" you (and the article) quoted are strongly left-leaning. They are not representative of religious belief and practice, generally. From their perspective, noted in their comments, the ONLY way to love your neighbor is to open the borders and direct traffic as waves of immigrants move in to the country. But Mexico is so close. Why are we not setting up camp South of the US border delivering aid, setting up businesses, and providing healthcare? Maybe it is because there are no US voting booths in Mexico (yet). In 10 years I will ask you if you are happy with the outcome of your efforts, Larry.