Adios, illegals – and don’t let the puerta hit you on the way out.
A number of Hispanic folks are running scared, hightailing it out Arizona even before the controversial SB 1070 law goes into effect July 29, according to a recent report in the Detroit Free Press.
We surmise those who are fleeing are here illegally, as American citizens and others who are here legally have nothing to worry about.
That means the measure is working already.
For the two or three people who have not yet heard about Arizona’s new law, SB 1070 requires local police to ask about a person’s immigration status, provided the person is stopped, detained or arrested for other reasons and the officer has “reasonable suspicion” that the individual may be here illegally.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the measure into law April 23.
“Though no one has precise figures, reports from school officials, businesses and individuals indicate worried Hispanics are leaving Arizona in anticipation of the law,” the Free Press says.
Hispanic-area schools report an “unusual drop in enrollment,” the article notes, and businesses that cater to the Hispanic community say business is down “signaling that illegal immigrants are holding on to cash in anticipation of a move.”
As mentioned in a previous post, I’m on the fence about the law. It has its potential problems – all of which have been discussed ad nauseam for the past few months.
But if SB 1070 is already getting rid of illegals before it even goes into effect – saving local police the extra workload such a measure would surely incur – the thing has to have some merit.
OK, we don’t know for sure if the threat of SB 1070 is behind the mini-exodus. Perhaps there are other reasons and the timing is just a huge coincidence.
Another such coincidence went down in 2007, the Free Press reminds us, when the Department of Homeland Security says as many as 100,000 illegal entrants fled Arizona around the time a law increased penalties for businesses that hired illegals.
Some may argue that illegal entrants leaving Arizona is a bad thing.
But those folks probably live in New Mexico, Texas or California.
Even if you don’t agree with the new law, are you pleased with the mini-exodus?
Is there any reason illegal entrants leaving Arizona would be detrimental? Please explain.
Apologies in advance to my brother, his wife and their dog; my friend Elaine and everyone else who lives in California, but we here in Arizona like toying with the idea that your state may one day disconnect and be swept out to sea.
California residents wouldn’t have to die over this, of course, but just change their zip code to somewhere in the middle of the ocean.
Arizona would be sublime as a waterfront.
While the thought of adding the water to our already expansive sandy beaches is scrumptious, the idea that Arizona would actually become California in other ways is not.
Sure, we like the highway system in San Diego, which runs circles around the putt-putt roads of Tucson.
We also dig California’s Governor, mainly because of his accent and his guest appearance way back when on Streets of San Francisco when he threw a floor lamp and exclaimed “I am not a freak.”
But we could do without some other aspects of the Golden State.
Like the hazard warnings on everything. A case in point was the sign by a resort hotel’s elevator: “Warning: This facility contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”
Have a nice stay. Sure made sleeping there a breeze. I spent hours awake and writhing wondering if staff were pumping asbestos through the little hotel room vents.
Similar warnings have appeared on arts and craft supplies and even pillows and couch cushions.
“Do not lick that upholstery. It could cause cancer.”
Seems like you can’t do anything these days without being threatened with a deadly disease or mutated babies, especially if you happen to live in California.
These stern warnings are the product of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s Proposition 65, which requires “clear and reasonable” warnings for certain chemicals to be listed where the chemicals may possibly be found. It also applies to food items.
“Warning: the grapefruit you are about to eat could kill you.”
Gas stations are a prime location for these admonishments. Some of the pumps even have little tubes around the nozzle, lest you accidentally get a whiff of the miniscule amount of fumes that may waft upwards towards your nostrils.
Another place California goes overboard is with its severe anti-smoking laws. Smoking, which causes cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, by the way, is prohibited in all public places. Outdoor public places. No smoking on beaches, in parks, in cars that have kids in them, or anywhere else besides your home.
Well, unless you live in Belmont, Calif., where you are not allowed to smoke in your home – unless it is freestanding and far from your neighbors.
Smoking is banned in apartments, condos or any other dwelling that shares a wall with another unit. Neighbors are encouraged to uphold this law by snitching if they smell a cigarette or hear a lighter being lit next door.
Yes, we all know smoking is dirty, gross, costly and can lead to a whole host of terminal ailments, but sometimes these restrictions go too far. Especially in California.
The high cost of living is another California thing we could do without. Some of Tucson’s two bedroom homes – where you can smoke – can be had for fewer than $200,000, rather than the more than $2 million for some of California’s non-smoking counterparts.
The trick is to buy now, while Arizona is still landlocked and real estate affordable. If you guard your home and yard against smokers and quit licking those couch cushions, you may even stay alive long enough to enjoy Arizona as a waterfront when or if it finally happens.
Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and TucsonCitizen.com Ryngmaster who once lived in Northern California’s redwood forest. Listen to a preview of her column at 8:10 a.m. Thursdays on KLPX 96.1 FM. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to you think?
What other quirky restrictions or laws would you change in Arizona or other states?
If you’re white, don’t bother applying.
That’s the message implied for years at the bottom of applications for colleges, scholarships, grants, government and other positions thanks to Affirmative Action.
But Affirmative Action in Arizona may be finally going where it belongs: down the toilet.
An initiative slated for the state’s 2010 general election ballot will get rid of “discrimination against – or preferential treatment for – any individual on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.” Both the state Senate and House of Representatives passed legislation to make this initiative a reality.
It’s about time.
“We are giving Arizonans an opportunity to tell our government to end this form of legalized discrimination once and for all,” said Chair of the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative Rachel Alexander in a June 22 news release announcing the Senate’s passage of the legislation.
While Affirmative Action may have started with good intentions, as did paving the road to hell, it ended up as simple discrimination against anyone who was not in the targeted groups needed to fill the quota.
Those “anyones” were usually white males, followed closely by white females and then all others in a group that numbered more than five.
“We’d let you into the program, but we first have to fill our quota for Aboriginal Polish Mexican women who were descended from Irish roots and have lived in Cambodia for at least two years.”
Not once has the fine print stated that preferential treatment should be given to weird female artists with short red hair.
So to heck with the whole concept.
If everyone is truly created equal, then let them compete equally and the best man – or woman – win, regardless of race, gender, religion, height, shoe size and yes, even haircut and color.
What do you think?
Have you been discriminated against thanks to “Affirmative Action”?
What happened? Did it make you beat someone up?