Luis Gutierrez, Others Blast Barack Obama at April 23 Anti-SB 1070 March

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Congressman Gutierrez of Illinois, putting Arizona Congressmen Grijalva and Pastor to shame

Around a year ago, just days after Governor Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1070 into law and made Arizona synonymous with nativism and bigotry, Arizona Congressmen Ed Pastor and Raul Grijalva, both Democrats, spoke before an anti-1070 rally of thousands, exhorting the crowd to fight against the hate 1070 represents.

Pro-immigrant firebrand and Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez was there as well. This year, Gutierrez returned to join a smaller crowd that peaked at about 1,000 at the state Capitol, marking one year since Brewer made "attrition through enforcement" (i.e., ethnic cleansing) official state policy.

Both Pastor and Grijalva were no-shows for the march and rally on Saturday. Gutierrez, however, gave his whole day. So when I saw him that morning at a breakfast given for march organizers by Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox at her restaurant El Portal, I told him that we should make him an honorary Congressman from Arizona, since our own were nowhere to be seen.

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At Supervisor Wilcox's El Portal, before the march...

Indeed, on the ride to El Portal, I heard Grijalva on the radio commenting on President Barack Obama's recent immigration summit, where the president renewed his commitment to comprehensive immigration reform. On NPR, Grijalva stated that he thought Obama was sincere in his promises.

Which immediately made me wonder if Grijalva might be in the market for beachfront property in Kingman, Arizona.

(I should mention there were some local politicos present at the breakfast: state House member Ruben Gallego, state Senator Steve Gallardo, Wilcox, state House member Albert Hale, and, surprisingly, Republican Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley.)

At the breakfast, when one of those present asked if Latinos should support Obama's re-election effort in 2012, Gutierrez was unequivocal in his response.

"I can't go out and campaign for him," said Gutierrez. "He doesn't have my support for re-election."

Gutierrez explained that he didn't want to "make this an issue between two politicians," rather it should be "an issue between the community and the president."

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Virginia Dare, the first European "anchor-baby"

He said he would like nothing better than to be able to campaign for Obama or see Latinos across the country campaign for Obama, but the fact that the Obama administration has done nothing to advance immigration reform or help the plight of the undocumented, remains an impediment.

"The fact is there's a lot of pain," he stated. "There's a lot of confusion. There's a lot of cynicism. And there's a lot of rejection. That has nothing to do with what I say or think."

Indeed, the general mood of the march and the rally was one of endurance, of continuing the fight. Sure, most of SB 1070 has been enjoined, and that enjoinder has been upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

But not all of 1070 is enjoined. Indeed, what remains mandates that local lawmen enforce federal immigration statutes to the furthest extent possible, and threatens those who assist the undocumented with prosecution.

In fact, the war on the undocumented continues in Arizona and nationwide, led, sadly, by the Obama administration in the form of local-federal efforts, such as 287(g) agreements and the Secure Communities program, both under the auspices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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Even Sponge Bob is pro-immigrant...

Last year, a record 392,000 individuals were deported to their countries of origin. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, headed by ex-Arizona governor Janet Napolitano, along with the rest of the Obama administration has maintained that aliens who've committed serious criminal offenses are being targeted.

But that is a lie. Through Secure Communities and 287(g) agreements, all aliens booked into many of the nation's jails are subject to immigration holds, no matter how petty their offenses.

The L.A. Times reports that, "half of the immigration holds issued since the inception of the Secure Communities program have been for non-criminals or those charged with misdemeanors -- not the violent criminals the program has purported to prioritize."

Also, the feds have actively deceived states and municipalities, allowing local governments to believe Secure Communities is voluntary, when in actuality it is a federal mandate from which they cannot opt out.

So, despite some positive developments, like the recent defeat of five anti-immigrant bills this year in the state Senate, many local activists and advocates sounded pessimistic.

"I think we were able to defeat some bad bills [in the state legislature]," remarked Phoenix civil rights leader Salvador Reza, whose Puente Movement organized the march. "But until we get [the politicians who wrote] them out of office, until Obama ends his practice of trying to cater to the right, until he gets scared that he's going to lose the election, or that he's not going to get our vote, we're not going to get anywhere."

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The nativists are always a class act: Check the belly flop...

Phoenix attorney/activist Danny Ortega and Reza do not always see eye to eye. But in regards to the lay of the land a year following 1070 being signed into law, their assessments parallel each other.

"We've had some small victories, but overall things have not gotten better, they've only gotten worse," Ortega told me during the demonstration, noting the record number of deportations.

"Obama blames the Congress for what's going on," he continued. "But it's what he's doing administratively that's causing the most problems, it's his policies. So we're not going to support him unless he changes course, and he's got to stop blaming the Congress for things he can change himself."

Ortega is Chairman of the Board of the National Council of La Raza, the most powerful Latino organization in America. Though Ortega always cautions me that he's speaking on his own behalf, and not that of NCLR.

Blasting Obama was practically the theme of the march and rally, which ended peacefully with mariachi music and dancing after hearing from several speakers.

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Nativist Lynne Stevens, a.k.a., "Jackie40D," armed to the teeth

A handful of gun-totin' nativists hounded the rally from the sidelines, but Capitol Police, Phoenix cops and Arizona Department of Public Safety Officers kept arguments between the two sides from turning violent.

The great irony, of course, is that though these Tea Party types despise Obama, Obama is in effect doing exactly what they want through his administration's immigration policies.

None of this bodes well for Obama's re-election effort. Obama has even gone so far as to warn off some members of Congress from attending events where Gutierrez is present.

Gutierrez wants Obama to use his discretion to protect certain classes of the undocumented, like the so-called DREAM Act students, and parents of American citizen children. Obama could "parole" such individuals, for instance, to freeze their immigration status and prevent them from being deported, Gutierrez insisted.

"We're going to continue this drum-beat until he changes," Gutierrez said of Obama, following his speech.

I asked him if he would consider challenging Obama in the Democratic primaries for president in 2012.

"My only consideration right now is the schedule I have to meet," he smiled, as he headed to catch a plane at Sky Harbor.

Gutierrez has been barnstorming the country with his criticism of the Obama administration, and, of course, he did not say, "No," to my question about him running for president.

Personally, I think he should challenge Obama next year. No, he can't win, but it would force Obama to respond. And should Gutierrez come anywhere close to winning a state primary, it would send a clear message that many Latinos and others eager for immigration reform, are disgusted with his administration's stance.

Granted, the feds did successfully challenge 1070 in court. But to what end? Just so the feds can do the sort of ethnic cleansing that local nativists want to do themselves? "Change you can believe in," has become the change Latinos must fear.

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21 comments
Bobby
Bobby

In any case, Congresman Luis Gutierrez is a fifth columnist, not worthy to serve this nations citizens, which he doesn't by the way. His concern is illegal aliens who have broken U.S. immigration laws, and continue to break every other law by their mere presence in this nation. Citizens are quite tired of being an ATM machine for Mexican nationals. Citizens are also tired of not being represented by traitors like Luis Gutierrez. But, all of this is obvious, in any case.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

It is important for U.S. Citizens to support their Constitution. The Constitution protects "all people" in this land and makes distinctions between citizens and non-citizens when enumerating those protections. For you to claim that the authorities representing you should not follow the constitution and protect non-citizens who happen to be in our country is a violation of your promise to protect our constitution you make when you pledge allegience to the Flag and the republic (created by our constitution) which is represents. You sir are a traitor to everything this country stands for.

No one is encouraging these people to come to this country sans the proper immigration documentation (except the various members of our business community who CHEAT and try to use undocumented labor). But when they get here, they get many of the same constitutional protections U.S. citizens get - especially the right to privacy and freedom of speech.

If they are caught here without proper documentation, they are subject to our laws which proscribe the penalties for doing so. I am not satisfied with the job our government is doing in enforcing our immigration laws. I believe too much money is spent on an issue which does not proportionately harm our country. There are better ways to enforce our immigration laws but people like you prefer that comprehensive immigration reform not happen. You prefer the current situation where you can violate people's rights and do nothing but complain.

Bobby
Bobby

Sir, I repeat, Luis Gutierrez is a traitor that does NOT represent American citizens. Is that too complicated for you to comprehend?

jim Evans
jim Evans

Anyone stupid president that wants to destroy my social security and medicare benefits is the president from hell.I want to get rid of this imbesile

Bobby
Bobby

Nativists, excuse me, "legal American citizens", with a history in this nation, are of course, always picked for a photo shot by journalists like Mr. Lemons, if they have a head scarf and motorcycle,etc. to go with it. It's what leftists think is balanced reporting.

MVOAdmin
MVOAdmin

Sure it wasn't JT Ready in the midst of a sex change operation?

Mistalee
Mistalee

Looks a little more like Russell Pearce in some sort of strange Arizona Tea Party drag.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Stephen:

I'm interested in knowing if Puente actually encourages undocumented immigrants to come to this Country. The way you put it in your article makes it seem like that. I don't think that is true. I know they're about protecting immigrants, undocumented or not, from being singled out unfairly as the cause of our nation's problems but I don't think there are ANY organizations actually encouraging people from other countries to break our immigration laws.

Are there?

StephenLemons
StephenLemons

I'm not aware of any. Puente does not do that, and I didn't mean to give that impression.

XSoldier
XSoldier

President Obama is doing a fantastic job of getting rid of the undocumented criminals. Keep up the good work Mr. President.

As for the Wilcoxes' restaurant, in their lawsuit against Maricopa County they stated that El Portal went belly up. That appears to be a false statement.

"In fact, the war on the undocumented continues in Arizona and nationwide, led, sadly, by the Obama administration in the form of local-federal efforts, such as 287(g) agreements and the Secure Communities program, both under the auspices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement."

Wah! I'm an illegal and I deserve special treatment from the American taxpayer because I snuck my useless brown ass into your country. But you can't get rid of my brown ass even though I'm an illegal because I have 20 anchor brats and you'll be breaking my family apart. I, for one, am glad we have people like the Flaccid Fool, Governor Jan Brewer, and Senator Pearce, who are ridding us of these Goddamn criminal illegals.

I'm so sick and tired of hearing about the plight of the poor useless illegal alien who snuck their brown ass here to "flee" Mexico because they think they will be cartel victims. That isn't my problem you useless sacks of skin and bones. Get your useless brown ass outta my country. I don't need or want your useless sorry brown ass because you can't work for me.

If anything, the feds need to adopt 1070 as their own and become tough on illegals. The president will gain a lot of votes, especially from the border states, if he has a tough stance on the illegals.

America simply cannot afford the criminal illegals anymore. Round 'em all up and force them to secure the border.

Rollem45
Rollem45

Wow, this brown ass American would love to exercise a few of my Constitutional rights on your simple white and Nazi thinking corpus delicti. It is one thing to want reverse the tide that your most hollowed of conservative presidents has created-namely Ronald Regan and his oh so brilliant amnesty of the 1980s but you just are a racist and would love nothing more than to create an America of 1930s with Jaime Cruz laws and place me and other not so white Americans back in our place. Screw...I've done my service and won't stand by for idiots like you. Now if the likes of Arpiehole and RuSSell PearSSe and Kaaveenah (a carpetbagger like Arpaio and Babeau) would give up their money and use it to finish the fence and actually secure the border instead of trying to bale out the flood with a bucket, then and only we can start to control what happens here 300 miles north. Until then you just keep dreaming of by gone days and that other America.

XSoldier
XSoldier

First, I am Irish/Italian. Last I checked, Nazis were based in Germany. Sorry, wrong country. BTW, Adolf offed himself with cyanide and a single gunshot wound to the head. Also, Benito was shot and killed by Italian partisans as he tried to flee Italy.

Second, I am all for legal immigration and am sick and tired of illegals coming here crying they needed to flee Mexico. You know, some parts of Mexico aren't that bad. Force the Mexicans to the not so bad parts of their country.

Third, last I checked, these people snuck their useless brown criminal asses into the U.S. illegally. I don't give a flying fuck if they were brought here through no fault of their own. They are still here illegally and are still in violation of federal laws. These people are nothing more than Goddamn criminals.

Fourth, I am from the South. Back in the 1860's we had "Jim Crow" laws. But then we got smart, unlike you. You continue to support the criminal illegals and suck their dicks while I developed a brain hemisphere and decided to not support them.

I am sorry these people have no future in Mexico. But they will have no future here either because of the way they came into the U.S. They still need to be rounded up and forced to secure our border.

BTW, are you unemployed? If so, that's because your former employer hired a useless criminal illegal to fill your position because he's cheap. You successfully negotiated a nice salary, paid vacation package, quality healthcare package, etc.

US War Veteran
US War Veteran

X, please remember not all undocumented people in this country are illegal, by that I mean some were brought here as children and happen to be here due to no fault or illegal acts of their own, these people may now be in their teens or adulthood, life in the US is all they know, the great mayority live clean respectfull lives and because of their status never had a brush with the law (pearce's son anyone?), I would take any one of those people over any of the nativist idiots pictured above and their offspring.

Mistalee
Mistalee

Nice shot of Lynne Stevens.

Funny, those that bellow the loudest about being "the master race" always have that look, like they're the living proof of why siblings shouldn't procreate, like their family tree has no forks or branches, like the best part of them, genetically speaking, ran down their daddy's leg.

She should hook up with JT Ready. I bet their kids would all have three eyes and flippers.

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