Bill Montgomery's Deaf Victim Diana Blanco Honored by Las Cafeteras
Kudos to Puente and Las Cafeteras for this beautiful, moving message to Diana Blanco
Only the crassest and cruelest of individuals will be able to watch the video above minus a moist eye. In it Diana Blanco, the young deaf woman, whose mother, grandfather and grandmother were arrested in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's February 8, raid on Sportex Apparel in Tempe, is serenaded by the Los Angeles-based band Las Cafeteras.
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Diana, 17, and her two sisters, Andrea, 11, and Sara, 9, join a long line of victims of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery's racist policy of charging undocumented workers with class four felonies -- ID theft and forgery -- so as to hold them nonbondable, and coerce guilty pleas that will ensure deportation.
I commend Las Cafeteras for sending this message of love and support to Diana and her family. Rarely has solidarity been rendered so sweetly.
As comprehensive immigration reform moves forward in Congress, our focus locally should be on stopping Arpaio's raids, ending Montgomery's apartheid policy of overcharging workers without papers, and getting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to refuse any workers captured and processed by the Montgomery-Arpaio axis.
The local civil rights group Puente has started an online petition demanding that Montgomery end his pogrom against the undocumented, and Puente continues to target Montgomery's office for demonstrations.
Working should not be a crime. On the federal level, ICE generally has dispensed with work site raids, opting rather for audits of employers. But Montgomery and Arpaio continue their campaign of terror, the latter for publicity, the former because he believes it scores him votes.
There is a time swift approaching when Montgomery will end up alienating more voters than appealing to them with these actions.
Most politicians are amoral, so I know an appeal to a non-existent conscience is futile. But with increased pressure, Montgomery finally may find that it's within his self-interest to relent. And for that day, we must continue to push.