Jan Brewer's Anti-DREAM Stance on Blast in New Dennis Gilman Video

Gilman skewers Brewer in his latest effort

See also: Jan Brewer's Order Has "Absolutely No Basis Under State or Federal Law," ACLU Says
See also: Governor Jan Brewer to DREAMers: State Laws Bar You from Drivers Licenses, Public Benefits Regardless of Feds' Immigration Policy Shift
See also: Obama Blocks DREAMers' Deportations, Outflanks GOP
See also: SB 1070 Fuels a Movement of New Voters

Democrats and DREAMers should write Governor Jan Brewer a left-handed thank you note for her hateful and illegal executive order blocking DREAM Act students from scoring Arizona driver's licenses. Brewer let drop this bomb after President Barack Obama's deferred action program went into effect last week.

The evening of what I would call Brewer's "shooting Bambi" moment, DREAMers were up at the Capitol, quietly protesting the decision. They had formed a circle in the darkness and, one by one, each of them stood, sharing their stories with the others, and vowing to work even harder to elect pro-DREAM politicians during this election cycle.

Those candidates, almost all of them, happen to be Democrats.


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Phoenix Mexican Consulate Helps DREAMers Prepare for Deferred Action

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Phoenix's Mexican Consulate is prioritizing DREAMers

The Mexican Consulate in Phoenix is assisting young undocumented immigrants applying for work permits through the Obama administration's deferred action program. The new policy allows certain immigrants temporary relief from deportation if they qualify.

Mexican government officials can't tell U.S. immigration who to give the 2-year renewable work permits to, but the consulate is trying to facilitate the process by prioritizing undocumented immigrants applying for Mexican passports.

Those passports are crucial because they will allow the so-called DREAMers to prove their identities when applying for a work permit.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will start accepting applications for deferred action and work permits for a fee of $465 starting August 15, according to its website.

In order to qualify, a DREAMer must be between the ages of 16 to 30 and have lived in the U.S. for five consecutive years. An applicant must have no felonies, and have or be working toward a high-school diploma or have served honorably in the military.

"We're giving priority to the DREAMers who are seeking orientation," says Socorro Cordova, a spokeswoman for the local Mexican Consulate. "We've also done forums specifically for thousands [of young immigrants] to inform them."

The consulate is asking that DREAMers identify themselves when applying for a passport, so they can be pushed up the line. DREAMers can also consult with immigration lawyers the agency has on hand to help them prepare for the process.

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Joe Arpaio Supports Comprehensive Immigration Reform? And All Aboard the Undocubus

Arpaio's Kumbaya moment comes around 28 minutes in...

See also: Puente Kicks Off "Undocubus" with Pro-Immigrant March
See also: The complete slideshow of Puente's "Undocubus" Pro-Immigrant March

Well, I reckon we can just forget about that racial-profiling trial underway against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in federal court, because Sheriff Joe believes in comprehensive immigration reform.

That's right, CIR may be anathema to the nativist junta that rules the Republican Party, but to listen to Joe on the National Public Radio show "On Point," you'd think he and President Obama could sit right down and hash out this immigration issue once and for all.

"Let's have some comprehensive immigration reform, if that will ever happen," Arpaio told host Wade Goodwyn during Tuesday's broadcast. "Let's hope that next year something does happen and get this settled. If you need more visas, work permits, that's OK. I'm for all that. Just don't cross that border [and] come into this country illegally. That's all."


A video about the Undocubus from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network

Arpaio's Kumbaya moment came during a discussion of the Undocubus's trek from Phoenix to Charlotte, NC for the Democratic Convention beginning September 4. Sponsored by the local human rights group Puente, the passengers are undocumented men and women, willing to risk arrest by simply declaring their immigration status publicly through this trip.

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Puente Kicks Off "Undocubus" with Pro-Immigrant March

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Uriel Garcia
Pro-immigrants demonstrators headed to the Phoenix ICE building


About 200 hundred people peacefully protested Saturday morning against the immigration policies of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the federal government in a march starting at a Central Phoenix park and ending at a local immigration office.

Puente, the Phoenix-based human-rights group, organized the one-mile walk from Steele Indian School Park to the local offices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Demonstrators carried signs reading, "We will not comply" and "Migration is a human right" while chanting slogans such as "No papers, no fear!"

As the protesters arrived at ICE's office, a mobile stage truck blasting Spanish-language music set up shop in the agency's parking lot, which is usually closed off except for those who have an appointment. The demonstrators voiced their opposition against Arpaio and immigration officials on their own turf. 

The demonstration was a kick-off event to a national bus tour that Puente has planned. Dubbed the "Undocubus," its 30 undocumented passengers plan to be at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina on September 4. 



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Russell Pearce's Mexican-Bashing E-mails Slammed By Randy Parraz, Others

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Uriel J. Garcia
Senate Minority Leader David Schapira and Randy Parraz asking Senate leaders to denounce Pearce's anti-Mexican emails

See Also: Russell Pearce's Racism "Discovered" by Arizona's Media

Former Senate President Russell Pearce's racist e-mails, recently made public by the ACLU, were slammed today by politicians and activists at the Arizona State Capitol.

Around 20 members of Citizens for a Better Arizona, the group that made the 2011 recall of Pearce a reality, held a press conference outside the state Senate to bash Pearce and demand that the Mesa Republican remove himself from the Arizona GOP primary in Legislative District 25.

"Some of this type of language...is so far over the top," said Randy Parraz, co-founder of CBA. "These type of comments are not befitting of someone running for office of the State Legislature."

Also present was state Senate Minority Leader David Schapira, currently a candidate in the Democrats' Ninth Congressional District primary.

"We hope that Russell Pearce takes the appropriate action in this case," said Schapira,"and decides to not seek a seat in the state senate in this coming election."


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Joe Arpaio's Deputy Thinks Most Day-Laborers Are Undocumented

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Stephen Lemons
Tom Liddy, spinning DiPietro's bigoted assumptions...

See also: Joe Arpaio's Racial Profiling Trial Begins, and, Yes, He's Guilty as Sin
See also: Joe Arpaio Racial-Profiling Trial Draws Protestors' Calls for Justice on Opening Day
See also: Joe Arpaio's Racial Profiling Case Costs County Close To $1 Million, So Far

In the law-enforcement experience of Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputy Louis DiPietro, most day laborers are undocumented, and usually are from Mexico or Central America.

That was the deputy's testimony in the American Civil Liberties Union's big Melendres v. Arpaio racial profiling case, which kicked off today at the Sandra Day O'Connor U.S. Courthouse.

"From you're experience most day laborers are undocumented?" ACLU lawyer Andre Segura asked DiPietro.

The deputy simply answered, "Yes."

Seems pretty cut and dry, evidence of the prejudiced policing at issue in the trial. But not to Tom Liddy, a lawyer with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and part of the legal team defending Sheriff Joe in the five year-old case.

"He did not say that," insisted Liddy outside the federal courthouse after the day's proceedings. "He most certainly did not."

Spinning like dervish in a thunderstorm, Liddy offered an alternative interpretation of DiPietro's monosyllabic response.

"[DiPietro] said in his experience, obviously as a law enforcement officer, when he came in contact with day laborers in those operations...[they] were undocumented migrants," Liddy stated. "[But] he most certainly did not say that he had an assumption that all day-laborers are illegals."

DiPietro's racial assumptions are important. In September 2007, the MCSO's infamous Human Smuggling Unit was conducting an operation in Cave Creek near a church parking lot where day laborers were accustomed to gather looking for work.

Manuel de Jesus Ortega Melendres, a plaintiff in the case, was at the parking lot and needed a ride to Scottsdale, according to the complaint.

A friend arranged a ride with a white male in a pick-up truck.

The HSU observed Melendres, 53, get in the vehicle with three other men. Almost immediately, DiPietro was ordered by the unit to follow the truck and look for probable cause to stop it.

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Robert Meza, Democratic State Senator, Threatens DREAMer With Defamation Lawsuit, Campaigners Say

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Senator Meza claims Tony Valdovinos (above) made fun of him for being gay.

See Also: How Undocumented Immigrants Helped Change Phoenix's City Council Race

State Senator Robert Meza is being accused of threatening to sue a volunteer for fellow Democrat Raquel Terán, his primary opponent in the newly-created Legislative District 30.

Meza, who is openly gay, claims Tony Valdovinos, a 22-year-old undocumented immigrant, made some "derogatory remarks about [my sexuaility]" and called him an "evil monster" while canvassing for Teran in West Phoenix.

"If you're on the trail for your candidate you should behave in a professional manner," Meza recalls telling Valdovinos in a July 3 phone conversation. "What happens when you give false attacks on people...that's defamation of character and... in those situations people can be sued."

The senator claims some of his constituents told him that they heard Valdovinos make the offensive comments while the volunteer was knocking on doors for his opponent.

Valdovinos denies he made fun of Meza being gay or referred to him a monster, but does confirm that he received a call from him. According to Valdovinos, during the phone conversation Meza threatened to bring a lawsuit against him, never explaining why.

"I just have been telling people the truth," Valdovinos says. "Look, this guy [Meza] has the worst voting record, he doesn't stand up for our community, and that's part of the reason people don't know who he is."

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ACLU Seeks New Injunction on "Papers Please" Portion of SB 1070

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The ACLU has acted, now it's up to Judge Bolton (again)
See also: SB 1070, SCOTUS, Friendly House, and a Ray of Hope

As I anticipated in April, when it became clear that the U.S. Supreme Court intended to lift a lower court's injunction against section 2(b) of Senate Bill 1070, the so-called "papers please" portion of Arizona's immigration law, the American Civil Liberties Union and its legal allies today filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction in Valle del Sol v. Whiting (formerly Friendly House v. Whiting) on that same invidious section.

If Judge Susan R. Bolton, the federal judge in Valle del Sol, grants their request in time, the most notorious part of 1070 will remain on hold, either until the case goes to trial or a higher court reverses the action.

As an added precaution, the plaintiffs have also asked Bolton for a temporary restraining order on the implementation of 1070, in case Bolton cannot rule on the plaintiffs' motion before the first injunction formally is lifted.

On June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed both Bolton and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on section 2(b), while invalidating three other sections of 1070 as preempted by federal immigration law.

Bolton was the judge in United States v. Arizona, the action brought in federal court by the U.S. Government. She enjoined several sections of 1070 on July 28, 2010, one day before 1070 was scheduled to take effect.

The only issue being addressed in the feds' lawsuit was preemption, with the Supremes ruling that section 2(b) of 1070 was not trumped by federal law and could be considered constitutional, as long as it was enforced narrowly and did not result in prolonged detention of individuals under police scrutiny.

But organizations such as the ACLU, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the National Immigration Law Center have long argued that 2(b) is unconstitutional on the grounds of preemption as well as other grounds, such as the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure and the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause, which bars racial and ethnic profiling.

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Arizona Congressman David Schweikert Confesses Ignorance on Immigration

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Schweikert's no expert on immigration, but he knows amnesty when he sees it
See Also: Arizona Congressman David Schweikert Falsely Claims Illegal Immigrants Are No Longer Afraid
See Also: Obama's 287(g) Move Bogus, Activists Call on Feds to Cut Ties with Arizona

Arizona Congressman David Schweikert admits he's no expert on immigration. Still, he insists that any immigration-reform proposal in Congress resulting in legal status for undocumented immigrants is "amnesty."

"I would love to sound like I'm really... an expert on [immigration] but I'm not," Schweikert told New Times Monday, before a debate in downtown Phoenix between Schweikert and his GOP primary rival in the Sixth Congressional District, fellow Congressman Ben Quayle.

Schweikert's confession came in response to a recent New Times blog post, which criticized an opinion piece by Schweikert published July 4, by the Washington Times.

In the op-ed, Schweikert erroneously claims that illegal immigrants in Arizona are no longer afraid of detection. The congressman argues that this lack of fear is due to a recent announcement by the Obama administration, revoking some of the federal government's so-called 287(g) agreements with Arizona law enforcement agencies.


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DREAMers Vulnerable to Scams, Activists and Feds Warn

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The coupon for a law firm advertising work permits
See Also: DREAMers Score a Win with Obama's Immigration Initiative, But the War Is Far from Over

Young illegal immigrants should be wary of scam artists promising work permits as a result of the Obama administration's new immigration policy toward them.

That's the message from pro-immigrant activists worried that the policy, announced on June 15, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will open up the door to scammers looking to reel in vulnerable undocumented immigrants.

Under certain conditions, DHS will stop deporting illegal immigrants between the ages of 16 through 30, and give them the opportunity to apply for work permits, according to the plan.

Eligible immigrants will be required to reapply after two years, and the policy does not offer a pathway to citizenship or permanent legal status.

Still, the potential for con artists is enormous, according to attorneys and activists. The Pew Hispanic Research Center estimates that more than 1 million undocumented individuals nationwide may benefit from the administration's move.

"I'm sure there's going to be a lot of fraud and...a lot of entities that are going to be profiting from this," says Ezequiel Hernandez, a local immigration lawyer who has worked with pro-immigrant groups in Arizona.

When DHS announced the deferred-action policy, it noted that in 60 days immigration officials would create a clearer path for those eligible to apply for work permits. But until more news comes from DHS, no one knows exactly what's going to happen.

"If someone says they want a work permit, [an immigration lawyer] has to say there is no work permit [process] right now," Hernandez explains.

One recent advertisement spotted by activists in a Spanish-language publication announced that Phoenix's Arianno & Repucci law firm was offering a $250 discount so young immigrants could start the process of obtaining a work permit, though an application process is not yet in place.

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