Arizona’s New Law is Licensed Racism!

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By Alex Chaparro

Arizona's New Law is Licensed Racism!

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Racial profiling has an ugly history. Humankind’s darkest moments have been incited by fear, ignorance and racial hatred. Is it any wonder then that the spirit behind Arizona’s new immigration law (SB 1070) has incensed Hispanic America?

With one broad stroke, the new law has made all of Arizona’s Hispanic residents, which number 30 percent of the state’s population, a potential target. Illegal aliens come in all sizes, shapes and skin color because they hail from all corners of the world. But, for purposes of this fear-driven campaign, “aliens” are Mexican-looking people, which is a problem for American citizens that match that description.

Nothing about this law will solve the complex problem of immigration reform. But the audacity of it can and should galvanize the voice of people of color. Already thousands of Latinos have taken to the streets in protest. The nation’s Hispanic leaders are speaking out against the bill and joining forces in protest against it — and with good reason. The authors of Arizona’s bill would like us to think that this is just the state’s way to make up for the federal government’s failings on the issue. Make no mistake, my friends, this is licensed racism that has given anti-immigrant factions a pulpit to intimidate Latinos while doing nothing really to tackle the true problem.

“Police state” tactics will do nothing more than incite more anger, fear and hatred.

We are a nation built on the hard work and character of generations of immigrants that came before us. It’s about time that we act like it. We owe it to our ancestors to speak up now. Latinos must pick up the mantle on this civil rights issue and demand comprehensive and intelligent immigration reform that:

  • Secures our borders
  • Provides a pathway to residency for undocumented immigrants
  • Preserves families of the U.S.-born children of immigrants
  • Establishes a temporary worker program

The Senate Democratic leadership unveiled a proposal last week that contains many important elements of a new policy. This is a good place to resume the conversation. The nation’s Hispanic leaders must be fully engaged in the debate and have a seat at the table for this — otherwise we’re leaving the fate of our community to others.

It doesn’t hit any closer to home than this, NAHREP members. Get involved. Join in the debate — whether it’s at rallies, on blogs or by picking up the phone and calling your local lawmaker. Make a statement at the polls with your vote. Anti-immigrant groups have forced the issue with this new law. Now it’s up to us to demand reforms that protect and preserve the rights and dignity of the Hispanic community today and in the future.

Alex Chaparro

About the author:
Alex Chaparro is a second generation Realtor serving Chicago land homebuyers and sellers for over 16 years. He is co-founder and past president of the NAHREP Chicago and has served on the boards of the Illinois Association of Realtors and NAHREP national. He is also the first Latino appointed to the office of president of the 124-year-old Chicago Association of Realtors.

21 Responses to “Arizona’s New Law is Licensed Racism!”

  1. carealtor says:

    While it is most unfortunate that some people feel this new law is racism or profiling the fact remains that the vast majority of the problems existing with our border between Mexico and the US is caused by people entering the United States illegally. Some of them carrying drugs on a constant, consistent basis and some just coming here to live. They are doing so illegally. The laws to prohibit this have been in place for decades and have not been enforced. I have no problem with people wanting to come here for a better life, that is exactly what started this country 200+ years ago, but do it legally and become part of the fabric of this country. Don’t disrespect the country by flying the Mexican flag over the US flag that is hanging upside down. Get jobs and off well fare of government assistance programs. Become an “American” not someone that wants us to become something else. If this country is great enough that people want to come here then why do they want to change it? I agree with Arizona and the federal laws that are in place, we have to control our borders, almost every other country in the world does. Mexico does to the south where the penalties for entering Mexico illegally are 100% more harsh then they are here.

  2. I am the NJ Coordinator of Esperanza Para America, a component of one of the largest faith based organizations in the country, Esperanza. So I invite all the NAHREP members to send a letter to President Obama via

    In doing so, you’ll be joining Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill) bold demand of President Obama to lead in Immigration Reform because as of today – he hasn’t. On the contrary, with the lead of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, President Obama has deported more undocumented Latinos within his first year then Bush in his last 12 months ( – view this video of a recent press conference by leading Latino national organizations).

    During the Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) debate at the Bush White House, he had two full time staff members communicating with the Senate and the House. As of March 16th, when I was in DC advocating in Capitol Hill for CIR, President Obama had zero full time staff dedicated to CIR.

    Therefore, I don’t applaud the press conference held solely with Democrats last week because some of the same legislators at this event said to Esperanza Para America that CIR would be dead on arrival if it were to be presented solely by one party. So knowingly, these democrats put on a theatrical event as a last minute response to a Republican Governor signing of an anti immigration legislation. So in my eyes, this event was solely a political meeting not a brave attempt to pass CIR.

    We need to demand that President Obama keep the promise he made to the Hispanic Caucus during his campaign. According to Congressman Gutierrez, then candidate Obama told our Latino legislative leaders that Immigration Reform will be on the docket within his first year. We are now at the end of his second year – and he doesn’t even have the full time staff working on this project in the White House.

    Therefore call, write, fax and/or visit your local Senators’ office and make a clear demand for President Obama to install the appropriate staff on his team to lead the debate on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Don’t make Comprehensive Immigration Reform a “Get Out the Vote” strategy for Senator Harry Reid in Nevada – where he is the least popular legislator in Washington, DC.

    We need this president of change to keep this promise on immigration reform. If not, we will see such legislation in municipalities, counties and even other states.

  3. Yamila M. Ayad says:

    I believe that most of us agree that there is a critical need for border control. I also believe that all the well intended hard working folks that cross the border would love to have the government’s blessing, BUT they are not allowed this legal entry since the quotas are full. As recent as my own “legal” entry into this country in the early 1960s, immigrants were given visas and some even a green card as they came to live in this great country.

    Let’s not kid ourselves though, government and politicians have looked away for years as business owners hire these folks at less than minimum wage with no benefits. Everyone pretends they’re not here because someone is benefiting. This law now turns around and kicks out those workers that for years did the work others would not do. They have children here. They have paid taxes (in fact the IRS provides them the ITIN number so that they can pay taxes) and social security, and if never allowed amnesty, they will never collect retirement pay.

    Approximately 12 million immigrants have lived this way, “in the shadows.” Useful for the employer but now victims of prejudice and hipocrisy. Let’s have amnesty for them, it won’t be difficult to figure out who they are. Many of them have been our neighbors, some of them clean our homes, babysit our children, and take care of our gardens. Some of them are college graduates.

    Why are we all of a sudden mistaking them for hoodlums that manage to cross our border? You don’t need to be illegal to be a criminal. This working group of people deserves justice just like those that have been coming here for the last 400 years, looking for the opportunity not given to them in their own countries.

  4. Adam Carter says:

    I think primarily the problem is a failure of the Federal Government to enforce immigration policy, and advance an immigration policy that makes sense. The fact is, many of these folks represent an important sector of our economy. It’s no coincidence that the INS do not readily share information with the IRS. The IRS will happy to collect tax revenue without verifying immigration status. I believe the system to come here legally is broken, making it virtually impossible for many of these folks to do so. The drug runners mentioned in another post will continue to break the law regardless; it’s the nature of the drug business.

    I feel the solution should be the following:

    1. Implement a realistic guest worker policy which offers a real opportunity for these folks to gain residency if not citizenship.
    2. Deregulate business (minimum wage laws, workers comp etc.)
    3. Let the market decide. With deregulation, the market will establish a true wage. If the opportunities are still attractive for these folks with the wage that has been set by the market, then you have a real framework to enable these folks to participate in our economy legally.

  5. Unless you are a native American, you or one of your past generations was an immigrant. We need immigration reform to create a reasonable path for good hardworking immigrants to become a permanent resident and a citizen.

  6. E. Cruz says:

    Yamila well said.
    The question I have is: What does an illegal alien looks like? I am interested to know the answer from the folks that came up with this law.

  7. Laura Stoewer says:

    I came to the US 48 years from Cuba as a refugee, at that time we were furtunate enough that we did not encounter the problems that many immigrants from Latin America, Central America and South America are encountering today. We need immigration reform that will create a reasonable path for hardworking immigrants and ilegals to become permanent residents an citizenship, like Mr Valdez says. It is really sad to see what is happening in Arizona and it is more politics than really fixing the immigration problems.

  8. I think its great! A cause to solidify the Latin community. It will provide a platform of political dominance. It is good to see the younger generation becoming involved in the understanding of what it takes to manuver within the political system of this Great country and take control. Understand before you ask to be understood. Yes we can!!

  9. ray laracuente says:

    I’m still amazed no one has put the shoe on the other foot yet. suppose there were 12 million illegal americans living in mexico, or 12 millian people of any country living in any other country illegally, then those same people would raise their flag and demand rights and priviliges as conferred to all the legal citizens of the invaded country. go ahead pick any two countries… truth is the majority of the people crossing our border ilegally have long ago lost any respect for this country and are here strictly for plunder.

  10. Michael Maldonado says:

    Lets look at the Az “law”. States such as Az or Ca do not write INS law, this is a duty of the Federal government (just as the church does not write laws on who can marry who, this is a civil matter but we Latinos did not speak out against this, now we are the targets). Next, Az states the level of crime and violence is due to illegal crossing. This is false. When liquor was illegal Al Capone and the Italian Mafia rose in power and in violence. The reason for the violence was to control the traffic of the product. Back to the present…we have groups controling the flow of illegal drugs which are being used by rich anglos. Since the Nixon era, there has been a “War on Drugs”, with Billions flowing to special groups. If A)rich anglos were sent to prison for possession-therefore reducing demand or B)We legalize and then tax the product (and add revuene to the States)making the importation of illegal drugs a thing of the past. Today, no one in Chicago is gunned down for a case of liquor – legalize drugs and the same cause and effect will take place.
    Last point – each time the ecomony goes down the lower class anglos find a target. 150 years ago it was the Irish, in the 1930-1940 it was both the Blacks and the Latinos (Remember the Navy boys taking the Red car from Long Beach to East LA to attack the Zot Suits). Now the anglos are made due to lack of jobs. Their real focus should be the fact they show at Walmart, and nothing at Walmart is made in the USA. The anglos have used their wallet to have their jobs moved overseas. I have tried to explain this simple fact to many anglos but they would rather mouth the words of a Tea Party rep. Solutions: Education – Out of 10,000 Latinos who begin 1st grade in Southern Cal only 16 get a masters degree (UCLA Hispance Student Assc)-why is this!!!! In San Marino Every child but one was accepted into a college (class of 2008). If we do not have the money we can not change policy. It is this simple. What do you think
    Vivo Cinco De Mayo – Vivo Raul Salazar

  11. Ernie Reyes says:

    Alex; Well said I applaud your courage for speaking out and opening up a much misunderstood topic. During the Kennedy administration Mr. Kennedy said “let us never fear to negotiate, but let us never negotiate out of fear”. The response by the political Arizona leadership in passing the recent myopic law must have been motivated by fear….The only other motivating option would have been the unthinkable. Let us now make both parties responsible for legislation that will give us workable, fair,and cerebral Immigration Law, versus political gestures that are solely focused on politicos election and re-elections. For once let us return to our past “Immigrant Founders” of this great Nation, vote into law what is right for the country and not for political parties.

  12. Gary Acosta says:

    Excellent comments…even the Phoenix Suns understand the egregious nature of this law. One supporter of the law told me that 70% of the Arizona electorate supported the law as did 51% of all Americans as evidence its virtue. Of course, that is the precise reason we have a constitution. Thankfully the founders of our nation recongnized over 200 years ago that voters dont always make the right choices…

  13. David Medina says:

    Wow! Arizona has taken us back 50+ years. Why? Have we learned nothing? It appears that Arizona has turned a blind eye & is not willing to look at what the USA,has as well as other cultures have rebelled against.
    With such a high percentage 30% of Hispanics, the majority in people of Arizona will not tolerate this or they’ll be the laughing stock of the rest of the USA. G_d help Arizona. When will they come for me?

  14. AskNancyG says:

    After reading the 19 pages of SB 1070, this is a simple economic issue. Unfortunately, illegal immigration takes a substantial toll at the local and state level especially in Border States. The federal government cannot continue to reap the financial benefits while local and state agencies bear the cost. I am an advocate for VAT (added value tax) which would eliminate having to file income tax or pay income tax since it would be added to everything we purchase. The beauty of this tax is that all consumers in this country regardless of one’s immigration status would be obligated to pay. As far as immigration goes there is no political will, Republicans say great cheap labor, Democrats say yeah more Democrats!

  15. Sick And Tired says:

    My Opinion So I Cant Be Sued”

    Are we talking about legal immigration or illegal immigration? I am confused
    Beacuse illigal immigration is a burden on this system.

    It’s all about the U.S government selling out to big business.
    Letting U.S companies getting away with “anti slave labor laws”. Letting U.S. companies go to another country and use slave labor {according to our standards} or letting illigal immigrants cross the borders and work for dirt cheap.
    For those of you who came here legal and became citizens, you should be pissed off that others are coming here illegal. Didnt you swear an oath to the U.S.?
    For the Suns management for changing uniforms, they sold out to pressure.
    As far as the comment on “The War on Drugs”. the only war on drugs is the made up war on drugs so congress can take money out of the budget and use it for what ever they please. Read the Book by Rodney Stitch –

    But the question is about illigal immigration….

    Its all about our govt selling out to big business.
    The Feds want illigal immigration…their pockets profit from it.
    If people go to other countries without documentation, dont they get into trouble? Is the U.S. the only country to go to illegal?
    Didnt Castro empty the jails and send his prisoners here. being a Criminal Justice Major, a lot of other countries are doing the same. So dont we need to know who is coming into the U.S.

    Look people…. dont miss the major issue…..


    If you break the law, should you pay for the crime?
    I guess I am confused.

    So which laws are okay to break and which laws should be enforced?

    Is it okay for the Feds to break laws {ship drugs into the U.S., aiding and abetting illigal immigration}..while U.S. tax paying citizens go to jail for doing the same thing.

    What about the joke NAFTA…gee wiz Wally,,,,didnt that help the drug smuggling increase into the U.S.

    For all you people who belong to NAHREP and who are California REALTORS…are you here illegal or legal?

    If you want to talk about who should be here….what about the American Indians…..HUH???? why dont you people stand up for them. All you so called “Mexicans” are really American Indian/Spanish, American Indian/French….American Indian/mixed…American Indian /this…American Indian/that………or you are a “Mexican citizen”…
    So if you people really think it is okay to break the law, which laws can I break?

    Should Arizona let peopole go to their state illegal and commit crimes….
    It is hard enough for our police to keep track of the “U.S. citizen scumbag crminals”…let alone try to catch a crminal who has no documentation and who can cross the country any time.

  16. Ironically, this law was passed in a state that owes much of its traditions, beauty, and progress to the legacy and heritage bestowed by Hispanics whose hard work and myriad contributions have served to provide a rich livelihood to the people of Arizona.

    Arizona without Hispanics would be incapable of providing the comfort and living accommodations and standards afforded thousands of tourists, snow birds, and others who continually flock to it in search of temporary or permanent residence unequaled elsewhere.

    That these same citizens would choose to treat people of color as lesser or second class individuals is therefore not only incomprehensible but also unconscionable. At the end of the road, we must do everything possible to build a viable society that ennobles our past and builds greater character, integrity, and cohesiveness into the future. By setting back others we are only diminishing their humanity and ours. Working together, we can move mountains and build a stronger and more unified America.

  17. Hector Gonzales says:

    “Arizona’s New Law is Licensed Racism”…Wow!! That will surely grab your attention to read your article (I did). Unfortunately, if you read the law it has nothing to do with race, it has everything to do with whether or not one is here ILLEGALLY!

    Can you or anyone please state to all those that are truly concerned where in the Law you draw your conclusions from (section/paragraph)? The Law reads in the beginning and at the end that they are just enforcing existing Federal Law, i.e. Section 11, paragraph C states: “This act shall be implemented in a manner consistent with federal laws regulating immigration, protecting the civil rights of all persons and respecting the privileges and immunities of United States citizens.”

    I look forward to dialogue on Immigration Reform and perhaps now that the Arizona Bill has become Law we’ll get the conversation going, but until then lets look at the law for what it is not for what you interpret it to be. Arizona and those enforcing this Law will not jeopardize their careers/livelihood on a poorly written law that will subject them to lawsuits, simone?

  18. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by NAHREP. NAHREP said: Becerra:AZ 'owes much of its traditions, beauty, progress to the legacy & heritage bestowed by Hispanics' #sb1070 [...]

  19. Pamela Grigorian says:

    My mother’s family is of Mexican/Aztec American descent during which time California, Texas, Arizona and New Mexico originally belonged to Mexico and, therefore, we are not technically illegal. But the problem is twofold in that we have to secure the border to keep the drug dealers out and the fact this law is discriminatory since it is based upon the way someone looks rather than on the integrity of the person. Another issue is eliminating the drug demand in America. If the cartel doesn’t have anyone to sell it to, there’s no incentive to continue this illicit activity. The law is flawed in that it doesn’t address the drug problem in America and the lack of border security.

  20. There is nothing wrong with the new law. If the federal gov’t would do their job, there wouldn’t have been such harsh measures taken.

  21. It is sad that enforcing the laws of immigration have become so controversial. Arizona must have the courage to keep on enforcing United States immigration laws.

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