Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"This is War" Local AZ Immigration News

I've called it war before, and they all certainly talk and act like it's war, but until yesterday, i hadn't heard a local official call this situation war. Yesterday on a CNN show that must've been on around 4pm, they had sheriff joe on talking about his immigration crack-down. I distinctly heard him say, "This is war". I spent the last 10 minutes trying to find which show it was and if there was a transcript, but i don't have a lot of time right now. I don't think it's all that surprising anyway.

Here are some things going on lately (mainstream news stories on sheriff joe at the end):

Arizona Legislation Prohibits Renting To Illegal Immigrants
A new house bill targets where illegal immigrants can live.

The Appropriations Committee voted to make it illegal for landlords to rent to those who cannot prove their legal status.

Landlords who knowingly or recklessly rent to illegal immigrants in Arizona will be subjected to a penalty of up to $250 for each day of the violation.

Just two years after Escondido, CA gained media attention, when it passed a controversial law that punish landlords for renting to illegal immigrants, Arizona takes on the same route.

In Yuma, many property management companies are already taking their own measures.

Instead of having to figure out and verify who is legal, the legislation says they must ask prospective renters for one of 12 documents.

Governor OKs bill keeping illegal immigrants for having guns
Gov. Janet Napolitano signed legislation Friday designed to restore a state law keeping illegal immigrants from having firearms. The measure revamps a 4-year-old state law that was designed to mirror federal statutes that regulate who can and cannot possess a weapon.

But the state Court of Appeals ruled last year that federal statute - the one referred to in state law - specifically refers to weapons involved in interstate commerce.

The judges said that means people could be convicted of violating the state gun law only if prosecutors could prove the weapon in question was "shipped or transported in interstate commerce."

The new version fixes that by saying all foreigners in this state are forbidden from having guns.

House Supports Requiring Cops to Confront Immigration
The Arizona House gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a proposed requirement that city and county police agencies carry out programs for their officers to confront federal immigration violations.

Local agencies could meet the requirement by getting training for their police and jail officers, putting federal immigration agents in units within their departments or cultivating relationships with federal authorities to confront the problem.

"It's one way of dealing the immigration problem that lets the cities use the most efficient way that they have to do that," said Republican Rep. John Nelson of Litchfield Park, author of the proposal.

A small number of local police agencies in Arizona have already sought special training to enforcement federal immigration law.

Report: Hate Groups Growing in Arizona
Hate groups are increasing in America and no where faster than right here in Arizona, according to the "Year in Hate" report from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The number of hate groups operating in America swelled by 48 percent between 2000 and 2007 according to the report.

In Arizona, we saw a 70 percent jump last year compared with 2006, says Matt Potock with the Southern Poverty Law Center. "I the case of Arizona, by our account the state went from 10 groups in 2006 to 17 in 2007 the following year. That really is a remarkable growth."

It's the biggest increase of any state.

"These include several different kinds of hate groups - Klan groups, neo-Nazi groups, in some case black supremacist groups as well as white supremacist groups," says Potock.

"Virtually all of these groups or the vast majority of them have turned almost 100 percent of their attention to immigration, specifically illegal immigration."

Combine that with the latest FBI statistics showing a big rise in hate crimes against Latinos, and Potok says it appears the hate propaganda is making its way into the mainstream.

Potock says there's been an 48 percent increase in the number of hate groups nationwide.

Arpaio launches undocumented immigration sweep in Valley
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio launches another immigration sweep in the Valley on Friday.

Business owners have complained about rising crime connected with undocumented immigrants in the area.

Opposing groups are on guard and ready to protest.

Those groups met with reporters on Wednesday with a message for Arpaio saying, "We'll be watching."

Lydia Guzman believes that Arpaio is breaking the law. "He is not the hero that he talks himself up to be."

Late last year, Arpaio reacted to email he says he received from a Central Phoenix business.

In the email, a business owner complained about the day laborers around 32nd Street and Thomas.

The owner claims the day laborers were causing problems and harassing customers.

The sheriff's office increased patrols in the area and over a period of several weeks, arrested more than 100 people and 94 of them were undocumented immigrants.

Now the sheriff is at it again, in a similar scenario with businesses not only in the central part of the Valley, but also to the north.

Opposing groups are outraged. "He's a villain, he's a criminal, and he's violating the law."

"They call me a racist, they call me KKK...they call me a Nazi," says Arpaio. "That's not going to deter me from doing my job. It's very simple. I will continue to enforce the immigration laws."

Arpaio continued to say that 140 of his deputies are trained in federal immigration laws.

However, close to 200 deputies set up the command post at 32nd street and Thomas, along with jail wagons, to launch the event.

Arpaio's Deputies, Posse Expand Patrols
Nearly 200 sheriff's deputies and posse members are poised to launch a new patrol in two areas of Phoenix after business owners complained of rising crime, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.

Owners complained of increases in criminal activity and other problems largely related to illegal immigrants and day laborers in their neighborhoods, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said.

Arpaio said he will send hundreds of volunteer armed posse men and women along with several ICE-trained deputies to saturate the two areas beginning Friday at 4 p.m....

Sheriff's patrols to target illegals
Sheriff's deputies and immigrant advocates are on a collision course that will send them to two busy intersections in Phoenix where day laborers gather.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he plans to dispatch nearly 200 deputies and armed posse members to the areas to patrol for possible criminal activity by illegal immigrants starting today.

Immigrant advocates countered that they're sending observers armed with video cameras to monitor law enforcement officials for civil rights violations.

The sheriff's office operation is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. at 32nd Street and Thomas Road, less than a mile from M.D. Pruitt's furniture store, where a similar operation resulted in heated exchanges and attracted national headlines last year.

Arpaio will also send patrols to 32nd Street and Bell Road two or three days later, though a specific date has yet to be determined.

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