Cover Story: The War on Mexicans Has to Stop

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America's peculiar war on Mexicans has gone too far, says this week's cover package from Village Voice Media.

A hostile Supreme Court and a feckless Obama administration have resulted in abominations like Arizona's Senate Bill 1070, which gives cops all but carte blanche to question the immigration status of anyone whose looks they don't like, argues VVM's Michael Lacey.

The stated purpose of SB 1070 is "attrition through enforcement," a chillingly efficient phrase.

How does the cop on the beat tell a Mexican from a Mexican-American?

And so, the 74 percent of all Latinos in America who are, in reality, U.S. citizens must be harassed about their origins. Unlike everyone else, they must carry papers.

Why?

Read "Crossing The Line: Bordering On Revolution."

VVM commissioned artists associated with the Phoenix-based cultural collective Xico to produce individual covers for each of the papers in the chain.

Follow Houston Press on Facebook and on Twitter @HairBallsNews or @HoustonPress.

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14 comments
Guest
Guest

Did you even bother to read the article? These are examples of the horrible mistakes made by the ICE that have ruined people's lives. And no, my statements don't imply that Mexican = illegal immigrant. My statement is that this IS institutionalized racism, do you think cops will be pulling over blonde-haired, blue-eyed Norwegian tourists because they 'look illegal?' Here is a personal anecdote of racial profiling: My husband is French, and has dark features that could let him pass for Greek, Saudi, Italian, Spanish, and Mexican. He has been pulled over by cops (on his bike, walking, and driving) so many times for no reason, because they think he's Mexican. How do we know they think he's Mexican? Because the cops call him derogatory expletives that are only aimed towards Mexicans.  Each time they ask where he's from and says he's French, they let him go, no questions asked. Would the outcome be different if he actually were Mexican, legal or not? It's likely. My point is, I'm not 'besmirching' Mexicans at all. I agree with PaulP when he says, "Whether racist or not, the laws are built on the very selfish assumption that a person born within our borders has a greater right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness than one who is born anywhere else. I don't believe that."

PaulP
PaulP

You're naive to believe (or deliberately obtuse to pretend to believe) that race plays no part in a law that has such a disproportionate effect on people who look and speak differently than your typical caucasion, regardless of their nation of origin. Even if those immigration laws weren't aimed at brown people coming from south of the border, they're still wrong at a moral level. Whether racist or not, the laws are built on the very selfish assumption that a person born within our borders has a greater right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness than one who is born anywhere else. I don't believe that. You do. It's an honest difference in opinion. You're in the majority and I'm in the minority, and I suspect that will always be the case. Despite the plaque on the Statue of Liberty, and despite the positive influence immigration, legal or otherwise, has had on the emergence of this country as an economic and political powerhouse, the U.S. has a long history of exclusion and de-humanization based on color and national origin. Africans, The Irish, Germans, Eastern Europeans, Chinese, Japanese, and now brown-skinned hispanics have all suffered as the majority of Americans have supported and passed laws that treat liberty and opportunity as a scarce resource to be hoarded and protected, instead as of an inalienable right to be shared and guaranteed to those who seek it.

Carrie
Carrie

 @ guest:  You seem to be operating under a delusion that race or even racism is involved.  If you want to call Mexicans a "race", then that's up to you.  But look at it this way instead: American law enforcement (who ought to be spending every minute of their paid shift ENFORCING the LAW) are protecting the black American 'race', the white American 'race', the Hispanic and Latino American 'races', and all Naturalized Citizen 'races' from criminal trespassers from not just Mexico, but from any country.  Your very statements imply that Mexican = illegal immigrant, when in fact this pretty great country gets illegal immigrants from scores of countries other than Mexico.  You besmirch the Mexican individuals who follow the laws and come here legally.  Do not inject race when there is no cause to do so.

Chezmaries
Chezmaries

Well as usual some idiot gets it really wrong. We don't have Mexican -Americans. We have Americans. Why is it you dumb people try to separate an American by his skin color or origin? And you say SB 1070 is racist? Really? I do believe we have a winner Richard....You Racists.  Fyi Chinese illegals ect are on the rise too. Hey who was it that flew those planes into the trade towers? They were illegal at one point or another. I really get tired of this bs by the libtard leftists. We guard other borders around the world but not ours? How stupid is that? Mexican - Americans (as you put it) I say Americans though)largely live on the border of Mexico in fear with terrible crime spilling over the border. Why is there legal status not good enough for you to demand our government to protect them equally under the law? Really what it is libtards want open borders to further the agenda of of a socialist society. More crime, more Americans freedoms are diminished every day. AssH@les like this try to drive wedges between the people. United we stand......think about that. What can conquer a united people? .....NOTHING  . 

Bnlawson
Bnlawson

All city of Houston voters should go to the website, www.stopthemagnet.com and download the 2 petitions - 1.  E-Verify, 2.  Homeland Security/Sanctuary - and sign them both.  Getting other citizens to sign also would be helpful toward getting them on the ballot in November for the voters to make their voices heard.  I did this and am asking all who sign to send them in to the address at the bottom of the petition.  I want the chance to vote on this.  I understand more signatures are needed.

Stop the Magnet
Stop the Magnet

Silly! Everyone should identity themselves when pulled over in a probable cause encounter.What the real truth is is that those of us who are "identifiable" are paying for those who can morph into any number of stolen children's identities or a family member's identity. It's carte blanche for committing crimes in the USA for illegal aliens.Taxpayers, etc get to foot the bill. The real victims are the American citizens themselves. I am finding, aside from these leftist narratives that many Hispanic voters are ready to sign our petitions to enforce immigration laws in Houston.Black working-class voters are fed up with having to speak Spanish to get a job.Most elusive signers are whites. They have been beat into white guilt submission by the media.

Carrie
Carrie

From what I have personally seen and heard from *formerly-illegal* immigrant friends, they do NOT pay the same in property taxes as a standard citizen -- because both Mexican and Chinese (at least) households typically house far more people than citizens' households do.  Think about it, a normal American household may consist of between one to five people, whereas an illegal immigrant household may consist of anywhere from ten to twenty people per household.  So the rent 'taxation' that goes to the government is technically much lower from illegal immigrant rent.  Not to mention the higher usage of welfare that we see in some immigrants.  (Of course with this current Administration, a lot of American citizens have been forced to go onto welfare too, so the ratio is evening out...) Do illegal immigrants take a LOT more from the pot than they put into it?  YES, and no truthful source of facts will ever refute that.  Does the U.S. have etremely lax laws that make it very tempting to come here and benefit like mad while giving very little back?  Again, yes.  Politicians do not like to rile the immigration base, because if they do they will lose the potential votes of the citizens who identify with the national origins of the illegals. Mexicans have it pretty easy when it comes to legalizing themselves here, as I sadly found out at my Federal Building while helping my tourist Visa husband become legal.  We were ushered through the process with such politeness and many smiles, given our paperwork to sign in exchange for a same-day green card -- then my husband laughed and said, "hey, this contract is in Spanish, I don't read Spanish".  They gasped (they LITERALLY GASPED) and reviewed his paperwork to see despite his "Hispanic-looking" name, he was not from Mexico.  Our agent left the room and came back with stacks and stacks of paperwork, and told us that a green card now was absolutely no guarantee, that if my husband were to quailfy for one at all, it may take months and months, and that we would be paying several visits to the Federal Building every few months rather than the ONE visit that we'd have had to pay had he been Mexican.  Many years and many thousands of dollars were spent, all the while had he been from Mexico we'd have gotten an immediate 'yes'.

PaulP
PaulP

The system couldn't accept another nested response, so I reply to myself to respond to Roadgeek. You asked where I would draw the line? I've already answered that. People should be free to live where and how they choose, as long as they respect the right of others to do the same thing. I recognize that that is an impossible ideal, but in the never ending struggle between good and evil, I'd rather be striving in the direction of liberty, not in the direction of state-enforced authoritarianism. If you give the state the authority and resources to use force or threat of force to monitor, restrict and constrain the peaceful and honest activities of anyone, including immigrants, then you've given them the ability to monitor, restrict and constrain the peaceful and honest activities of everyone.

Mr. Ortega
Mr. Ortega

Oh and have you heard about those white guys who murdered an entire population of Native Americans and then took their land, raped their women and then confined them to shitty pieces of land that even the white man wouldn't live on? 

Mr. Ortega
Mr. Ortega

...because the people who murdered the natives and took their land were immigrants themselves. They weren't born here, they came here from their native lands and came to what we now call America to continue man's desire to destroy the world. So these "illegal immigrants" that you have a problem with are just as "american" as you, and I'm sure they          work twice as hard you never will. 

PaulP
PaulP

And finally we get to the crux of the issue. It isn't about infrastructure, or taxes, or how much or little they contribute to society, or even whether they're peaceful, honest and hardworking. It simply comes down to zero-sum thinking and selfish greed. I think anyone should have the liberty to live where and how they choose, as long as they do nothing to restrict that same liberty for anyone else. Most of our problems related to undocumented immigration arises not from the immigrants themselves, but from our selfish and greedy and most often xenophobic attempts to exclude immigrants. From byzantine laws seemingly designed to make it as hard as possible to live and work here and guaranteed to make criminals out of otherwise peaceful folk, to a physical barrier across our southern border, it all makes me ashamed and sick to my stomach.

PaulP
PaulP

"...overburdened infrastructure and higher taxes." Undocumented residents pay the same state, county and local taxes you pay, every time they make a non-tax exempt purchase or pay rent. They contribute, as do we all, and they have a right to use the infrastructure for which they pay.

Flaubertg
Flaubertg

 Are there any offsetting benefits that these immigrants provide, Roadgeek? Most research I've seen suggests it's basically a wash, between what they take and what they provide for the economy.

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