Arizona reminds me of 1930’s Germany


Artwork by the brilliant Lalo Alcaraz. See more of his comics at

It’s been a few days since the SB1070 Immigration bill was signed into law by the governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer (La Brew-Ha como le dicen en facebook.) Y aunque este no es un blog político, si es un blog de la vida en spanglish, so it’s about time I voice my opinion. 

Before the hate comments come in (how interesting that when I post something that is immigration related I get a few hate emails which are never published) let me start off by saying there is no easy way out of this immigration mess, no easy single solution that will make everyone happy when it comes to undocumented workers in the US. There are too many obstacles (money, power, race, pride) and too many people (12 million and counting) to solve this in one step. 

The debate heats up every year, around the month of May curiously enough, and everybody gets all worked up and passionate abut the subject. But nothing has changed in years and meanwhile people are divided into camps: Pro-Immigration Reform and the “Send them All Back ” groups como los MinuteMen. 

But we’ve never seen anything like this. Not even back in the days of 187 in California were people so split on this issue.

The extremist and racist profiling tactics and measures that will now take place legally in Arizona are shocking. I don’t exaggerate when I say it reminds me of Germany, Pre World War II., circa 1930. Back then Jews were blamed for everything from diseases to unemployment to taking away from “rightful” citizens to being a threat to the community. Sound familiar?

It seems the people of Arizona took a note out of history and came up with a law that basically would give a law enforcement official, cualquier policía de la calle, the right to ask anybody that doesn’t look “gringo” enough for proof of residencyor legal status and put you in jail or deport you if you don’t have it with you. I suppose they wouldn’t be looking for Chinese, or European, or Canadians, or African Americans, right? This is a law that is aimed at Hispanics and anyone who “looks” Hispanic. What that means is left up entirely to the law officers judgement.

Everyday I come across different opinions on the subject of immigration. Yes there are way too many people who are here without “legal staus”. Yes the system is broken, yes there are crimes and misdemeanors.  However, we are not all criminals, nor thugs, nor abusive “disease ridden illegal aliens who bring lice and diseases across the border” as someone on CNN said recently, imagine that.

What about the millions of hardworking, decent, HUMAN BEINGS that come to work here and grow this country’s economy? What about the people that cook for you in restaurants, wait at your table, clean your office building, park your car, help you out when your car is stranded on the road (it happened to me!), clean your hotel room? What about the construction worker, the janitor, the cook, the nurse, the student with good grades, the nanny, the gardener, the person who helps you carry your groceries, the dishwasher? Don’t they deserve a chance to work/live here legally? Everyday they prove they are worthy of the American Dream. They work hard and provide for their families. I have met people and know stories that inspire, esta gente lo ha sufrido y lo ha vivido. Salen con miedo todos los dias de ser deportados, y aun así se arriesgan. Merecen tener el derecho a trabajar y quedarse aqui. He dicho. 

Jan Brew-ha can say this won’t affect Arizona’s economy. Allá ella. We’ll see. For the moment, I won’t so much as spend a cent in AZ, nor drive through there. “I won’t even drink Arizona Tea,” says my friend Mickey Vega. Lo siento por los residentes de su estado, but that’s the way it is. 

So that’s my humilde opinión. I have a feeling this time things will be a little different. People are more informed. More vocal.And we now have the power of Facebook!  Social Media is a great tool for defending your point of view (either for or against Immigration Reform) and it’s not going anywhere soon. Here’s a few groups that have formed since last week: 

1 Million Strong Against Arizona Immigration Law SB 1070. 

Possible Illegal Immigrants 

Si un policia me dice papeles y yo digo tijeras gano yo 

And other links to (a great group credited with bringing down Lou Dobbs)

Shame on Arizona 

And here’s a cool video link my friend Marisol Rosas sent me (Gracias!) from the Colbert Report: (Click below to watch) 

No Problemo

Theres’ still plenty to mention, but for now, here we are.  ¡Animo amigos!

2 thoughts on “Arizona reminds me of 1930’s Germany

  1. Another interesting Blog! And just as a side note, this blog would be banned in Alabama, if Tim James becomes Governor, apparently you can only speak English there….okey dokey

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