As an adopted Texan – one who got here as quickly as I could – I am naturally very interested in all things that affect Texas, especially Texas politics and the leadership of our Governor. I have been waiting for a response from Governor Rick Perry about the Border Governor’s meeting that was to be held in Arizona, and finally I have it.
It will come as no surprise to any of my even occasional readers that I am fully supportive of Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer and her legislature, and the people of Arizona who support SB1070. Even though I live hundreds of miles from the Texas border with Mexico, illegal immigration affects me. It affects you as well regardless of your state of residence. Once an illegal immigrant crosses our porous Mexican border, the entire United States is an oyster for them. They have unlimited access to the pearl inside.
It seems perfectly logical to me that those who would accuse SB1070 of being a formal method of racial profiling have not read the bill. Or perhaps they are just too stupid to comprehend what they have read. More likely, they ignore what they have read and heard because they choose to. They want full amnesty for any and all illegal immigrants who are now in the United States and any who may decide to come once the amnesty is offered. To their warped sense of justice, nothing other than that is acceptable.
As I was mulling my contact with men and women of foreign birth, I suddenly determined that I have a perfect way to describe the difference between the racial profiling they choose to see in SB1070 and the real racial profiling that would exist on my personal level.
Any law enforcement officer in Arizona – even those few who oppose the law – will not be able to select a person of possibly not being an American citizen or a legal immigrant because of the physical appearance of that person. That is racial profiling and it is not legal.
In order to even be questioned about one’s immigration status, the discussion must come up AFTER the person has been encountered by a law enforcement official for having seemingly committed another crime; a traffic stop for running a red light or stop sign; caught as a suspect in a home or business robbery; any legal offense that would require one-on-one confrontation between that person and a law enforcement official.
Only during the routine questioning regarding the reason for the confrontation is a police officer allowed and even required to ask about immigration status when and if the person being questioned gives the officer SUFFICIENT REASON TO BELIEVE that the suspect is in our country illegally.
In my everyday travels to the grocery store, the bank, the post office or wherever I go, I see non-Caucasian people. The firm contracted for our landscaping at the apartment community where I live is staffed with non-English speaking workers.
Let your imagination work just a little here. Suppose I see one of the gentlemen who happens to be mowing my personal lawn space. It is obvious to me by his physical features that he may not be an American citizen – especially when he says to me, “No hablo ingles.” So I go up to him, and in my best Texas drawl I ask him for his immigration papers; or I ask him the point blank question, “Are you an illegal immigrant to my country?” (¿Es usted un inmigrante ilegal en mi país?)
THAT, my friends, is RACIAL PROFILING. That would be illegal, and I should be arrested for using that method to determine his immigration status. I think even a person who refuses to see can tell the difference between the two examples I just provided. One is legal – one is illegal.
Yes, I strongly support Arizona and SB1070!
The 2009 meeting of the Border Governors Conference was held in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon from September 2-4, 2009, and was hosted by Governor Jose Natividad Gonzalez Paras. According to the official website for the event linked above,
The Border Governors Conference (BGC) is the largest binational venue to discuss and resolve some of the most important border issues affecting the United States and Mexico.
The ten Border States represent the world’s most important and dynamic binational region – with a joint economy that ranks third in the world.
These nations share the busiest international border in the world spanning nearly 2,000 miles, with roughly 250 million people crossing annually, and almost 90 million people calling the states of this region home.
The 2010 meeting of the Border Governors Conference is, or was, to be held in Arizona hosted by Governor Jan Brewer. On June 30, 2010, Governor Brewer released the following letter to the Governors of the Border States.
June 30, 2010
Letter to the Honorable Governors of the States of Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Sonora and Tamaulipas
Acting in my capacity as Chair of the XXVIII Border Governors Conference, I am writing you to let you know that your recent confirmation regarding non-attendance at the upcoming conference has led to my decision to cancel the Conference. As you know, all member Governors originally agreed many months ago to have Arizona as the site for the 2010 event. At this time, I find no appropriate alternative to cancellation, since each of you has stated in your correspondence that you will not come due to legislation recently passed in Arizona. Naturally I am disappointed by your decision, as I sincerely believe the gathering of the Governors in Arizona would have presented a great platform to initiate dialogue about the legislation and other topics of great importance to the border region.
As mentioned in my letter to the Commission of Migration Affairs of the National Conference of Mexican Governors, I took very seriously the process of addressing immigration related matters during Arizona‘s 2010 legislative session. I remain unwavering in my belief that signing Senate Bill 1070 and House Bill 2162 was the right thing to do for the State of Arizona. With a federal government that has been unwilling to secure our border for decades, Arizona has been left with little choice but to initiate our own efforts including steps that mirror federal law. I believe the passage of the legislation has clearly ignited talk of action in Washington for the people of Arizona and other Border States.
Notwithstanding these legislative matters, which have been misunderstood and misinterpreted by a number of people, I want to assure you of my belief regarding the importance of Arizona‘s relationship with Mexico. Through the Arizona-Mexico Commission we have maintained a strong 50-year commitment to that relationship. I would like to extend the same invitation to you as Border Governors as I did through the National Conference of Mexican Governors’ Commission on Migration Affairs. I strongly encourage you and members of your Cabinet to come to Arizona and meet with my Administration and members of our law enforcement community who are responsible for monitoring the implementation of the new law. By doing so, you will be able to better understand the legislation, how it will be implemented and the myths that have been created about what the law requires or allows.
Please contact my Policy Advisor for Mexico, Margie Emmermann at 602.542.1325 or firstname.lastname@example.org, if you wish to take me up on my invitation.
Janice K. Brewer
Once again, Governor Brewer was operating well within her rights as Governor of Arizona and the chairperson of the 2010 Conference. If none of the Governors would show up, why should she expend state finances for a conference with no one in attendance?
With all the ridiculous boycotting everyone seems so intent on doing because of SB1070, I was so glad to read this report from the Dallas News quoting Governor Perry.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he’ll skip border governors meeting if it’s moved out of Arizona
12:32 AM CDT on Tuesday, July 13, 2010
By CHRISTY HOPPE / The Dallas Morning News
Excerpts from this article:
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry said Monday that he won’t attend a meeting of border state governors if it isn’t held in Arizona, which some of the participants are boycotting in protests of the state’s tough new illegal immigration law.
For 27 years, governors representing U.S. and Mexican states along the border have met to discuss common interests. The annual conference rotates location, and this year it was slated to be held at a Phoenix resort.
But all six Mexican governors wrote Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on June 30 saying they would refuse to visit her state because of the immigration law, which they said promotes “ethnic and cultural prejudice.”
In light of the boycott, Brewer canceled the meeting.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson suggested that the conference be moved to another location rather than canceled. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said last week that he would entertain such a move so that the meetings and cooperation could continue.
Asked by Fox Business Network host Neil Cavuto whether he would consider attending the meeting if it were held elsewhere, Perry made it clear where he came down – in support of Arizona
“I talked to Jan [Brewer] early on and I said, ‘Listen, we’re not going to be coming to the meeting. Regardless of what anybody else is saying … we’re going to support you,’ “ Perry said.
He said it is Arizona‘s turn to host the meeting.
“If other governors decide they don’t want to come in some type of protest, frankly, that’s their business and it’s their loss,” Perry said. “That’s my call on it. I won’t be there.”
UPDATE – 7/15/10
Governor Perry is batting two-for-two on Arizona lately. Good for him. From the Texas Insider:
Statement by Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Attorney General’s Amicus Brief in U.S. v. State of Arizona Case
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement regarding Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s amicus brief in the U.S. v. State of Arizona case:
“All Americans should support today’s actions by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and other state attorneys general in their efforts to uphold the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the right of states to provide for the public safety and security of their citizens.
“The federal government has failed to secure our borders as drug activity and murder rates soar in many border communities. States are left with no choice. Until the federal government secures the border, I expect more states to legislate in an effort to protect their citizens.
“Regardless of anyone’s feelings on the Arizona law, we must protect the 10th Amendment and right of states to legislate public safety to keep families and communities secure. I join Texas Attorney General Abbott in opposing the Obama Administration’s effort to undermine the right of states to protect their citizens and govern themselves.”