Donald Trump attracted thousands of far right wingers when he visited Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday. His visit was met with internal divisiveness when GOP Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake shunned Trump. While campaign stumping in the heartland of the southwest, Donald Trump’s advocacy for Kate’s law through Bill O’Reilly is sparking debate in our own Arizona backyard among pro legal immigration reform advocates.
The far right wing conservatives such as Bill O’Reilly and Donald Trump have been advocating for Kate’s law, but Chicana/os want to know where the advocacy for Juan’s law is that will protect them from hate laws officials promote. For instance, many Tea Party Republican favorites like Donald Trump and the ousted and former Senator Russell Pearce advocate for laws that incite hate against Chicanos and Latinos. According to the Associated Press: “Tension surrounding the passage of Arizona's tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration contributed to the slaying of an Hispanic man [Juan Varela], allegedly shot by a white neighbor, a representative of the dead man's family said.” The shooting was finally determined a hate crime against a Latino man.
Surviving family member Antonio Varela said:
“My brother Juan D. Varela was killed over SB 1070 -- a hate bill that was signed by Governor Jan Brewer. I believe there should be a Juan’s law in memory of my brother because of the way things were carried out when my brother was shot and as Arizona politicians feared riots due to the hate crime. Before my brother was shot, Brewer allowed Arizonans to conceal weapons without a permit and that is how my brother died when his neighbor concealed his gun from under his shirt before shooting him dead after calling him a wetback. My brother and I are 5th generation Americans of Mexican descent.”
Another tragedy that happened in our own Arizona backyard was when a little girl was shot in the face in front of her own mother by Shawna Forde – a minuteman. Where is Brisenia’s Law?
Another tragedy happened under the supervision of Sheriff Joe Arpaio (who is known for racial profiling against Chicanos and Latinos) when a United States Veteran of our Armed Forces died after jail workers left him stripped naked and for dead. Where is our Chicano / Latino Veteran’s Law that protects us from officials known for their bigotry in organizations funded by tax payers? Did Arpaio so soon forget about the blood on his own hands as he essentially rolls out the red carpet for Donald Trump?
On the day Trump visited our State of Arizona, and while Tea Party Republicans point a finger against us with regard to the unfortunate tragedy that occurred in San Francisco, we have no choice but to defend ourselves and point 3 Arizona fingers at them with regard to the tragedies that happened here in our own backyard. Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez does not represent the regular run of the mill immigrant, and many of us believe sanctuary cities should be sanctuary for law abiding immigrants, but not for convicted felons.
Regarding the Kate's law debate, Arizona State Senator Catherine Miranda recently wrote:
"I say there is no medication for narcissistic ego-maniacs like Trump. He's trying to justify his previous comments about "all " immigrants. To surface one tragic comment he made to justify all immigrants is ignorant and desperate on his part. Let's not fall for it. Bottom line immigration reform is on "delay delay delay" mode and that's the root of all concerns and problems."
Moreover, I believe we ought to remain level headed and fix the clearly broken immigration system that has been stalled by Tea Party Republicans for approximately 2 years. Fixing the broken immigration system will help us to pit the law abiding immigrants against the ones who are convicted felons because many of the law abiding immigrants will not want the real criminal immigrant element in their community anyway. More importantly, when Tea Party people get behind laws that chip away from the original tea party message that goes against "taxation without representation," they will be on a slippery slope that made our Nation great. Undocumented immigrants have paid billions and billions of dollars that feed tax coffers. The answer is not Kate’s law – the answer is overhauling the clearly broken immigration system. It is a well known fact that immigrants are the backbone to our economic society, and it is ridiculous to throw the baby out with the bath water considering how many immigrants built hotels for the Trump Hotels.
Republicans ought to be ashamed for using tragedies to advance their evil political agenda that can only promote an increase of hate crimes against brown-skinned people. Today we see Trump make an attempt of pitting the blacks against the browns, therefore, we must remind Trump that it was a white gunman (who should not have been a gun owner) that killed 9 African-Americans while praying in a Church, and it does him no good to use the old southern strategy of pitting one ethnic group against another. A fast rising key demographic who are up and coming of age in Arizona and throughout the southwest will remember the RNC’s hate law inaction (under the direction of Reince Priebus). The RNC adopted a harsh anti-immigrant platform that trickled hate rhetoric and culture from the top-down, and Priebus' lack of leadership is too little too late in chastising Trump when his own Party at the highest levels promote anti-immigrant / anti-brown culture.
Chicanos and Latinos do well in the voting department during Presidential election cycles, and we will remember come 2016 the same way we did in 2012.