Jul 10, 2007

Virginia is Not for Haters!

Today, I got forwarded this info on a shirt that some folks in the DC area have out together in response to the craziness coming out of Virginia. Order one or more today - all proceeds are going to be donated to organizations and coalitions working for change and immigrant rights in the area.

This came as a reaction to the latest in a string of rabidly anti-immigrant proposals is a county-wide measure that the Prince Willams' County Board of Supervisors is considering, which would mandate local police enforcement of immigration laws. If you haven't been up on this issue, local police should enforce local laws. When they conflate their core mission with general law enforcement for federal issues, especially this one, what results can be broken down in a few major problem areas:

1) Immigrant Communities Will Distrust the Police even more. Once immigrant communities - whether documented or not - start seeing that the police are turning in their neighbors, they aren't going to tell the police about other crimes, or useful information needed to keep the peace. This is bad, especially when community policing seems to be at such a sharp decline and the widening gap leads to abuse and

2) Profiling and Selective Enforcement. You're trying to tell me that local police, who are totally untrained on this stuff, will be really good at identifying undocumented folks from within a crowd of many documented immigrants? Please. This proposal always stinks of rampant selective enforcement based on national origin, race, religion, and ethnicity. I mean, will all the Eastern Europeans who are undocumented get the same twice over that a Mexican or Chinese person who's a legal permanent resident will get?

Anyway, so get your shirt, make your statement, then call anyone you know in Virginia and tell them to call and give the anti-immigrant crowd hell.

Sidenote: Isn't it ironic that many Southerners who are involved in anti-immigrant groups are part of something called the Minutemen - alluding to a wholly Yankee endeavor? Whatever, though. The North was full of racism before and after the Civil War, so it's all good.


Macacavelli said...

Totally agree with you about the 2nd part of your post.
How are "trained cops" who are as sensitive to cultural issues as Bernard Goetz, gonna be able "police" communities that they are not a part of.

Especially in places like Virginia! I've driven through VA with NY plates on and have been stopped on atleast 3 occasions..for nothing more than having out of state plates..ahh..I have a headache..

Rage said...

Oh man. Haven't had the bad fortune of driving through VA like that though, but I'd really be scared to. The thing is, from what I've heard, Northern Virginia is supposed to be the *progressive* area, and that's where all this shit has been going down.

I'm afraid that in other areas, we're not hearing about this kind of stuff against immigrants because the good ol' boys are taking care of it the old fashioned way.