the budding cactus 37 Comments

Almost everyone knows what happened in the state of Arizona last week or so I presume. Gov. Jan Brewer signed a new law that makes it a crime (not illegal mind you) to be in the state of Arizona without proper documentation to prove your legal status. The entire debate is framed ridiculously, mainly concerning on the results rather than the cause.  Some “nationalists” argue that the bill will help restore America’s economy, sovereignty, law and order, civil society and culture. In simple words they just want to say “reducing white dominance in this country will fundamentally change the fabric of our nation.” They are merely afraid of being Minority in the long run.

America is powerful because it has and had a generous supply of free, low paid unskilled or low skilled illegal workers. So people thinking that it will restore Americans economy are becoming victims of their own success because removing a good supply of unskilled to low skilled workers is not only anti-capitalistic but also foolish.

This also lays a perfect platform for potential harassment of people who don’t look like white Americans. Race does play a role in this debate, although the stark truth is sugarcoated to be obvious. Arizona also has a law against racial profiling. When asked how else a law enforcement officer would be able to have a reasonable suspicion to detain a person, one of the state senators actually said that you can identify illegals by their clothes and shoes etc….… I kid you not he did say that!

I am sure inside he was screaming “brown skin  … ring a bell……you fool” to the interviewer. There is simply no way of detaining someone as a possible illegal immigrant without racially profiling him/her. It would also be interesting to know if the local police will undergo any type of immigration law training .In an era of rampant trivial litigation, I foresee endless lawsuits pursuant to this particular invasion of privacy and civil liberty.

The government has talked about securing the borders for a long time now.Border security issue is deliberately overlooked. The government purposely ignores securing it because the pros outweigh the cons. If it really is as pressing an issue as the proponents claim it to be, there is no sane reason to defer on securing the border. Like somebody famous once said

I find it hard to believe a country that sent a man to the moon in the 1960’s has a hard time building a fence around its borders in 2010.

I am all for giving amnesty to those who are here already and securing the border practically. This way the illegals will legally pay taxes which is revenue for the state and eliminating racial tension. It might not be as simple as I stated but it seems logical and justly human.

Some other states might follow suit of Arizona. Although I am not Spanish, I am often mistaken for Spanish descent so this affects me profoundly. Arizona will not solve the problem through imprisonment, deportation, or other repulsing policies. The state is taking the wrong track in response to conditions made bad by longstanding federal immigration procedures and border insecurities. This bill flirts with outright racism and surely is a scapegoat for other problems in this country. As for me and my family we have no plans to visit Arizona. We find this law as inhospitable and thorny as the state flower of Arizona.

37 Responses to “the budding cactus”

  1. 1 Mamitu

    What is next in Arizona? Arm bands like the ones Jews had to wear in Nazi Germany? This is scary stuff.

  2. 2 ep

    One day, a police stopped me while I was walking to the bus and talking on cell phone. He asked me why I crossed the railroad while signaling and asked me my ID. Being relaxed, I told him I never cross the railroad on my way to the bus and I gave him my ID. I was still on my phone. Then the police did his check in his car and gave me my ID and let me go.

    Probably he was thinking I look like some one (if i was in Arizona, i might think he is checking if i am illegal)

  3. 3 .mike

    The Arizona new immigration law is an outrage! It is impossible to imagine such a law will be passed in these United States at the dawn of the 21st century. It is impossible to imagine!

    Some of you might think this issue is far from here and it does not apply. Think again! Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

    There will be tens of thousands of people of all race marching in over 70 cities across the country on Saturday, May 1st, 2010. I AM CALLING ON ALL OF YOU to come out and support the cause in Washington, DC or in your respective cities.

    I do not have more detail right now, but we’ll post any information here

  4. 4 Alien

    Ok. I don’ like the AZ laws any more than the next ‘(il)legal alen’ but I’m not sure if this is … fair.

    “reducing white dominance in this country will fundamentally change the fabric of our nation.”

    Ok, this is fighting caca w/ caca. That’s not why pple are against immigrants. At least it’s not the only reason. It’s a bit like the Tea Party loonies where the message gets hijacked to the point that there’s no message anymore.

    I think there’s a legitimate concern here which is that in areas where there are many illegal immigrants, especially boarder areas, lower income Americans jobs (e.g. gardening, farm aids, janitors) are becoming inaccessible to Americans. The popular answer to this is, “but it’s not like an American would do these jobs!” Well, in the current state of course not. Those jobs pay below minimum wage under the table. They are brought down to that level by illegal immigrants who’ll take the job at any cost. There’s a good reason states have min-wage laws, if unregulated the market will bring them down at the expense of the quality of life of Americans. Now, I don’t interact with very low-income Americans but in theory, I can sympathize. It’s not like when life gets though, Americans can run off to another country (what we do) to do other jobs. The laws which are there to protect them are not protecting them and it’s their business to prompt the govt to fix them (this basic concept is why *we* came to the US.)

    Then there are concerns about the hospitals, schools, etc. Also legitimate, in my opinion, but I’m still glad they the law protects illegal immigrants in this case.

    Whether or not the laws can be fixed, or if they’re going about fixing them correctly is a whole other question.

    “America is powerful because it has and had a generous supply of free, low paid unskilled or low skilled illegal workers.”

    Seriously? If that was the case Saudi Arabia would be a super power with all the unskilled, cheap and abused labor that they import. America is powerful b/c of they poach all the great minds from around the world and are (were?) at the forefront of innovation for decades on end. And they pay them darn well too.

    “I find it hard to believe a country that sent a man to the moon in the 1960’s has a hard time building a fence around its borders in 2010.”

    Building a fence will not solve the illegal immigrant problem. All the illegal Ethiopian immigrants did not get here via a hike from Mexico.

    “As for me and my family we have no plans to visit Arizona.”

    I told a WASP co-worker that it’s a losing game. I’d not be surprised the amount of money the US is wasting on the illegal immigrants issue may be greater than what the US would collect from illegal immigrants if they paid tax. But we agreed that we’ll never know … as thanks to current laws, no such study will ever be feasible.

  5. 5 BISKUT

    “America is powerful because it has and had a generous supply of free, low paid unskilled or low skilled illegal workers.”

    are you saying slavery did not contribute to america’s success ?

    Most low skilled workers in saudi arabia are domestic workers .Most seasonal farming jobs are occupied by mexicans because no one yes…no american wants to get paid 0.10 cents per bucket of apples(here where i live that is how it is ) .This is a fact.That is why you enjoy your apple juice and applesauce with an affordable price.comparing saudi and america is comparing apples and orange. i think you are underestimating the farming and food industry in this country .That does not mean mexicans are exclusively confined to farming industry .

  6. 6 Alien


    a) America is not an agricultural superpower (no country is, in 2010)

    b) slavery did contribute in building america. but America’s not a superpower TODAY b/c of slavery any more or less than Ethiopia is NOT a superpower TODAY because of its history w/ slavery. In fact, it can be argued that America needed to abolish slavery in order to become the superpower it is now, and that Lincoln and co. opted for a abolition stance primarily to win the civil war, not for humanitarian reasons (as evidenced by american’s racist laws that persisted for another century plus post-abolition.) Sad but true.

    c)The US subsidizes farming in America b/c American farms can’t actually compete w/ cheaply produced, imported produce. So, again, sorry but if most of the farmers (and hired laborers) were to go out of business, I’m pretty sure you and I will be getting our fruits and vegetables just fine. Probably straight from Mexico and Latin america. Probably cheaper!

    Will unemployment also rise in America? Yes. To tie back to the original issue, using tax payers money to create jobs to illegal immigrants is, I believe, what anti-illegal-immigrant-labor proponents abhor.

  7. 7 ep

    I was not sure how to respond to the original blog at the beginning but I would say I agree with what Alien said in response. ..
    Anyway, since I am against illegal immigration, I wonder what would be the best way to resolve this issue?

  8. 8 SelamT

    A police officer will not have access to immigration records to check if you are legal or illigal. Like most people I only carry my ID with me, how will they know I am legal?

    I am sure every person who looks different, who talks with an accent etc. Latino, Ethiopian, Chinese, Indian etc. will be affected. I am sure one has to be white to not worry even though there are whites who are illigal. .
    It is amazing this is happening in Arizona and it’s 2010.
    I think people have to boycote the state so that the foreign labour force leaves. No vacation to the state etc. Arizona gets money from millions of visitors to the Grand Canyon park.If that stops it means Millions of $$$ lost.
    I always want to see the Grand Canyon, but now I have no desire to see it and pictures will be good enough.

    This morning, I heard on the radio that Costa Messa (a city that is part of orange County)in California wants to do the same thing. That stops me from going to that area, spending my money there etc. Unless this is stoped now it will get out of control.

  9. 9 anonx


    I think you are right on most.

    But on subsidy, somewhat related to immigration,… it supreses price. Theoritically, should the U.S. cut off agricultural subsidy, global agricultural prices would rise, developing world farmers would see there wages rise, and their population could possibly earn liveable wages and remain home instead of crossing the border. Usually you will see at World Trade summits, Brazil, India, and South Africa team up against the West on subsidy for that reason. I dont think we would have ‘illegal’ immigrants if they could earn a liveable wages in their home country. On that note, if one hoards the world’s wealth, what do they expect. Other countries will export their people…

  10. 10 biskut

    i never said america is an agricultural super power.I said it has a strong farming industry which contributes to ran the economy considerably.
    my argument is not against illegal immigration .My argument is on Racial profiling which is the only possible tool to spot an illegal immigrant .I live in a border town where border patrols patrol trainstations ,bus stations and even stop cab drivers if they have a “reasonable suspicion ” .and let me tell you something …those officers know squat about immigration process .I have seen many people be abused and mistreated by highschool drop out rednecks .i am speaking from experience here .by the time they are done detaining you you have paid over 4,000 to a lawyer and spent 20 days in jail ,with two appointments postponed or canceled for weather or whatever reasons .this all happens when you are in the country legally but you do not have your papers with you .They don’t listen .

  11. 11 biskut

    selam t
    i completely agree with you .

  12. 12 Mamitu

    Here is my two cents. If anyone thinks that this law’s impact is going to stop with or at Illegal aliens and others will not be affected is fooling themselves. I know that Immigrants in Europe are afraid of going to the police because the relationship between police and Immigrants is very toxic. In most cases, police have power to stop anyone that looks like an immigrant (racial profiling) to ask for paper, which for me is reminiscent of what the Gestapo did with Jews in Germany. I for one want my kids to have a healthy relationship with Authority figures and strongly oppose any legislation that would make them feel like they are targeted and do not belong here. After all, we have to remember our kids are Americans. We may think like that saying ” Kageru yeweTa Ageru eskimeles biChinut Aheya beilegumut Feres” but for our kids this is the only home they know and we really have to do whatever we can to oppose any thing that would compromise our Civil liberty for our children’s sake. And for the record I do not support Illegal immigration but I do not believe this is the way the US should go about to solve this issue.

  13. 13 biskut

    exactly!!!! that is my major concern …

  14. 14 Selam2

    anonx wrote:

    I dont think we would have ‘illegal’ immigrants if they could earn a liveable wages in their home country. On that note, if one hoards the world’s wealth, what do they expect. Other countries will export their people…

    “illegal” or “legal” this is probably true for more than 95% of immigrants, given the choice they would stay in their home country…

  15. 15 Alien


    Like I said, I agree that the law is pretty stupid on various counts. I was just disagreeing w/ the … let’s call it the ‘icing’ of your arguments as to why the law came about.


    Agreed. Heh, although I doubt the ‘hey, you made your bed. now lie in it argument’ is going to fly in national politics. EP was saying what can be done to stop illegal immigrations. Well, your point, to stop subsidizing American farming would be an option … but it will never happen. Also it only targets one market.

    I do’t know what’s a better solution, but harassing and hunting down illegal immigrants clearly isn’t the solution. I wonder what’ll happen if instead of monitoring illegal immigration, if the US redirected its energy and money into monitoring employees and jobs.

  16. 16 tsedey

    “Arizona Legislature Bans Ethnic Studies-Wants to Remove Teachers from Classes Who have Accents”

    for anyone who’s been wondering what’s next…

    please forward and repost!

  17. 17 Gennet


    I really don’t know, from where you have your information, about Germany being so racist. In fact the country is improving very very much since at least 15 years – mostly on the important legal basis-. This old talk about Germany being racist etc. is not true. In fact, the Germans do discuss openly about their behaviour towards minorities etc.. Theire rules and procedures apply for every one independent of race, religion, ethnic membership etc.

    The society in the USA with all it’s slavery history pretends to be an equal opporunity society, and that is just a great pretension!

    BTW, I Love Nolawi. He always says the truth about the pretension of the so called ‘Ethiopian behaviour’.

  18. 18 endalc

    alien .he is too took with this your beskuit .but until know . you are not deal .with .this guy .so what the problem .

  19. 19 AmeleworQ

    Endalc is back!!

  20. 20 endalc

    will i ll back but .i went tell you .to this my problem. you know .whay.all ways im hear .withen .fiftina.meinit. some.people he took.with .me jest like woman .some time s took jest like .man .im live bay verey craouded.situation . i have .near of 5 years. ago .so i doent .how to can .get .solive .and back .jest like .that.past my gold .time .so im worth .cray to by this case of my health . please if have support me bay something . even .
    call bay phone

  21. 21 Mamitu


    I am glad that things are improving for you in Germany.

    I got my information about the you (immigrants) and us (original Europeans) attitude from people who live in Europe. And therefore the mistrust of police by Immigrants. I also heard that it is hard to break into the professional world in Europe for immigrants (not only for first generation but for their children as well) thus all those problems in France about a year ago.

    In Europe MPs like Sabuni of Sweden, Hirsi Ali of Holland (who is no longer and MP because of a fatwa put on her by Muslim clerics because of her outspokenness about Islam), and Minister Rama Yade of France are the exception and not the norm. The only place that immigrants seem to be breaking the barrier a lot in Europe is in sports (mostly soccer) and this has been a point of contention for many nationalists in France because their country is mostly represented by the likes of Zinedine Zidane (Zizu) who was born in Marseille but is of North African origin. To that complaint Minister Ramada Yade (currently Minster of Sports in France) “In sports you simply pick the best because you want to win and that is why we have many who are of African origin.”

    In America, many immigrants often with very strong accents break into the professional world just because they are good. I am sure that most if not all of the people that write comments on bernos are highly paid professionals who work alongside all kinds of other Americans. America had a very dark past when it comes to Slavery and Jim Crow, but no one here shys away from acknowledging the past and moving on to a better future.

    As for the US not being a place with equal opportunity, get back with me when a country in Europe elects a president with one African parent.


  22. 22 SelamT

    “As for the US not being a place with equal opportunity, get back with me when a country in Europe elects a president with one African parent.”

    Thank you Mamitu.

  23. 23 Gennet


    I liked your comment -as a whole and especially the last sentence-. I was trying to compare the German situation/behaviour towards immigrants before 20 years and now, thus my phrase ‘very very much improved’. Of course you are right, in what you stated. I hope you will allow me to communicate with you before a second Obama is elected in Europe, cause it will take a long time:))).

    Cheers and Thanks

  24. 24 datdude

    reminds me of that trick daddy line,

    “and if you from the islands and ur people weren’t slaves…u still a nicca” lol

    I never embraced being an immigrant, it is a temporary detour in my plan to go back to my homeland. Get money, get it fast and go back and hope neither I nor those after me have to experience being a stranger anymore.

  25. 25 Mamitu


    I think the yearning to go back is universal to all immigrants. If you ask almost every one from somewhere else they will tell you that they want to go back. I remember once while listening to Colin Powell on NPR, he was saying how his parents lived all their lives talking about how they are going to go back to Jamaica. I just hope that yearning doesn’t stop you from living your life to the fullest where ever you are. Here is a quote from a very old wise guy:

    “I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.” Socrates

  26. 26 mamitu


    liik nesh, i’ll try better to focus on living each moment fully. But even if I wanted to things like this Arizona bs reminds me i’m living in the white man’s world. To be honest it doesn’t have to be ethiopia, anywhere in Africa would do right now.

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    @ AmeleworQ:
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