As part of covering Arizona's anti-immigration politics, we'vereported on former Republican State Senator Russell Pearce and his sometime friend, Neo-Nazi J.T. Ready. Now police in Arizona say Ready shot and killed four people in his extended family yesterday, and then killed himself.
No one has covered the story of the relationship between Senator Pearce and border vigilante Ready more closely than Stephen Lemon of the Phoenix New Times. Lemons' post today offers a terrific history, going back years. It's also a reminder that sometimes a scary extremist is not just goofy and strange. Sometimes, he really is scary. Lemons writes of Ready:
He could play the clown, but always menacingly. . . .
As Ready was a creative, inveterate liar, it was difficult to tear fantasy from reality when speaking with him. He once told me, on background, that he was half-Jewish on his mother's side. With a straight face, I might add. Needless to say, he could be very convincing.
He always prided himself on once being a Marine, though in reality he had been drummed out of the service after getting court-martialed twice. He was intelligent and wily, and I was always on my guard around him.
"... Do we want to stop sick people from coming in for health care?"
George Pauk, a retired doctor with Physicians for a National Health Program.
Dr. Pauk is objecting to a new bill in Arizona that would require hospitals to first make sure a patient is in the country legally. SB 1405 is another creation from State Senate President Russell Pearce, the same guy who brought the world SB 1070, or "Papers, please."
Under Sen. Pearce's new proposal, hospital staff who discovered an illegal immigrant "must contact the local federal immigration office." So, yes, as Dr. Pauk suggests, you might think twice about having that nagging little symptom of a heart attack checked out -- if you're here illegally or if you're here legally and think might suspect you anyway. Since when does a trip to the emergency room start with a hunt for your passport?
Think Progress today picks up a report from Kansas, where a state representative says she and her son identified an illegal immigrant in part because of her "olive complexion." Set aside the debate over a humane and rational immigration policy -- this kind of thinking gives some of our own citizens reason to fear that they can't just go about their business.
Latinos appear to be making a quick exit from Arizona. A new study by BBVA Bancomer Research, drawing on Census data, finds 100,000 fewer Latinos living in the state now than before the debate over S.B. 1070 -- the "Papers, please" law -- this summer. From the Denver Post:
The study says the decline could be due to a new law that would allow police to question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally, which partly took effect in July. It may also be due to Arizona's difficult economic situation.
It turns out there's an even more direct link between Arizona's anti-immigration S.B. 1070 and the private prison industry which stands to benefit from it. The Arizona state senator who sponsored the "Papers, please" bill, Republican Russell Pearce, is the beneficiary of campaign contributions from that same industry.
KPHO reporter Morgan Loew tells us that Pearce was also the lawmaker behind the push to privatize the state's entire prison system last year -- pushing for it as far back as 2003 -- and that he's planning a state version of a repeal of birthright citizenship. Kind of amazing.
"If we are going to have an effect on the anchor baby racket, we need to target the mother. Call it sexist, but that's the way nature made it. Men don't drop anchor babies, illegal alien mothers do."
That statement was written by someone in favor of denying U.S. citizenship to babies born here with immigrant mothers. Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce, driving force behind the "Papers, please" immigration law, forwarded it as part of an e-mail chain on his future plans obtained by the local CBS affiliate in Arizona.
Asked about the statement, Pearce told the station: "It's somebody's opinion…What they're trying to say is it's wrong. And I agree with them. It's wrong."
It also provides for a penalty of between $1,000 and $5,000 per day for any official, agency, county, city or town found not to be enforcing the law sufficiently after someone complains. This potentially hefty sum is to go to Arizona's Department of Public Safety, for the Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission -- GIITEM.
With me so far? The law's main sponsor wants to use that money for a new border security squad of volunteers, what Phoenix New Times blogger Stephen Lemons calls "an anti-immigration vigilante force." To do this, State Sen. Russell Pearce has gutted a bill concerning a tax credit for solar energy. Instead, Pearce is using the reconfigured House Bill 2162 to divert $200,000 in funding for GIITEM -- which might have plenty to go around if groups like Kobach's take the invitation to sue -- and gives it to the new border security force to be run by the Cochise County Sheriff's Office. When the Arizona Star first called Sheriff Larry Dever to ask him about the plan, he said he'd never heard of it.
Already, some public officials in Arizona are objecting to the "Papers, please" law. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik says he won't enforce the "disgusting" measure. If FAIR should one day sue him and win, the Pima County Sheriff's budget would get siphoned off to GIITEM, whose budget is in turn being pass through to Sen. Pearce's new posse -- whatever it turns out to be.
The sponsor of Arizona's new "Papers, please" immigration is law is Republican State Sen. Russell Pearce, a politician who was caught on tape hugging a neo-Nazi.
But if you want to meet the guy who's taking credit for writing the new law, that would be Kris Kobach, a birther who's running for secretary of state in Kansas. His campaign Website brags, "Kobach wins one in Arizona." He's also an attorney for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal arm of an immigration group called FAIR, the Federation for American
FAIR was founded in 1979 by John Tanton, who's still listed as a member of FAIR's board of directors. Seven years after he started FAIR, Tanton wrote this, "To govern is to populate. Will the present majority peaceably hand over its political power to a group that is simply more fertile? As whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go quietly into the night or will there be an explosion?"
For nine of the first years of FAIR's existence, the group reportedly received more than $1 million in funding from something called the Pioneer Fund. The Pioneer Fund describes itself as based "in the Darwinian-Galtonian evolutionary tradition and eugenics movement." For the last 70 years, the Pioneer Fund has funded controversial research about race and intelligence, essentially aimed at proving the racial superiority of white people. The group's original mandate was to promote the genes of those "deemed to be descended predominantly from white persons who settled in the original 13 states prior to the adoption of the Constitution."
Tanton's organization, FAIR, claims credit for writing Arizona's new immigration law. The link between Fair and the Pioneer Fund makes sense, especially after you read more of Tanton's writing, like this: "I've come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority and a clear one at that."
In 1997, John Tanton told the Detroit Free Press that America will soon be overrun by illegal immigrants "defecating and creating garbage and looking for jobs."
Today, FAIR makes a living off of suing local and state governments over immigration laws. Tucked inside Article VIII of Arizona's new law is a provision that if groups like them win their cases, a judge may order that the entity "who brought the action recover court costs and attorney fees" -- which could create a nice financial boon for an outfit once funded by people determined to advance an agenda of eugenics and a perpetual white majority.
Congratulations, Arizona. This thing is going to make you really, really famous for a really, really long time.
Tucked inside Article 8 of the law is language that all but invites groups like the Immigration Reform Law Institute to sue. In the event a group wins, a court may order "that the person who brought the action recover court costs and attorney fees."
The provision also allows the judge to order that the losing party "pay a civil penalty of not less than one thousand dollars and not more than five thousand dollars for each day that the policy has remained in effect" after someone complained. The penalty money goes to the Department of Public Safety, for the Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission -- GIITEM.
And if you're Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a noted tough guy who this morning on NBC noted that the Obama Justice Department has yet to sue him for racial profiling, you're happier still. Because Article 8 of Pearce's bill indemnifies law enforcement against the expenses of a law suit filed against them, unless it can be proved that they "acted in bad faith." Given that "Papers, please" offers broad discretion in determining who's an object of reasonable suspicion, proving bad faith can be a mighty big challenge.