Showing posts with label Arizona Law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arizona Law. Show all posts

Friday, February 3, 2012

Italian Americans and Todays Immigrants


This mornings Democracy Now! program included typical stories about racial profiling and harassment of Muslim and Latino immigrant groups in New York City and East Haven, Connecticut.  While I was watching this clip of the East Haven story, I saw either Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. or Police chief Leonard Gallo talk about their Italian roots in addition to comments on eating tacos which outraged protestors who were already mad about police treatment of Latinos.  Afterward protestors brought the Mayor a meal of tacos and he ducked out the back door.  Hearing this discussion of Italian roots made me want to do some profiling of the racial profilers.  


I have heard Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio talk about his Italian roots as his department is involved in rounding up for deportation suspected illegal immigrants and being accused of abusing them in the process.  He began his efforts in concert with then Governor Janet Napoletano who is now running the Department of Homeland Security which includes ICE (the immigration agency).

Likewise, Former Sen. and Presidential candidate Rick Santorum talks about his Italian grandfather, Pietro, escaping fascism (he doesn't mention that his nonno (grandfather in Italian) was a communist when he came here in the 1920s) in Italy to find a better life here while endorsing English as the official language of the US, attacking bilingual education, and also restricting bilingual education.  Santorum on Feb 2 received the endorsement of former Colorado congressman, 2008 Presidential candidate, and 2010 Independent Colorado Gubernatorial candidate (he finished 2nd) Tom Tancredo.  In addition to the usual restrictions on immigrants, Tancredo supports removing birthright citizenship from the 14th amendment of the US constitution, opposes adding Spanish books to public libraries, and requiring immigrants to renounce Sharia Law.  In 2006 Hazleton, PA Mayor Lou Barletta (now a US Congressman) passed a law that made English the official language of the town and prohibited residents from hiring or renting to illegal immigrants (it was struck down in the courts).


It indeed is a strange coincidence that so many prominent Italian American males are at the forefront of the movement to bash, assimilate, and stem (if not eliminate) the tide of immigrants.  Indeed, not all Italian American's are involved in this kind of bashing as can be seen in the clip above on the NYPD's spying on Muslims.  It was reported by reporter Matt Apuzzo.  His name sounds Italian.  He sort of looks Italian (they don't all look like the Snooki, neither do all Latinos).  Ergo (that's a Latin/Italian word right?) he fits the profile of Italian.


Looking back at the experiences of Italian, Irish, German and other mass immigrations we can find many similarities to the immigrant experiences of today.  Any time a new immigrant group comes to the US the older just established group feels threatened by the new perceived competition.  Also Italian immigrants of the generations before WWII were encouraged to forget their language, change either the spelling or the pronunciation of their names to make them sound more English to the point now that their descendants are now cut off from their roots.  Many of the aforementioned Italo-Americani are now feeling threatened the new generation of Latino immigrants.  As I see it, Italians are also Latino.

**Update**


 
Santorum, while speaking to a newspaper that Puerto Rico should make English their official language if they want to become a state.  One of his delegates has quit over his statement.  While his campaign just handed this territory's 20 delegates to Mitt Romney this may help him in the rust belt and heartland voters.  Stephen Colbert skewers his trip to Puerto Rico below.

Santorum Campaign Still Dealing with Puerto Rico Statehood Backlash




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Immigration: An International Issue

 

The 14th Amendment: MVA (Most Versatile Amendment) Award Winner

 

Santorum's "Bounce"

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Immigration: An International Issue

President Obama this week talked about passing the DREAM Act in Texas after it was blocked in the last congress which was controlled by his party.  The act gives a path to citizenship for aliens (legal or illegal) who came to the US as minors, have good moral character, graduated high school or attended college, and served two years in the US Military. Now that the lower house is controlled by the Republicans it's passage is at best uncertain.

Last summer considerable controversy was generated when Arizona passed a law requiring local law enforcement to check the immigration status of anyone suspicious.  The law is now tied up in legal challenges and has prompted boycotts of the state but Gov. Jan Brewer who signed the law easily won reelection with 55% of the vote.  In Arizona, Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio caused controversy from groups like Amnesty International prior to passage of the immigration law by rounding up illegal immigrants in tent cities in blistering summer heat. 

Arpaio along with former Colorado Congressman, 2008 Presidential Candidate, and 2010 Gubernatorial Candidate (where he came in second as an independent candidate ahead of the Republican) Tom Tancredo and former PA Senator and current Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum  are now at the forefront of the campaign against illegal immigration.  All three men like to tout their Italian American roots.  Tancredo in 2008 introduced a bill requiring immigrants from Islamic countries to swear that they will not try to impose Sharia Law here in the US and criticized removing the requirement of proof of US Citizenship for children to receive health insurance in SCHIP by Congress.  Santorum has supported making English the official language of the US.  These men do not seem to remember that many of the same criticisms leveled at immigrants (legal or illegal) today were the same leveled at Italian and other immigrant groups about a century to a century and a half ago.

Little reported in the US is what has been driving illegal immigration from Mexico is a violent drug war in the border region.  Many are fleeing it and the general poverty in Latin America for a better life just as the earlier immigrants did.  Immigration laws were different in the late 19th and early 20th centuries than they are today. 

Now that Europe is more prosperous than it was a century ago, they have many immigrants from Eastern Europe, Africa, and China.  When I traveled to Italy several years ago I heard many complain about immigration there from places like Albania and North Africa.  What they said sounded very similar to what Arpaio, Santorum, and Tancredo say.  One of the reasons behind NATO's intervention in Libya is of course oil but another is worries over a flood of refugees from North Africa.

As a result of this war French President Nicolas Sarkozy (the son of a Hungarian immigrant) and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (who is under indictment for corruption and statutory rape charges in Italy and has complimented President Obama on a couple occasions on his "great tan") have requested to change the Schengen treaty which allows for passport free passage between 25 European Countries.  This change would allow for setting up checkpoints within participating countries.


Fortress Europe? There is a better way

**Update**


2 Political Junkies has a post on how Rick Santorum will announce his bid to become President of the United States near the coal fields where his immigrant grandfather worked.  He should read posts like these first.

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