Despite being an appalling development in Arizonan legislature, HB2281 was preceded and eternally upstaged in mainstream media by its older sibling, Arizona Senate Bill 1070 (SB1070). SB1070 was a controversial law enacted in 2010 and requires all immigrants over 14 to carry identification and comply to racial profiling, stops, documentation requests, detentions, and arrests by the police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
We had the opportunity to talk to Lupe, a spirited MAS graduate, who earnestly identifies as a thug-turned-activist and organizes with Derechos Humanos and Occupy Tucson. He is just one example of how new laws spawned by racism and anti-Mexican bigotry are invading multiple aspects of people’s lives. Lupe spoke of the MAS program as being life-changing, familial, and formative; HB2281 destroyed that. He also described a night with his family, when his brother-in-law ran to the supermarket during dinner preparations, but was stopped, arrested, and ultimately deported to Mexico instead; SB1070 made that legal and common.
Our first day in Tucson also coincided with the weekly meeting of Derechos Humanos, an activist coalition which leads the local struggle for human and civil rights, increasingly challenged by the militarization of the Southern Border and its soldiers’ cruel treatment of undocumented people. The coalition’s goals include: