Because I recently wrote of Jon Justice’s sick fondle of an Isabel Garcia effigy which was sparked by Sheriff Arpaios appearance at a Barns and Noble book signing I though I’d write about another group there. This group was walking around the Barns and Noble trying to get signatures to oust Mayor Gordon of Phoenix because they don’t feel he’s fighting “illegal” immigration. An interesting article about this group, American Citizens United, (whose name in and of itself is exclusionary) can be found at Feathered Bastard, A Phoenix New Times blog, in Anna Gaines, leader of the recall drive against Mayor Gordon, is arrested at a Sheriff Joe book signing, and more bad news for the nativists. Needless to say this group enjoys and supports the tactics of Sheriff Arpaio.
What I’d like to look at though is the group’s mission statement. While so many of these groups state they aren’t racist, which is probably true for some, they fail to recognize racism in our past. They site, as you’ll see below, quotes from periods of our history when racism was a wild child, unhinged and unchecked, as testaments stating how we should all behave as Americans. They most often fail to strive for real solutions preferring to simply push everyone out as if that’s the best solution/idea we’ve got. In their “deportation only” mentality their anger is apparently so engulfing that there’s no room to recognize why people would risk their lives to come here. There’s also no room to see that advocating for a border wall to our south while caring little what goes on above us is indeed a tad racist. Not to mention failing to recognize extreme poverty so close to our homes is quite irresponsible as well.
So here’s their mission statement:
American Citizens United
The American Citizens United organization is a group of patriotic American citizens united in the goal of ending the massive, illegal immigration to the United States. Our membership is like America itself, made up of people of all different; races, colors, and creeds. We are not a hate group and will never tolerate hatred toward any group of people based on race, color, or religion.
It’s nice that so many claim to be “patriots” under this regime as the government we support through blind patriotism acts in unjust wars, unjust search and seizure, spying on its own people and simple stupidity. The deeper we have found ourselves in the ideals and acts of the Bush presidency it’s become harder to understand exactly what we’re “patriotic” for. Those of us that fight for human rights, including the right to migrate, would like to think that one of America’s ‘interests’ is in exhibiting kindness, justness and compassion for all people. Somehow groups like Arizona’s “American Citizens United”, (which like many groups makes you a deviant outsider if you aren’t a member through its name) believe that the harsh treatment of others is a patriotic act.
Those opposed to enforcement of our immigration laws have attempted to label any individual or organization supporting securing our borders and enforcement of our immigration laws as racist. They are in favor of turning the immigration issue into a race issue and dividing the American people. We strongly object to this divisive tactic and while demanding a secure border and enforcement of all our immigration laws, we stand firmly against racism by any group on either side of the issue. We therefore, in addition demanding control of illegal immigration, will work to defeat the effort to turn the immigration issue into an issue of race. The immigration issue is not about race but about the sovereignty and survival of The United States of America.
Actually those opposed to the enforcement of unjust immigration laws have quite successfully labeled true racist organizations as racist and others are simple hateful. Many anti-migrant groups, such as American Citizens United, use the claim of racism as a deflector shield as if all pro-migrant groups and supporters only have the claim of racism to oppose these groups with. Actually there are many arguments against the anti-migrant movement which generally focus on a lack of compassion for those in need and an unwillingness to find a true solution to the immigration issue. The idea that pro-migrant supporters want to divide the nation couldn’t be any more false and conniving. As pro-migrant supporters we want to unify the country around the common goal of compassion and care for other human beings and under one of the basic ideals of the Constitution – human rights and the idea that we are all equal. It is quite clear at many rallies, including the recent NCLR conference in San Diego where minutemen yelled “f&*% you brown boy” that racism is in fact a part of this debate. Strangely many of these groups fail to call out the white supremacists that support their groups, but are quick to label groups like La Raza racist which were founded because of the ill treatment of minorities.
Membership shall be open to any Citizen of the United States of America, franchised to vote, who are not affiliated with any race-based organization that in any way advocates violence or the superiority of one race, ancestry or, religion over any other, or the re-conquest of any part of the United States by any nation. Our members shall be citizens of the United States only and have no dual citizenship with any other nation.
Reading into this portion of ACU’s mission statement it’s quite obvious they are speaking of the ridiculous assertion that Latinos want to reclaim the American southwest. While the first few sentences of this statement sound reasonable they fail to recognize the fact that this country was founded on the idea of white privilege and the superiority of the white race. From genocide against Native Americans to enslaving Africans this country was developed by the very idea this anti-migrant group attempts to refute.
Because it’s important to know history, especially in the context of the argument at hand, let’s look at the next portion of their mission statement. Here they portend to sum up their credo by citing a quote from President Roosevelt who saw under his regime the extension of the Chinese Exclusion Act. This is the very act that began the idea of “illegal” immigration in the U.S. I suppose we should find a quote president who refused to allow Chinese into the U.S. a fitting one. Apparently the Chinese were so incapable of becoming “American” that they weren’t even given a chance. Well today Chinese people can migrant here (though they’re excluded from the visa lottery), but there is a sharp debate against Latinos migrating here. Truly few know the immigration laws and quotas that suffer so many from south of our border that want to be part of the American family. I’d assert that a person who risks their live to come here shows a hell of a lot more desire to be an American than many who were privileged enough to be born here.
American Citizens United can best be summed up in the words of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907:
“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.
But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American… There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room but for one flag, the American flag…. We have room but for one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”
If we look more into this quote we can see that it calls not on the immigrant to “assimilate”, but on the established American to decide if the immigrant has “assimilated.” If it is deemed they have not assimilated then they should not be “treated on an exact equality with everyone else.” While it claims we shouldn’t discriminate because of “creed, or birthplace, or origin” who then are we judging the assimilation or patriotism of? This statement claims that true Americans should decide if recently arriving foreigners, wishing to be Americans, are assimilating. Obviously when this statement was made racism was far more mainstream than it is today. This statement essentially helps stir up the idea that we had better watch each other so we can ferret out the traitors who are not allegiant enough to America. This is exactly what many of these anti-migrant groups are doing today.
In regard to our mission of controlling illegal immigration to the United States, we must first stop the bleeding. Therefore, we will advocate and demand the following action by our government.
One “bleeds” as the heart forces blood from the body. As the heart is recognized as our organ for love and compassion I believe the “bleeding” is a result of groups such as this who wish to make America into an intolerant nation.
First, our border security must be improved to deter illegal border crossing into the United States. A nation without a secure border is not a nation at all. Our border is still not secure from not only illegal immigrants but also from drug smugglers and terrorist. It is true that good fences make good neighbors; therefore, we demand the completion of the fence on our southern border with Mexico. A true strategy of deterrence at our border requires not only a good fence but also additional manpower and if necessary, deployment of American military forces at our border.
While this group claims they are not racist (I don’t know enough about them to say they are or aren’t) when we read that they’re advocating for a wall to separate the U.S. from Latin America we have to wonder. Where is their desire to build a wall on the Canadian border? Surely we want to be good neighbors with Canada too! I like the idea that good fences make good neighbors and that manpower and military make for better ones. I’m going to contact Blackwater after I post this and see how much money it will cost to foster better relationships with my neighbors.
Second, we demand that the magnet of jobs that attract illegal immigration, be turned off. An advocate of placing water in the Arizona desert to prevent the death of people illegally entering our country once said, “they’re not coming for the water,” we agree, they’re coming for the jobs. A major cause of the problem of massive illegal immigration has been the lack of enforcement of employer sanctions against hiring undocumented workers, therefore, an important solution to the problem of illegal immigration is aggressive enforcement of employer sanctions. We support the suspension or revocation of the business license of any business knowingly hiring undocumented workers and if necessary the confiscation of assets of any business that persists in employing undocumented workers and the incarceration of criminal employers.
I can’t complain too much here. While I believe migrants should be able to work in the United States and that there are plenty of jobs I believe that employers should suffer for hiring undocumented migrants if the laws are to be enforced against migrants. It is tiring and sickening to see hundreds of hard working people time and time again forcefully removed from job sites while the employers watch from office windows. When businesses dangle carrots to starving people of other countries it is no surprise they will come.
Third, Illegal aliens should not be eligible, other then for emergency care, for public benefits. If someone has no right to be in America they have no right to benefits established for American citizens and funded by American taxpayers. It should be a criminal offense for an illegal alien to apply for any non-emergency benefits.
As far as I’m aware the undocumented are not eligible for public benefits. If this group’s is stating the children of undocumented immigrants shouldn’t be allowed to attend public schools then they are even more irresponsible than I imagined. However, given that’s not stated here I won’t make the assumption.
Fourth, we advocate the use of local law enforcement in the enforcement of federal immigration laws and strongly oppose any sanctuary policy for illegal aliens by any local government If the federal government won’t enforce the law then it becomes the responsibility of local government to protect their citizens and enforce the law. To protect the safety of the American people we demand the immediate removal of illegal aliens arrested for crimes within the United States or their immediate removal after serving any prison sentence for crimes committed in the United States. We will not allow American citizens to become the victims of crimes committed by those who have no business being in our country.
Will you then allow them to become victims of those that are legal citizens? No pro-migrant supporter I’m aware of advocates for violent criminals of any sort. However, I believe in rehabilitation and the idea that since we were all children at one time we should work as communities to foster the removal of those things which make violent criminals. Many of these groups make the blanket claim that all undocumented migrants are criminals out to hurt Americans which is irresponsible as it only creates false climate of fear. The truth is most undocumented migrants are here only to work. Sadly they’re the ones constantly being nabbed in the ICE raids since it’s easy to know where they are everyday – at work.
We do hereby dedicate this organization: American Citizens United – to those of all races and creeds who gave their lives in defense of The United States of America.
Which I hope AMU realizes includes undocumented migrants.