Said Daniel Smeriglio one of the organizers, “It’s a grassroots effort that really took off.” No-nonsense sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio, told the crowd, “We’ll put up tents from here to Mexico” — a reference to his famous Tent City, a section of the county jail where surplus military tents are used to house inmates. Sheriff Arpaio praised Arizona lawmakers for their efforts against illegal immigration and reiterated he will lock up as many such immigrants as his deputies can arrest.
The chant, “Joe, Joe, Joe” was heard from the crowd, and one man yelled, “We’ve got your back, Joe!”
Many rally participants in downtown Phoenix waved American flags, and some came with signs, one of which read, “What part of illegal don’t they understand?” At the Capitol, a procession of hundreds of motorcycle riders circled to start the event.
The author of the now-famous Senate Bill 1070, GOP State Sen. Russell Pearce of Mesa, also spoke. He was joined by former Republican congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado, a longtime leader in the fight against illegal immigration.
There have been a few rallies, both pro and con, since late April when Senate Bill 1070 passed. The law is set to go into effect on July 29.
Accused of being based on racial profiling that would target Hispanics especially, the law requires that should police have to stop people regarding traffic and motor vehicle issues, or other possible legal violations, officers can at that time also ask those detained about their immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” that they are not legal citizens. This law is only serves to enforce a federal law already on the books, which the federal government has generally neglected to enforce. Sen. Bill 1070 would also make it a state crime to be in the country illegally or to impede traffic while hiring day laborers, regardless of the worker's immigration status. It also becomes a crime for illegal immigrants to solicit work.
Of the many illegal aliens pouring over the borders of the southwestern states, many are not Mexican; some — from a host of other nations — have possible terrorist ties. With a change of clothes and keeping a low profile, such illegals are blending into the crowd and into our country.
Americans in the southwest are concerned by the resulting local rising crime rate and threats against themselves and their personal property. Rob Krentz and his dog were found shot in late March as he was out checking fence on his ranch. A 58-year-old Cochise County, Arizona, cattle farmer whose family has run the Krentz Ranch for 100 years, he was gunned down in what was thought to be a drug smuggling event. He had been fighting the border problem for years, yet was known to give food and water to hungry and thirsty illegals. There are no resulting arrests as yet; tracks from the scene went back into Mexico. It was stated by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' office at the time that she might ask President Obama to place military units in the besieged area. The Tuscon Weekly commented on her efforts as opposed to those of former Rep. Jim Kolbe and Sen. John McCain, saying:
…the practical impact of Giffords’ actions might be small, but at least she is paying attention. [A] source said, “Kolbe laughed at us when we complained, and McCain worries about getting his patent leather shoes dirty when he’s down here.”
Even health issues resulting from this immigration are alarming with, for example, tuberculosis, which had almost been eradicated in the U.S., undergoing an upswing here due to its being brought into the country through the illegal population. Not infrequently, those infected come to the emergency rooms of U.S. hospitals for free treatment of their drug-resistant tubercular type.
The hubris of Mexicans in particular, upset that Americans want to protect their borders, is all but palpable considering that Mexico has some of the strongest alien laws and requirements in the world to control outsiders entering there. And the voice of legal Hispanic Americans who actually support the Arizona immigration law is, of course, not given a hearing. But in the words of one blogger to the Los Angeles Times on the spirit of the fight against illegals in general, and its Arizona battle in particular, “For every person who boycotts Arizona, there will be at least 3 who will vacation there in support of Arizona.”
A state police board has been ordered by Governor Jan Brewer to prepare training standards to prevent racial profiling in enforcing the law.
Photo: AP Images