Go Ricky!

Ricky Martin added a few unscripted comments about Arizona’s new immigration attitude at the Billboard Latin Music Awards.


Teabaggers pwned in MPLS

Does my heart good to read about things like this:

The teabaggers are getting ready for the next round of wingnuttery against the Obama administration. It sure looks like they lost on health-care reform, but they have already been organized for a long time around the issue of immigration, so they are ready and rarin’ to go careening off the far-right cliff.

This weekend, the nativist right-wingers at the National Policy Institute organized a series of “Tea Parties Against Amnesty.

However, at the rally in Minneapolis, the demonstrators got punk’d by a young man who called himself “Robert Erickson”.

“Erickson” got up and delivered a rant against European immigration. At first the crowd was whooping and hollering as he talked about the rights of “real Americans” — but then it gradually tapered off as he went on and they realized they’d been had.


More time in the wilderness

I’ve heard the assorted wingnut speak longingly about this type of thing, but to actually propose it in Congress?

U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, a Republican candidate for governor of Georgia, has proposed changing the long-standing federal policy that automatically grants citizenship to any baby born on U.S. soil, a move opposed by immigrant rights advocates.

Supporters of Deal’s proposal say “birthright citizenship” encourages illegal immigration and makes enforcement of immigration laws more difficult. Opponents say the proposed law wouldn’t solve the illegal immigration problem and goes against this country’s traditions of welcoming immigrants.

Automatic citizenship is enshrined in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which says: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

The price of xenophobia

You may recall that Arizona has passed some rather comprehensive legislation to “discourage” illegal immigration.  An interesting piece at Disloyal Opposition starts to quantify economic loss due to immigrant bashing.

…advocates of the sanctions law will say that this is exactly the result they were hoping for; they want Hispanics to flee the state (usually, they’ll claim that they just want the illegal ones to leave). But with workers leaving Arizona, taking their rent money, mortgage payments and shopping dollars with them, and with state employers facing rising labor costs — if they can even find workers — the economy is likely to take a major hit. In fact, the University of Arizona predicts a $29 billion economic loss if illegal workers are successfully purged from the state (full report here in PDF).

Curious. Meanwhile the wingnut caucus has taken to calling McCain “Juan” because he’s not ready to draw and quarter all brown people north of the Rio Grande.  It’s unfortunate because McCain’s right to be out of step with his comrades on this issue.  Fewer things would bring about more economic benefit to the nation, or to the poor worldwide, than freeing up the movement of people across national borders.

Hat tip: Coyote Blog

Laws matter, at least in Peru

It’s nice to know that trivial matters like the rule of law matter some places in the world.

A Peruvian court Tuesday sentenced former president Alberto Fujimori to six years in prison for abusing his powers by ordering an illegal search in the dying days of his 1990-2000 rule.

The punishment — which his lawyer immediately moved to appeal — was handed down in a case heard separately from a trial that opened Monday against Fujimori, 69, for alleged human rights violations.

Too bad the US isn’t one of them.  As my friend Michael Stickings observes at The Reaction:

I don’t have to use my imagination to picture the Bush administration safely cruising that same minefield with total disregard for any consequences in their armored tank called the Patriot Act. The law is what they want it to be; justice is what they say it is and the people do nothing but argue about Christmas and heretics and what the Wal-Mart greeters are saying this year. How sad it is that the country that once had some legitimate claim to holding up the torch of liberty for the world to see has to look to Peru as a lesson in the limits of government power.