February 25th, 2011
Arizona’s Population Collision With Latinos Leads To Silencing Of Critics

[Editor’s Note: This story was written jointly by myself and Pa’Lante Latino’s Christina Saenz]

Carlos Galindo, a 51-year-old Latino in Arizona, was at the state senate building Wednesday when he was escorted from the building by Capitol police officials, told he would be arrested or cited, and let go eventually with a citation. The next day he was informed by two DPS officers dressed in suits that he would be banned “forever” from the building, as per Senate President Russell Pearce. Such an order prevents Galindo from giving his civic dissension on any future anti-Latino bills in Arizona, despite the fact that Pearce does not have the power to ban anyone from anything “forever.”

The Galindo incident gives us an interesting glimpse into not only the future of Arizona, but that of this nation. Census numbers across the country are pointing to a tidal wave of Latino growth. In Arizona the resulting friction between the incoming majority and the current power establishment has resulted in legislation targeted exclusive at Latinos, something Galindo tells us was integral to his recent brush with Arizona’s Capitol police forces.

There’s a racist — and even white supremacist — tinge to Arizona’s legislative goals that are led by Pearce, Galindo says. It is a well-documented fact that Pearce is connected to a variety of anti-immigrant, hate groups. For example, Russell Pearce sponsored J.T. Ready — a known member of the Neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement and formerly of the Minutemeninto the Mormon Church, Galindo says. Ready is often found at the Senate building whenever the Pearce-headed legislature is in process. Galindo suggested that Ready’s mere presence can be intimidating to pro-immigrant demonstrators at the Capitol.

Galindo shared his recent experience with us to illustrate this point: The clash between the incoming majority and those currently in power has a distinct racial element. He fears the outcome could become (even more) violent. Thursday, another Latino activist, Sal Reza, was escorted from the Senate building and arrested, for trespassing, the same charges that Galindo was nearly given on Wednesday. Reza was attempting to apply for a permit for an event.

Galindo is a small business owner, commercial and private property owner, and a bilingual radio talk show host in Arizona, broadcasting in both Phoenix and Tucson. He said he was initially lied to by Capitol police authorities Wednesday that Democratic State Senator Krysten Sinema would not be holding a press conference regarding her anti-immigrant bill, SB 1225. When he found out the press conference was on and showed up, then voiced his discontent, he was escorted out by authorities and later told he might be arrested.

SB 1225 purports to be an “anti-drop house” measure that would step up penalties for those who engage in stashing smuggled immigrants in these houses, but Galindo maintains that it’s just another anti-Latino bill in “safe” clothing.

“You’re not just affecting immigrants, you’re affecting Latinos in general. People are getting hot under the collar. It’s going to escalate, it’s going to get crazy, I think you’re going to start seeing more movement,” he says. He even fears that many of his young activists will start to riot—which he strongly discourages.

The underlying issue is that, since Arizona is gaining a Congressional seat, Galindo says SB 1225 is Sinema’s ticket to running for Congress. She wants to use her Democratic standing to lure Latinos, simultaneously lure whites with her anti-immigrant bills with universal Republican support, and throw Latinos under the bus once elected. In writing the bill Sinema uses laws she’s previously criticized, goes after immigrants while saying she’s protecting children, and had her own minority supporters escorted out of her press conference after trying to hide it from them.

The biggest tragedy in all of this is that the politicians of Arizona are setting the State of Arizona up to fail. Arizona’s future hinges upon the success of its Latino population, and if politicos like Pearce and Sinema insist on either profiling Latinos, lying to them or preventing them from exercising their civil rights, Arizona itself will be the biggest casualty.

Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD

[Photos Courtesy Carlos Galindo and SPLC]

22 thoughts on “Arizona’s Population Collision With Latinos Leads To Silencing Of Critics

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  5. That’s the way this country is going,,,,One one hand,you have the supreme court saying(8 to 1 no less)that free speech must be defended at all cost,even if that means inflicting even more pain to the families of OUR fallen heroes,and on the other you can(and will) be arrested for exercising that same rigth…Not to beat a dead horse,but,whats the difference between the people protesting outside OUR boys’s funerals and the ones in Arizona??……

  6. SB1225?????? This is similar to Nazi Germany when it was
    illegal to harbor a person of the Jewish faith.
    How ignorant has this Nation become that it chooses
    not to move forward toward a more perfect union.
    Instead they are listening to WHITE SUPREMIST
    IGNORAMUSES…(is that a word or a state of mind?)

      • A toothbrush and a gallon of water is not armed German SS storm troopers invading country after country!  Because you don’t know. 111 million people living in Mexico, estimates 10,000,000 illegals here. That’s not flooding, that’s migrants that lost their jobs to U.S. Trade Bills, bad immigration laws and farm land destroyed by hurricanes trickling into this country to find work and pay into the system. I know, you believe the far right anti-migrant rhetoric! Ignorance is bliss eh?

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      • james, it seems like you didn’t read my article, but rather, just wanted another outlet to vent about your hatred of immigrants. please take this elsewhere, because your random hate comments don’t really make any sense in the context of the article, thanks.

        • If I disagree with you because I find trespassing to be offensive.
          Can you tell me WHY a Mexican person can’t simply follow a law and respect it, simple concept.
          Also, may I ask WHY Mexico as well does not grant citizenship either. There isn’t a County who would, only you have supported abusing a systems loopholes. It’s wrong and you can’t defend it with deflection, sorry. Be fair, you ARE NOT being fair by insulting people who are simply angry at trespassers who are taking things without paying, yeah it IS stealing. How about asking fellow Hispanics (illegal ones sorry I should say undocumented sounds nicer right?) to APPLY for LEGAL citizenship?? Why not fix your Country?? A HAND UP AND NOW A HAND OUT,. I am not fooled by your agenda and hypocrisy and double talk! I have bargained with one too many illegals asking for work (total joke!!!!!) .

  9. Wow NAZI backed politicians in government; is this the new way of the world? or the same old way just more visible? If the Latino population organizes and votes, Russle Pearce may be flipping burgers soon at some fast food establishment LOL!!! Morons……

  10. Pingback: Arizona’s Population Collision with Latinos Leads to Silencing of Critics « Pa'lante Latino

  11. Wow. I was thinking of stopping at a couple of places in Arizona to visit on my way to Nevada. Now I’m having second thoughts. And yes, I’m Hispanic, Tejano! I don’t think my college or teaching degrees will matter in some situations. Arizona is such a beautiful state. Shame.

    • Andy , the way things are here in the land of HORRIDZONA , i have a nephew ,that is of hispanic origins , i have even told him , if this area of the antion is in the travel way,, better to totaly bypass the land and go arround . even more so , Maricopa County , as if seen driving while brown , that is the prime means to follow , and or pull you over, ,,, and then who knows from there , if even a citizen ofthe U.S. is no guantee here in Mericopa county of having any rights

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