4.27.2010

Ohio Set to Follow Arizona's Lead

Ohio lawmakers set to take up similar legislation to bill passed in Arizona.

If Butler County Sheriff Rick Jones and a Hamilton, Ohio GOP representative, get their way, state law in Ohio will soon mimic the travesty of justice going on in Arizona. Jones is behind a bill that was introduced into the Ohio House last year, mandating that all employers check social security numbers of all potential employees against the federal registry before hiring them to work.

In fact, Jones has conducted a personal crusade against suspected illegals for the past several years, until the feds politely told him to knock it off and let them do their job. Hence the creation of the bill now pending in the state legislature. You can read more about it here. Jones is quoted as saying he supports the Arizona law and wants to toughen the measure now stalled in Columbus.

In Arizona, Governor Jan, is hiding behind a small clause in her new anti immigrant bill that states her police force will not stop people just for looking funny or different from “regular” Arizonans. According to Governor Brewer her police will only ask for documentation during routine police stops for other reasons. However, like everything else in America, the devil is in the details or small print. There is another clause that literally criminalizes breathing in Arizona if you don't have a license or citizenship papers. It says;

“a person is guilty of trespassing, by merely being “present on any public or private land in this (Arizona) states, while lacking authorization to be in the United States.”

Other states have tried to legalize their xenophobic tendencies in the past. Texas, back in the 1980s tried to bar immigrant children from public schools. The Carter Administration challenged the law and eventually won out by a 5-4 vote of the United States Supreme Court. The same thing is likely to happen to this law in Arizona.

This time around, however, there may be a slight problem if this controversy makes it to SUPCO. Buried in the writings of Chief Justice John Roberts is a letter, offering his opinion on the court case striking down the Texas law. This letter written before Roberts was appointed to the high court, finds fault with the decision killing the Texas law. Let's hope the politicos come to their senses before it lands in Robert's lap. Wonder if a Chief Justice has ever recused himself from a case? Don't know. But I doubt it.

Remember it took possible loss of the Superbowl to get Arizona to reinstate the Martin Luther King Holiday, maybe an economic boycott is the best way to handle the situation. Boycotts have worked very well...ask my city. Cincinnati has weathered two boycotts....one from Blacks over the 2004 killing of an unarmed young Black man by police and subsequent riot in the streets...and from the LGBT community for enacting discriminatory laws against gay people.

Cincinnati officials refuse to say how much money was lost, but we do know it was a lot, and the biggest hit was taken over convention bookings. Nobody wanted to hold conventions in the Queen City for a long time...until things seemingly changed toward the two respective communities.

Cincinnati police are actually wearing cameras on their hats now to document their actions, while the laws against gays and lesbians have been taken off the books...the direct result of pressure both internally and externally.

So rather than joining the planned marches in Arizona to be led by Reverend Al, maybe Ohioans need to clean up their own backyard and head to Hamilton for an eye to eye meet with Sheriff Rick.

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