Not St. Pete!

By Tracy Dingmann

We like this post from blogger Matt Reichbach, who blogs at NMFBIHOP.com and writes occasionally at the New Mexico Independent.

In the post from NMFBIHOP last night, Reichbach linked to an interesting post from the SEIU blog. The SEIU post that noted that, under the drive currently being pushed by some U.S. lawmakers to revoke the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and withdraw citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants who are born in America – former New Mexico U.S. Senator Pete Domenici would have not been considered an U.S. citizen.

That’s St. Pete to all you old-timers who remember how Domenici brought home the bacon for New Mexico all those years.

Here’s an explanation of Domenici’s situation, from the SEIU blog:

Former GOP Senator Pete Domenici’s (born in U.S. May 7, 1932)
In 2007 on the Senate floor, Sen. Domenici (R-NM) recounted his mother’s arrest by immigration agents, after unwittingly learning she was an undocumented immigrant. “I wish to tell about both my parents who came to this country as aliens… one day during the Second World War, [my mom] was arrested by several men who came in black cars to the backdoor while we four children were playing with marbles… [USA Today, 6/4/07]

Under Pearce’s world “order” Domenici would have been deported back to his parents’ native Italy and not gone on to serve six terms as a Republican Senator for New Mexico.

According to the New York Times, “Domenici said he decided to tell his story when the hostile rhetoric about illegal immigrants started to boil. He said he wanted to remind his fellow Republicans that the sons and daughters of this century’s illegal immigrants could end up in the Senate one day, too. ‘I wasn’t trying to impress anybody,’ he said of his story. ‘I think it just puts a little heart and a little soul into this.'” [New York Times, 4/4/06]

SEIU says others who’d be deemed non-Americans under the proposal include former U.S. Atty General Alberto Gonzales, astronaut Jose Hernandez and Lousiania Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Just a little something for everyone to think about as they talk about immigration reform.

City Councilor Rey Garduño Speaks Out On Arizona Immigration Law Ruling

Albuquerque City Councilor Rey Garduño

By Tracy Dingmann

Albuquerque City Councilor Rey Garduño remembers what happened last May when he and fellow councilor Ken Sanchez introduced a measure calling for Albuquerque to stop doing business with Arizona over its controversial immigration law.

His city email and phone were besieged with calls from people telling the Albuquerque native to “Go back to Mexico” and stop being a “wetback lover.”

So it was somewhat satisfying for Garduño to hear that a federal judge in Arizona scaled back the law just before it was about to take effect on July 29. The judge struck down the most controversial parts of the law, under the premise that Arizona cannot not preempt federal law by making state laws on immigration.

Now banned are the provisions that would have forced local law enforcement to check the immigration status of those who they suspected were in the county illegally.

Relieved The Law Was Struck Down

Like many others who protested the law, Garduño believed it went beyond concerns about illegal immigration and would have invited abuses of citizens and non-citizens alike.

“My first thought was that I was glad that at least the judge realized how egregious this law is, and made sure that the parts that are flawed are not implemented or made into law,” Garduño said last week.

“The law is about wanting to make sure that people we don’t like or don’t agree with or don’t seem like the rest of us are criminalized and denigrated,” said Garduño.

“The parts that were taken out by the judge speak to the concerns that many of us had. The whole idea of wholesale just stopping folks, because someone thinks that someone is not, in their terms, documented. It gives police agencies carte blanche to do whatever they want. And racial profiling would occur as a result.”

“It’s just not the way this country should be run.”

Proposed Boycott

Back in May, Garduño and fellow city councilor Ken Sanchez introduced a proposal for the city of Albuquerque to suspend financial business with the state of Arizona as long as the law is in effect.

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