Last night I floated the idea of voting for Amerie in the UK elections (even though she's not standing!), on the basis that her critique of the new racist anti-migrant powers in Arizona showed that she was far ahead of the bulk of the British polity when it comes to racism and immigration. Good to see that Shakira too has joined the fight, visiting Phoenix yesterday especially to denounce the new Arizona Senate Bill 1070 law:
'I heard about it on the news and I thought, 'Wow', It is unjust and it's inhuman, and it violates the civil and human rights of the Latino community ... It goes against all human dignity, against the principles of most Americans I know... We're talking about human beings here'. Shakira also made a stop at the state Capitol in downtown Phoenix, telling a group of a few hundred community members that if the law were in effect, she could be arrested since she didn't bring her driver's license to Arizona. "I'm here pretty much undocumented," she told the crowd... "No person should be detained because of the color of their skin" (Washington Post, 28 April 2010).
The law, which is due to come in to effect in July, makes it a crime to be an 'alien' in the US without specific registration documents and requires police to check people's immigration status if they have a 'reasonable suspicion' . It will also make it a crime to give shelter to undocumented migrants, or transport them. Appalling, but not so different from the UK situation where employers are required to check papers and are increasing turning people over to the Borders Agency.
Still at least in the US, the She Wolf is on the case! Interview follows - 'People are people with or without documents':
Ricky Martin also said last night “You are not alone. We are with you... Put a stop to discrimination. Put a stop to hate. Put a stop to racism.”