Click to play video Terry Greene Sterling on the people in her book 'Illegal: Life and Death in Arizona's Immigration War Zone'

Recent Blog Entries

Thanks, South Central, for celebrating diversity, for uniting us instead of dividing us.
Up now on The Daily Beast, a travel story about my trip north of the Arctic Circle this January, to see things before they change.  
Mar 23 Arizona Immigration-Law Backer Woos Mexico
Many American Hispanics and Mexicans in Mexico see Arizona as a racist state, thanks to SB 1070.
Mar 18 Pew: Crossing border illegally more than once drives uptick in federal immigration crime
In 1992, 12 percent of sentenced federal offenders were unauthorized immigrants, the Pew Center reports today. Ten years later, 48 percent of sentenced federal offenders were unauthorized immigrants. The reason for the uptick:  more unauthorized immigrants who were caught crossing the border more than once have been sentenced to hard time – two years on […]
Dec 06 Luis Gutierrez, Immigration Reform and the Demographic Tsunami
Rep. Luis Gutierrez on 2014 immigration reform: “It will not be perfect, and it may not even be pretty.”
Nov 22 Shattered Dreams: Jan Brewer’s Arizona fails to investigate 6000 cases of child abuse
I’m not saying Juana could have prevented the massive CPS negligence, but with her education, heart and work ethic, she would have improved the culture at CPS, and would have helped the fragile, abused children who crossed her path.
Immigrants, Arizona fires and McCain vs Feathered Bastard
Immigrants, Arizona fires and McCain vs Feathered Bastard

Phoenix New Times columnist Stephen Lemons  recently engaged  in a delicious e-mail mano-a-mano with Brooke Buchanan, the spokesperson of Sen. John McCain, over the senator’s insistence that migrants caused some of Arizona’s recent  wildfires.

To back up her boss’s statements, Buchanan sent Lemons old  testimony and some newspaper clips indicating that unauthorized immigrants start wildfires.

But Lemons, aka  The Feathered Bastard, noted in  his column that Buchanan offered no documents indicating  immigrants actually started the wildfires now raging in southern Arizona, as her boss had contended.

I don’t know why McCain said what he said, but he undoubtedly scared a lot of people into fearing firebug Mexicans will incinerate the nation.

We all know what happens when Americans get scared — they pass knee-jerk  laws.

In Arizona, SB 1070 was passed after the 2010 killing of a borderlands rancher was blamed on a Mexican migrant. The rancher’s killing and the hysteria surrounding it scared Arizonans.  They thought SB 1070 would protect the border.

It had nothing to do with the border.

It had everything to do with driving out Mexicans.

Which drove down our economy.

And  get this — a year later, no one’s been charged with the rancher’s murder that prompted the passage of SB 1070.

The Feathered Bastard was right to point out that a white nationalist website V-DARE and border vigilante Glenn Spencer have hailed McCain’s ongoing insistence that wildfires on the border were caused by migrants.   I’d like to add one more website  to Lemons’ list — the apparently beleaguered nativist group ALIPAC, which linked  to a CNN story about the  McCain statement when it broke a few days ago.

Ironically, when ALIPAC  endorsed  J.D. Hayworth in the senate primary, McCain’s campaign called ALIPAC an “extreme group.”  McCain and ALIPAC have not gotten along in the past.

Maybe they will now.


(Quick full disclosure: I was on a New  Times staffer for 14 years. In 2010, I wrote an investigative package for my alma mater — on white-nationalist ties to groups fueling and funding the immigration debate. )