: Tuesday, August 24,[masked]:30 PMWhere
: Lee's Upper Eastside Rooftop (32 Stories High)Weather permitting, An Islamic Center and Immigration Law will take place on Lee's Upper Eastside Rooftop, 32 stories
. Please be prepared for a 5 - 10 degree temperature feel difference from ground level depending on the strength of the wind. There are picnic tables and deck chairs on the roof, so please feel free to bring your own food and beverages. If we have thunderstorms and 10 or less people, we will have the meeting in Lee's apartment. If there are more people, we will go to a neighborhood bar. There is no deposit for this meeting, but please arrive promptly
. There are picnic tables on the roof, so you can bring your dinner. Local choices for take-out
can be found on the discussion board.
The Ground Zero Mosque
First, it not a mosque. It is an Islamic Center, with no dome or minaret, replacing another center that was already in the neighborhood. The choice of location is not intended to reflect on Ground Zero.
In NYC terms, it as nearby the site
as the third farthest Starbucks is to someone who wants a grande latte - people visiting Ground Zero do not have a reason to go to the Islamic Center or go by it.
Yet many feel putting up a mosque 600 ft. from ground zero and having the inauguration on the anniversary of 9/11 is immoral and inhumane. It shows a lack of respect for the memories of all that perished there. Politicians are doing a grave injustice to those fallen heroes, their families and all the people of New York City
Still, America is ruled by the Constitution and its Amendments including the First providing for the Freedom of Religion. If the Islamic Center were forced to move, wouldn?t this reinforce a negative image of the U.S., hypocritically intolerant of Islam and bent on a crusade against it.
Indeed comments from politicians and pundits outside of New York would give you that impression.
Fox Media has called Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, one of the leaders of the center, an extremist. Yet this cleric worked with the FBI on how to deal with social tensions with the Muslim community
after 9/11 and on an U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar
with Bush Admin. Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes in February of 2006.
Then there is question of the source of the funds for this center. Should the builders be forced to reveal their financial
support?Anti-Immigration on the Border
The AZ Senate Bill 1070
, also known as the Arizona Immigration Law has come under much scrutiny. A more readable version of the text
provides the following main requirements:
(1) Violations of federal immigration laws are now state crimes in Arizona and the laws are now enforceable by state police.
(2) Foreigners are required to carry immigration documentation at all times (this is actually a federal statute).
(3) The law effectively requires citizens to carry some sort of identification, in absence of which they are presumed to be aliens and hence subject to detention.
Several professors at the University of Arizona have provided a preliminary analysis
of the law. However, the main precedence might have been set by the Supreme Court decision in Hines v. Davidowitz U.S. 52
from 1941 in which the court found that Pennsylvania could not require foreigners to carry their registration cards and could not make it a state crime to fail to do so.
The heart of the debate comes from racial profiling. If a person looks Hispanic, will a police officer simply request some form of I.D.? Indeed, the following clause had to be added to the original text of the bill, "a law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may not consider race, color or national
origin in implementing the requirements of this subsection except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution." Yet there is a big loophole around "except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution." [Note the "or" meaning permitted by either instead of "and" requiring the permission of both.]
Keep in mind, many law Arizona law enforcement personnel do not want to follow this law. Just consider a natively-born Hispanic American police officer having to ask anyone with Hispanic looks for some I.D.
A lesser known factor in the debate is employer verification of work status. The federal government is arguing that AZ SB 1070 encroaches on federal jurisdiction. In that regard of possible interest is another case Chamber of Commerce v Candelaria
in which Arizona (under Janet
Napolitano) enacted a law requiring state employers to use E-verify and imposing penalties for employing illegal immigrants. This however was upheld in both district and appellate courts and is now working its way to the Supreme Court.
Will reducing the ability of illegal immigrant to get work deter them from coming and staying in the U.S., thereby making police enforcement of the I.D. requirements unnecessary?
Finally, we ask at what point is it unfair to enforce immigration laws against undocumented workers. The documentary Food, Inc. makes the point that for the most part, illegal immigration law enforcement has been directed at the immigrants, some of whom who have worked in the U.S. for 15 or 20 years, while employers have gotten off clean. Since migrant workers have either been unregulated or subject to readily ignored laws for so long, is it fair to force them out now without some kind of amnesty program?
: There is no deposit for this meeting. Please RSVP Yes when you know for sure you are coming or Maybe if you are not positive, but please update the latter as the meeting approaches.
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