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'Arizona Firestorm' Sheds More Light on the Struggle in Arizona PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Thursday, 09 August 2012 02:41

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on SB 1070, Arizona's fiercely debated immigration law, but that their decision did not put an end to the debate about Arizona immigration policy. Nor did President Obama's executive order exempting young college-attending noncitizens from deportation fears. Immigration continue to create anxiety across the nation. However, two scholars say they have a book that can help.

In their just released volume, Otto Santa Ana and Celeste González de Bustamante, coeditors of 'Arizona Firestorm,' assembled top scholars in the fields of globalization, economics, immigration law, ethnic studies, education, and news media. The scholars cover critical aspects of Arizona's antiimmigrant politics that the media didn't. They explain the factors that compel immigrants to leave their homelands; they lay out the historical context behind Arizona's political acts, and consequences of these actions; and they describe the media's role in shaping national opinion about the subject.

"To maintain a strong democracy, Americans need more than the soundbites that political opportunists repeat ad nauseam that create such anxiety across the nation, they need facts and more perspective on these issues. 'Arizona Firestorm's' writers shed light on these issues with accessible and authoritative chapters," said co-editor Otto Santa Ana.

'Arizona Firestorm' presents a range of political viewpoints, including that of former US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who rejects efforts to end birthright citizenship. His chapter is extremely topical, in light of President Obama's recent executive order to halt deportations of lawabiding undocumented youth.

'Arizona Firestorm' also has chapters on the state's ban on Mexican American studies, a ban on teachers speaking English with a Spanish "accent," and dubious state regulations that reinstitute separate but "equal," classrooms for immigrant children, the notorious "Mexican classroom" of the days before Brown v. Board of Education. It also has an authoritative fiscal analysis of the positive economic contribution of immigrants to Arizona's fiscal and state economy.

Juan González, Democracy Now radio co-host, writes that 'Arizona Firestorm' is "timely and remarkable" and that its "most important contribution could well be its examination of how news media…have failed to provide ordinary Americans… adequate facts and context to understand this enormous movement of peoples between the two countries.

"Immigration will be a critical topic in the Obama/Romney campaign. We hope that 'Arizona Firestorm' diminishes the rhetoric of extremists and partisans by adding sense and balance to the discussion," said coeditor Celeste González de Bustamante.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 09 August 2012 03:35