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LibreOrganize 0.6.0 - Documentation

Shoot to Kill: Arizona Targets Migrants

Bill Gallegos, a veteran Chicano liberation activist, environmental justice leader, and revolutionary socialist, has a lot to howl about.

The face of fascism in the United States is becoming more ominous and more obvious. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has promised to create a network of concentration camps along the US-Mexico border as part of his plan to deport the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the US.


Arizona — with a Chicano-Mexicano community of more than 2 million, or 25% of the state population — jumped to the forefront of this racist and neo-fascist right-wing movement with two horrendous legislative proposals. One bill would make the immigration of undocumented persons a state crime, bypassing federal judicial processes and authorizing local and state police to enforce federal immigration law. An even more vicious bill now advancing in the Arizona Legislature would empower a property owner with the “right” to kill or threaten to kill people who come across the Mexican border without papers, and who cross their property to enter the US. You read that right! This would create a legal “open season” on migrants.   


The bill hasn’t passed yet, but the bullets are already flying. Next month, Arizona rancher George Kelly faces trial on second-degree murder charges in the January 2023 shooting death of Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, an undocumented migrant, who was found dead on Kelly's property. Under the proposed new law, Kelly would face no charges for what he did.


This outrageous shoot to kill” law is very much in sync with the long US tradition of legalized vigilante terror against people of color, a tradition starting in the 1600s when the first British colonizers came to the US. The colonizers began the systematic dispossession and murder of Indigenous peoples and established monetary rewards for the bounty-hunters who produced the scalps of Indigenous victims, including men, women, and children. 


Later, these settlers’ descendants established chattel slavery and created armed death squads to pursue and kill Africans who escaped the slave labor plantations. After the US annexed Mexicos northern territories, it expanded the genocidal war against Indigenous peoples, but now added the conquered Mexican population to their shameful list of victims. An estimated 5000 Mexicanos were shot or lynched by Texas Rangers as a part of the massive land theft following annexation.


The proposed Arizona laws show us the ugly face of the brutal white supremacist movement seeking to take power at the state and federal levels. And it reminds us of how critical it is for the Chicano Movement in the US (as well as others) to unite with Mexico’s growing social movements to beat back this fascist tide and achieve a humane immigration policy in the US — one that welcomes and supports our brothers and sisters who seek refuge and asylum from violence and poverty.


Si Se Puede!