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Resistance to Borders is growing!

April 15, 2011

Recently in Indiana resistance to SB-1070 copycat laws have been rising!

From the Stop SB 590 Blog

We want to briefly emphasize another racist, anti-immigrant initiative creeping along in Indiana’s legislature. The goal of House Bill 1402 is to “prohibit resident tuition for illegal aliens.” Given the class status of most undocumented people, the implicit aim is their expulsion from all higher education.

SB 590 has garnered widespread opposition across the political spectrum. Even for many anti-immigrant bigots and advocates of heightened social control, it seems like too much, too fast. They believe that the kind of diffuse surveillance required to keep tabs on immigrants needs to be implemented slowly. HB 1402 is a much more modest effort, targeting only one sector of the immigrant population, using a reasonable, if incoherent, rhetoric.

The argument goes that if a citizen from Illinois has to pay out-of-state tuition, it is only fair that someone in the country illegally should as well. The obvious hole in this logic is that it’s comparing two entirely different standards. It is conflating residency and status, as many undocumented students have lived in Indiana most of their lives, thus meeting the same standard as all other students receiving in-state tuition.

The broader goal for both bills is the creation of a legal racial-underclass. SB 590 tries to reach this goal right away, by empowering the police to systematically target immigrants and people of color, and through many other measures. HB 1402 is seeking to reach it slowly, by creating a class of students for whom exceptional laws apply: a strong foundation for prejudice that can always be built on later.

For this reason, not only did all the House Republicans support the bill, but half of House Democrats did as well (the initial House vote was 75-14). And while everyone on the Left has raced to denounce SB 590, many remain silent on this bill. The loud opposition to SB 590 voiced by prominent Democrats masks their real intention, which is the slow and rational reorganization of economic exploitation and racial hierarchy in this state, in opposition to the hasty and haphazard rush of the Republicans. Here in Bloomington, this point is illustrated perfectly by a progressive City Council that votes to condemn SB 590 and endorse heightened border security at the same time (during its March 9 session; see the Indiana Compact).

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