Sunday, April 25, 2010

Arizona's new immigration law and an action plan

On Friday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) signed into a law that passed the Arizona legislature that allows police to make people produce papers to prove their immigration status (and without cause). It's one of the most racist laws in recent American history. Arizona is going to take a significant hit in their tourism as nobody will want to visit Arizona anymore (it's ashame because I've been there before and the Grand Canyon is beautiful).

As my fellow Tweeple (the great progressive community on Twitter) and I were discussing, the best recourse for this law is to utilize an industry that is a significant source of direct and indirect revenue that employs a lot of (highly-paid) Latinos-- Major League Baseball. Not only do the Arizona Diamondbacks play in Phoenix, but exactly half (15 of 30) of the teams call Arizona home for spring training. In addition, several players call Arizona their offseason home.

Fortunately a lot of the voices in the media are baseball fans. Keith Olbermann (who's sportscaster days gave him several MLB connections) is aware of the campaign but wants something bigger. His fellow MSNBC hosts Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, and Rachel Maddow are also baseball fans who have the power to use their shows to advance this cause. Here is a copy of the email that I sent to their shows.

Dear (Ed, Chris Rachel) (,,

As a fan of your show, I know enough that you are both disgusted by this new Arizona law and a fan of Major League Baseball. Approximately 25-30% of players on MLB rosters are Latino. Depending on who you ask, an argument could be made that the best position player in each league (Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols) is Latino along with the best closer the game's ever seen (Mariano Rivera.) If this law were always in effect in Arizona, some of the best players in the game such as 2009 All Stars Felix Hernandez, Mariano Rivera, Victor Martinez, Carlos Pena, Hanley Ramirez, Albert Pujols, Raul Ibanez, Yadier Molina, Francisco Cordero, Adrian Gonzalez, and Freddy Sanchez. could be asked for their immigration papers without just cause.

On Twitter (hashtag #AZMLBB) and the Daily Kos ( and people are well-aware that baseball has a higher Latino following and could have a greater impact than another sport. It's time to take this story to the next level. I am writing you, both as a fan of the game, and as an American who is against racial injustice to cover this story on your show. Arizona already lost the Super Bowl in 1993 because of their opposition to Martin Luther King day.

Thanks for all your work from a concerned American and a baseball fan.

Caroline Lastname

In addition I am sending the following email to the ESPN Baseball Today podcast (

Dear Eric and company
As employees of ESPN I am sure that you are very aware of the influence that Latino baseball players have had on the game, especially since you could argue that the best offensive player in each league (Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols) and the best closer the game has ever seen (Mariano Rivera) are Latino. I think it would be a disgrace to the game if players getting to the ballpark were asked for their papers.

ARizona's racist behavior already cost the state a Super Bowl. It's time for MLB to step up to the plate and look out for their players and fans.


Caroline Lastname

IF you want to help spread our cause, copy and paste my emails and send them.


Anonymous said...

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Jordan O said...

Done and done!!!

Another way you can make a stand is to boycott the state completely. If you want to visit a southwestern desert state, try New Mexico. It's very pretty, doesn't have all the kooks and McMansions, and if such a turkey of a bill was even introduced in New Mexico, the person would be tarred and feathered.

Arizona - Like Utah, but with better alcohol laws.