Crackers arrest “illegal” McDonald’s workers, cite economic and cultural reasons
In March, raids targeting migrants in Phoenix-area McDonald’s restaurants concluded in the arrest of 21 people and a hunt for dozens more.
Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, who in the past has grabbed national headlines with his ultra-reactionary approach, led the raids. In an interview that followed, Arpaio explained some of the reason behind the arrests. He described McDonald’s as an “American[sic] institution…a place that my kids and yours could always count on for their first job ever” and deplored the company’s “giving jobs away” to people “working here illegally.” The raid is part of a larger effort by Phoenix officials to intimidate and repress Spanish-speaking migrants, in particular Mexicans.
An older Amerikan institution is that of national oppression. The city of Phoenix was founded a mere 150 years ago, after the settler-invasion and occupation of northern Mexico. The city sits atop a network of ancient canals, dating back to around 500 CE, some of which are still in use today. During the 20th century, Mexicans worked in the fields of their occupied homeland, threatened with withheld wages, deportation, etc. This legacy, an ‘Amerikan institution,’ continues today under evolved terms and conditions.