Cuéntame, the Facebook Latino instigators, are gearing up once again to prevent an SB 1070 copy-cat bill from getting signed into law. As similar pieces of legislation are introduced in many states across the country, so is their opposition.
On Monday January 24th, the first day of the Utah State Legislative Session, Cuéntame is placing a billboard, which the close to 50,000 of their fans on Facebook, helped fund and organize. The billboard in downtown Salt Lake City reads "God Doesn't Discriminate, Why Should Utah?" and will reach an estimated traffic of 200,000 daily viewers. The action will culminate as Cuéntame organizers join Utah grassroots organizations, such as Get the Facts Utah and the Alliance for a Better Utah, in a rally and protest on the steps of the Utah State Capitol.
Utah has become the next ground zero in the immigration battle. The bill, introduced by Orem Rep. Stephen Sandstorm (R), mimics Arizona's SB 1070 and incorporates pieces that effectively legalize racial profiling and institutionalized discrimination. What is worse, it is written by the same people behind the Arizona legislation -- in what is seemingly a coordinated and national strategy to target states with newly elected extreme conservative legislatures. The Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) played a strong role in crafting the Sandstrom bill; an organization that has been repeatedly tied to white supremacist, nativist and hate groups.
Along with the billboard, Cuéntame produced a video that also exposes these ties and links behind this bill:
Cuéntame placed a similar billboard last year in Arizona that read "Have Your Papers Ready, Racial Profiling Just Ahead?" They also produced a video series and campaign denominated "Do I Look 'Illegal'? that brought artists, personalities and Latinos across the country together in a unified message. fans will not stand idle as yet another state legalizes racial profiling.
Now as the immigration debate heats up and the lack of action on the national level, Latino groups are keeping a close eye on every state and like Cuéntame will continue to protest both online and on the streets against such discriminatory laws.