05 May 2010

MexiTexaForniaZonaNewMexico

This new Arizona immigration law has not only heated up the Arizona desert, but the rest of the nation as well.

Recently, Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona signed the nation’s toughest bill on illegal immigration. Its aim is to identify, prosecute, and deport illegal immigrants.

It's about damn time someone takes control of this problem.  Let me just say that I have no problem with foreigners coming to America; but what I don't like is when they are not US citizens and receive more welfare and benefits that people born on US soil.  Most Americans have been immigrants at one point or another, but for most Americans, that was hundreds of years ago and the dynamics of our country have changed and it's time to recognize that. Not everyone can come and go in America as they please, treating our country like a hotel.

President Obama thinks the Arizona law threatens “to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”

According to NYTimes.com, "The law, which proponents and critics alike said was the broadest and strictest immigration measure in generations, would make the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and give the police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. Opponents have called it an open invitation for harassment and discrimination against Hispanics regardless of their citizenship status."

The law requires police officers, “when practicable,” to detain people they reasonably suspect are in the country without authorization and to verify their status with federal officials, unless doing so would hinder an investigation or emergency medical treatment. It also makes it a state crime — a misdemeanor — to not carry immigration papers. In addition, it allows people to sue local government or agencies if they believe federal or state immigration law is not being enforced. 

While police demands of documents are common on subways, highways and in public places in some countries, including France, Arizona is the first state to demand that immigrants meet federal requirements to carry identity documents legitimizing their presence on American soil.  And I agree with this law 100%.  If I, an American, am required to carry ID on me at all times (not necessarily required but highly recommended), why shouldn't immigrants? What's the point of a green card or a visa if you're not going to carry it? Pretty sure they make wallet size documentation that fits easily into your pocket.

I wonder...how is it different for immigrants to surrender their citizenship papers when asked by police, than it is for me if I went to the Bahamas on a cruise and they demanded to see my papers before I could step foot on the island? Seems the same theory to me. If you're a legal citizen in one country and immigrate to another, then you should have to show proper papers.  Period. Whether you're in another country to visit, to work, to attend school, or to live, you should always be required to have ID and surrender it when asked by law enforcement.

Many people worry this law will lead to racial profiling, something that exists anyways. The law "may" lead to racial profiling, "may" being the operative key word here. What about the fact that racial profiling already exists? I don't condone it; it's a fact of life. I understand it might be annoying to a person who is Hispanic and was born on American soil. I would be irritated if I got pulled over and was asked for ID all the time, even though I was born here in America and happened to have Mexican ancestry. I get that.  But, if I were to go to Chad, Africa, people would wonder if I were a citizen too. So, does that mean it's racial profiling? Not quite.

With that said, I don't blame you Arizona citizens who are of Mexican heritage and were born in America. Not one bit.  But, as an American, don't you want your freedom, benefits, home, and borders protected? Racial profiling already exists in every city, in every state, in every country, not just Arizona, United States; if you want to argue and stand up against racial profiling, just focusing on the Arizona Immigration Law will not get you anywhere...racial profiling runs much deeper than that.

Governer Brewer acknowledges the critics' concerns but says racial profiling will not be tolerated and that we have to trust our law enforcement.  Isn't that what we're encouraged to do anyway? Who do you call when there's been a crime? A threat of violence? A tragic accident? You call your local law enforcement and we're taught to trust them as public service agents. Granted, a lot of cops can be shady, but the majority of them are good and won't abuse the system.  They're here to protect us and if that means that Arizona cops are legally required to ask someone for their papers, then so be it. People just need to get over it.  If you act like you have something to hide, chances are you probably do. So to avoid getting caught, don't hide. If you want to be an American citizen, do the leg work.


If anything, this law might discourage foreigners from sneaking into this country, reaping the benefits that should belong to actual American citizens. If you want to come here so badly, learn our history, learn our language, and learn our customs and take the citizen test and become a citizen.  Otherwise, go back home.

I'd be expected to do the same thing in any other country, so why is America different? I think people are more upset about the possibility of losing cheap labor (gardeners, maids, construction workers) and politicians losing possible votes for the next elections more than they're concerned about anything else.

I think the goal of this law is to protect America and its citizens. Look at all the drug smuggling, human trafficking, and violence on the American/Mexican border throughout the years! Something needs to be done because clearly, Border Patrol isn't doing enough.

Seriously...the minute someone finds out about a law they can complain about, all hell breaks loose.  Especially when it involves one of three things, or even all three. 1. Race. 2. Religion. 3. Homosexuality.  This is another one of those things people love to complain about.  Boo fucking hoo. People are making too big of a deal about this law when they should simply step back and say "is it a big deal that a cop asks a Mexican for ID? The same cop would ask me for ID". I've been asked for ID more times in my life than I care to count and I would surrender it in a heartbeat in America or any other country. It's our right to know who is here legally and who is not.

And this is not about bigotry either...if it were, why haven't more states enacted a law like this one? Why just Arizona? There are far more racist and prejudice states in the union than Arizona. See Missisippi.

I think there are more important things to worry about in American than whether or not an immigration law will lead to racial profiling, which seems to be the main concern.  I certainly don't condone racial profiling, nor do I approve of prejudice and hate crimes. I also don't approve of many of the American laws (gay marriage being illegal to start) but I just don't think this bill is that bad.  Let's just get over it so we can focus our attention on a more important matter...our dependence on oil and the havoc it's wreaking on this Earth. See: Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Oh...one more thing. No matter who passes what bill, no one will ever be satisfied. Such is the nature of government. 

3 comments:

CelticLady said...

and the nature of the people to complain about anything they can...must be bush's fault!!! Haha. Good post Kara..

Anonymous said...

This post reeks of white privilege. Racial profiling is "a fact of life???" Wow. Slavery also used to be "a fact of life" for many people. That's the problem with accepting the status quo--it excuses all sorts of immoral behavior. Just because we live in a racist culture doesn't mean we have to legislate it so it stays that way.

Jesus. Perhaps some international travel is in order--or at least the bare minimum of cultural understanding. But I'm guessing it's easier for you to stay in your white sphere and judge other people. Typical American laziness.

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