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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Report on Arizona’s new Immigration Law, SB1070, right from the trenches

I have been writing about this new law passed recently in Arizona in my Phoenix column. And…taking a lot of hits from comments that would take the varnish off your coffee table. People in Phoenix are passionate about the immigration issue, most non-Hispanics for, and most Hispanics against. I say “most” since some Hispanics are in favor of the bill, some non-Hispanics against.

Here’s a summary of the substance of SB 1070 according to the Arizona Senate:

Requires a reasonable attempt to be made to determine the immigration status of a person during any legitimate contact made by an official or agency of the state or a county, city, town or political subdivision (political subdivision) if reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S.

The key word is “legitimate,” which is defined by a person committing a felony, misdemeanor, involved in a traffic accident, or other acts giving the police probable cause to suspect the person. That explanation, in itself, holds a litany of possibilities for officers to either mishandle a situation or, at the very least, be accused of it. And from what I have heard and read, there is considerable confusion over the interpretation of this law.

Its author, Russell Pierce, hangs around with the likes of J.T. Ready, known neo-fascist, also from Mesa, according to Phoenix New Times blog, Feathered Bastard. Pierce’s anti-Mexican attitude is a matter of record, so the burning question here is, was SB1070 born of this racist belief? Many think it was, but don’t seem to care as long as it gets rid of the illegals.

Something Arizona residents might ask themselves before pouring their support behind the law is: 1) who will clean your house? 2) Who will take care of your yard? 3) Who will cook your food in local restaurants? and 4) Who will work the agricultural fields, both in Arizona and nationwide, if this lunacy catches on? And even with a down economy, most unemployed whites won’t take those jobs, if past history is any indication.

What we need is for the White House and Congress to get off their duffs and pass meaningful immigration reforms. But this isn’t likely in an election year. Business as usual.

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1 comment:

Benito said...

I hope that every American, regardless of where he lives, will stop and examine his conscience about this and other related incidents. This Nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened. All of us ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated, but this is not the case.

I know the proponents of this law say that the majority approves of this law, but the majority is not always right. Would women or non-whites have the vote if we listen to the majority of the day, would the non-whites have equal rights (and equal access to churches, housing, restaurants, hotels, retail stores, schools, colleges and yes water fountains) if we listen to the majority of the day? We all know the answer, a resounding, NO!

Today we are committed to a worldwide struggle to promote and protect the rights of all who wish to be free. In a time of domestic crisis men of good will and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics and do what is right, not what is just popular with the majority. Some men comprehend discrimination by never have experiencing it in their lives, but the majority will only understand after it happens to them.