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Immigration: Arizona Cracks Down (What If They're Wrong?)

4 years ago
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As a native Texan who grew up around immigrants and believes they are the hope of our country, I'm appalled by this law. I understand the frustration of Arizonans, but as a nation we need to recognize the war taking place on our southern border.

We can't "wish away" organized crime. America had it in the 1930s, and Mexico has it now. It's real, it's powerful, and innocent people are rightfully terrified.

America likes to think of itself as a civilized and generous nation. If that's what we are, we should give Mexicans a legal way to immigrate quickly in massive numbers -- with federal help to border states so they can cope with the influx -- and then use our army to lock down the borders.


Once the immigrants are safely across, we should find them jobs and heavily penalize (as in jail time) employers who knowingly violate wage and safety laws. Equal pay, equal protection for all, including the illegals who fall through the cracks.

I used to watch Lou Dobbs on CNN, but not because of his pugilistic stance on immigration. It was because he was an independent, he shunned celebrities, he had a stable of excellent reporters and he interviewed guests I saw nowhere else on TV. "Lou Dobbs Tonight" was where I first saw Elizabeth Warren, some two years before she was the ubiquitous gal she is today.

Dobbs hammered away at the difference between legal and illegal immigration. He had a point. But here's where he was wrong. It's true Mexico has not done enough for its unemployed citizens, and officials have not cleaned up corruption in the police force.

But we have our own challenges with corruption. Thank goodness we don't find headless corpses by the roadside, but lobbyists in D.C. have their own methods of persuasion.

Even so, when I drive away from a child's birthday party, I don't fear that I and my passengers will be gunned down because of the color of my car. (Oh, sorry. Your SUV resembled that of a competitor in a turf battle. We'll send flowers to your funeral.)

That's what is happening now in Mexico.

Who among us would not go back in time and welcome every persecuted minority seeking shelter on our shores prior to World War II? Sure we would, now. But now it's too late.

It's not too late for our neighbors to the south.

I grew up in the peace/love generation. I hate it that America now has enemies who scare me more than the Soviet Union ever did. We have foreign terrorists who want to kill us. We have domestic terrorists who want to spark a civil war.

Mexicans are not our enemies. They are allies. And in many cases, our family and friends as well. My colleague and former Arizona resident Mary C. Curtis could not fathom why some people complained about "hearing Spanish on the street or in a store while I knew Mexican-American friends and neighbors whose families had been on Arizona soil for hundreds of years." (They were the original Originals, to put it in Spinal Tap speak.)

Journalists are putting their lives on the line for Mexico. Read the work of Diana Washington Valdez, who wrote about the femicides in Juarez for the "El Paso Times" and in her 2006 book "The Killing Fields: Harvest of Women."

Journalists are, by nature, realists. The reporters who travel to dangerous places know their work could cost them their lives. Can't we, as a nation, be a fraction as brave and compassionate?

Bill 1070, passed by the Arizona senate and signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer -- and written up by my colleague Luisita Lopez Torregrosa -- will make an already difficult life that much harder for immigrants, both legal and illegal. Why should we care?

History.
Filed Under: Crime, Immigration, Woman Up

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4 Comments

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oak70leaf

What evidence is there that a majority-Hispanic U.S. will be any better than any other majority-Hispanic country on the planet? Why are the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and nearly every single western European country more successful than any Latin American or African or Arab country? Similarly, why are east Asian countries successful? Could it be the people and their culture? Replace those things and you replace the country. No need to put the country through a doomed-to-fail mass experiment in social engineering.

October 06 2010 at 11:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe

I have one question. Where are we going to find jobs for Mexican immigrants at fair and equal pay when we can't find jobs for the people that are already here???? Unemployment is still almost double digit.

June 22 2010 at 2:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
yokoach

as with all things that are at first deemed "bad" by some and "good" by others they are ultimately a good thing but not for the reasons those who think they are good in the first place would assert.

In this case a "bad" law...could have a "good" effect. While this law is ultimately discriminatory (unless of course you actually think they're checking those who might be illegal eastern europeans or asians as well)...the upside is that it's resurfacing the barely hidden level of racism in this country and bringing it right back in our faces...


this issue is not about crime (white folks commit more than their share) it's not about jobs (last I looked I hadn't seen causcasian people complaining that their maid job, landscaping job, maintenance worker job, vegetable picking job, or fast food service job was taken out of their hands by an immigrant. These are jobs that many of the caucasian persuasion have deemed themselves to be too good for. And we're certainly not hearing a bunch of spanish accents in call centers.

No it's about one thing and one thing only...the demise of the caucasian majority in this country and the attendant fear of loss of power that comes along with it...

Until this fear is addressed we will see more and more instances of this and the recent murder and dragging behind a truck of the dead african american body by a caucasian man in the south...

we caucasians have to get with it...our "race" isn't destined to be the power in the world or even in this country...the future is and always has been destined to be the product of a melting pot...a mixture of races that leverages diversity instead of fearing it...however, in actuality...at this point in history, while we have allegedly moved far along with respect to racism...ultimately you can't legislate away the fear that's in people's hearts...and this country has been driven by fear for the last 10 years...exacerbated by politicians with their own power agenda on a daily basis...

June 22 2010 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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