How crazy it is that American citizens have to carry their papers with them at all times and are considered guilty until proven innocent – based on how they look? What’s wrong with that picture? The new law just signed in Arizona is basically a racial profiling law, nothing but. It’s as Booman calls it “The Latino Harassment Act of 2010“. And it does all boil down to how they look. The whole “reasonable suspicion” bullshit, what the hell else could that be – besides how they look? Waving a Mexican flag around? More than 4 darker skinned people in any given vehicle? Maybe it’s anyone speaking Spanish in public, that’s pretty suspicious. The craziness of this law crystallized for me when I saw Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico saying how he could very well be hassled the next time he travels to Arizona.
It’s curious that some of the biggest supporters of this new law are on the right-wing. Now, I thought the right wingers were all about civil liberties, running around screaming about losing freedom and carrying misspelled signs. What is different between those people and the ones who are gathering today in cities across Arizona? It’s basically a pigment issue. The pasty white people carrying the misspelled signs aren’t too concerned about the folks gathering in Arizona who actually just lost some of their liberties. I don’t think we’re going to see the teabaggers jump on FreedomWorks buses, heading off to Arizona anytime soon. What do you think?
As I was listening to a piece on NPR’s “On Point” (I’m one of those latte’ sipping liberals, you know? Not a fan of arugula though!)…but as I was listening, it dawned on me that blond wig sales and skin bleaching could be lucrative businesses in Arizona – with this new law. American citizens having to wear disguises so they don’t get hassled, is it just me or is that really crazy? And all the Hispanics who are trying to get into the country are probably digging it too, I imagine along the border in Mexico, salons are springing up already. Could there ever be a more glaring example of a bad solution to a big problem. This is a classic case of overreaction and bigotry guiding policy.
Now even though I AM an extreme liberal, my thoughts on immigration are probably considered moderate or even conservative to some on the left. That law that just passed is wrong, it is a prescription for racial profiling and that is not a price we can pay to stop the flow across our borders.
I am not one of the “turn your head the other way” liberals who thinks we should just allow illegal crossings to happen. I’ve never been to Mexico, but I have been to Canada several times, being a “Michigander” and whenever I’ve crossed the border, I’ve appreciated that border, gone through customs and respected the fact that they want to control who comes into their country. Why should it be any different coming into America, we as a country should be able to control who comes into our country. And that is the point, controlling the borders. If we are going to have laws about immigration, we should do what needs to be done to enforce the laws. It isn’t right to turn your head the other way when a farmer hires a non citizen or a restaurant owner or whatever. Laws are laws, right? The whole idea that we enforce some laws but not others just doesn’t pass the smell test to me.
For those already in our country, there should be a process for them to apply for citizenship, but that doesn’t mean they all get in automatically. It really isn’t fair to those people who are going through the legal process to come here. I have a friend from China who has been trying to become a citizen legally, it’s a big hassle. Nobody likes it when they are standing in line and someone cuts in front of them. So in my opinion, the compromise and solution to the immigration problem really has to start at the borders. We have to seal them up somehow so that legal immigration becomes the way to migrate here. That may mean increasing the size of ICE or creating a new department that is designed from the ground up, with logical, streamlined procedures for approving applications. It would also make a lot of sense to create a model for how many people we allow in per year and structures for changing that based on economic trends. The anger by unemployed citizens who see non-citizens, working jobs that they would do, is understandable. It goes to that whole idea of “why have laws if you aren’t going to enforce them?”
I’m certainly glad we are having this debate now, with President Obama and a Democratic controlled congress. But it isn’t going to be pretty, if you think we’ve seen racism and bigotry in the last year and a half, just wait till the LouDobbsians mobilize.