COMMENTARY | Illegal immigration is a complicated issue that doesn't seem to have a perfect solution, but the controversial Arizona immigration law is not the right answer. According to the Associated Press, the Supreme Court may "follow through on its suggestion that it would let local police enforce the most controversial part" of the law.
What it boils down to is local police will be allowed to question anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally to prove their immigration status. While on the surface, this might sound fine, especially considering the problem of a high number of undocumented immigrants in this country, the chances of violating human rights and allowing racism to flourish are high.
I've heard more than a few people blame illegal immigrants on our high unemployment rate. This opinion is probably based on comments by certain conservatives such as the former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney , who remarked during a January debate, "Our problem is not 11 million grandmothers. Our problem is 11 million people getting jobs that many Americans, legal immigrants would like to have."
The main issue I have with the Arizona law and other laws like it that may follow is anyone could be stopped at random and asked to prove their status. People heading to church, school or work, just trying to get by in this difficult world. While one would hope that officers would not enforce the law with prejudice, it will happen.
As a light-skinned Caucasian, I have nothing to fear, but I'm lucky. I recall an experience in Central California not so long ago when I went for a picnic with a group of friends. Several in the group had some Peruvian ancestry and were a little darker skinned than I am.
We had noticed there was a pile of garbage left on the beach and decided to pick it up to be disposed of properly. When we drove away, an officer pulled our vehicle, a BMW, over almost immediately. He angrily cursed at the darker-skinned driver and told him, "We don't like your kind in these parts." He then cited him for littering, accusing us of leaving trash instead of removing it.
It's because of people like that officer that I am fearful of this law and what it might do to innocent people. There must be a better solution.
- Politics & Government
- Arizona immigration law
- Illegal immigration