Thursday, April 29, 2010

Arizona's Immigration Law

I have mixed feelings, most of which are negative, about this new immigration law that Arizona has recently passed. While I understand the need to curtail illegal immigration, there's just a lot about this new law that rubs me wrong. In spite of the fact that many Arizona government officials deny that it will lead to racial profiling, I believe it will, and I think Hispanics, in particular, will be targeted. There may be illegals from other countries wandering around Arizona, but it will be dark-skinned people that will be singled out, and to me, that's not much different than Nazis stopping or detaining people simply because they suspect they're Jewish.

Now don't get me wrong. People who are here illegally shouldn't be here illegally and should go through proper legal channels to become citizens. I just think this law is the wrong way to go about halting illegal immigration. I also think we sometimes to make blanket judgments about illegal immigrants. True, many of them come into our country and take advantage of our system and bleed our resources without contributing much. But others are very hard-working and have only come to America in search of a better life than the one they left behind in some of the difficult countries they have come from. Many are supporting families and suffer abuse by our own citizens who take advantage of their illegal status. Many live in fear of being deported back to terrible places and are afraid to call the police or go to the hospital for fear of being found out. Many have tried to wade through the slog of bureaucracy to obtain legal status only to fail. And I'm sorry, but I think there is greater prejudice against illegal immigrants from Mexico or Muslim-based countries than there is toward illegals from some European countries, for example.

Yes, illegal immigration is a serious problem, and yes, something does need to be done about it, but there are a lot of issues involved, and there are human beings involved, and I'm not sure turning Arizona into a police state is the right answer. An informal poll says the majority of Utahns would be in favor of such a law as well. It just bothers me. It also bothers me that the same people who are against universal health care because of too much government interference are completely on board with any immigration reform, regardless of how much government is involved, so long as "those people" get out of our country.

Anyway, those are my thoughts.

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