An alternative view of the new Arizona Law. I live very near Los Angeles, where the mayor has come out very vocally and publically against a new law in our neighboring state of Arizona. The mayor of Los Angeles has called, in fact, for a boycott of Arizona goods, services, and businesses in response to the law. The law as I understand it gives the Arizona police the onus to check legal status of an immigrant and turn the offending person over to INS if the person is found to be in the United State illegally. The mayor claims this is racist and expects it to lead to racial profiling, and also believed the new law to be possibly unconstitutional. A number of my friends on FaceBook have joined a cyber group in protest of the new law. They also agree that it is wrong.
I'm kind of glad these Facebook groups don't do anything. I mean so what if a bunch of people all click on the same site. That's not the same thing as voting, or filing a lawsuit. As an immigrant myself, a legal one at that, I wonder why so many white people are in favor of ILLEGAL immigration. It's as if the word "illegal" loses all meaning when paired with immigration. What if I started a group to protect "ILLEGAL" animal killing, poaching if you will. I wonder how many people would confuse that with legal hunting, or accidental kills like car accidents. Or what if I started a group to protect "ILLEGAL" university degrees. After all, why shouldn't people with fake diplomas get the same salaries as people who studied for four years?
Regarding racial profiling: for one thing, it already exists. If you've ever had a Indian, Arabic, or Muslim sounding name you get hassled at the airport. So what, my friends say, it's for the national security. Ok, but why is it suddenly an affront if you have a Hispanic or Mexican sounding name? The double standard is really infuriating. Have we decided as a nation that Latino people are too lazy to be terrorists? Now THAT'S racist. So if the mayor's problem is that he doesn't like racial profiling, he should tell his police officers to stop checking ID's of young black men driving high performance cars.
The law, the mayor complained in his speech, means officers can stop a person, arrest them even, without a warrant. He stated this fact slowly, deliberately, as if we would be offended to hear this information. The truth is, arrests are made every day without warrants. Guess what happens if you speed on the highway? Or how about if you fail to make a stop at a stop sign, or run a red light? You get pulled over, without a warrant! And if you are found to be inebriated at that moment, you may even be arrested. Without a warrant! Yes, believe it or not, this is happening on our highways every day. More people are probably arrested without warrants than with one. All the new law is stating, is that if, in addition to speeding or running a red light, or selling crack or breaking into a house, it is ascertained that your status in this country is not legal, the officer may report you to INS.
In my opinion, he SHOULD report you to INS. So what if you want to come to this country to work, lots of people do, and they (like myself) had to figure out how to do it legally. Why did I have to do it the hard way? Why is there discrimination against German, Canadian, or Thai immigrants who have to jump through hoops? Why did we have to apply for VISAs and take takes and learn English? Why do we have to prove we are being persecuted in our homeland or that we have a viable skill? Why do we have to marry an American to get permanent status, when illegal aliens have done NONE of these things, and no less than the mayor of Los Angeles is arguing for their right to stay?
I have a sneaking suspicion that it's about money. White liberals can pretend that it's about equal rights. Clearly that's not so, or immigrants of every country would enjoy the same liberal right to move here without announcement, without papers, without skills. The truth is, illegal immigrants get treated abysmally in our system. It's like a way to legalize slavery. Knowing they are here in the wrong, they are willing to work for even less than minimum wage. Most do not have pensions or benefits. They take jobs that most people don't want at an even lower wage than the market value. Without social security cards and numbers they are not going to receive social security when they retire.
Many people of their lack of English language skills do not understand the rules of the road in terms of traffic. The driver's license test may be available in Spanish and Chinese and Malay and whatever, but the street signs are all in English. Many have only a rudimentary understanding of our legal system, if they are injured at work they have no advocate. Rather than go to a regular doctor, many head to the emergency room over a cold. I don't believe it's from plain ignorance so much of ignorance of the English language. The illegal immigrant system tends to breed fear. Knowing one is here against the law makes people reluctant to do things correctly. This makes people vulnerable to exploitation.
Instead of hotly defending their right to be here in fear, illegally, to do manual work, underpaid and treated poorly, wouldn't it just be better to have them come over legally? Or would the American system collapse without exploited parties? This country was built on slavery, which was quickly replaced with Jim Crow laws, designed to keep people in the place that slavery had designated for them. It wasn't but a few minutes after Jim Crow was defeated that the right to be here illegally became paramount.