On April 27, 2010 Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed into state law a new immigration bill (http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070s.pdf) which has caused fevered debate, accusations of racism, and worse. Well, I decided to learn the facts on my own rather than get them from the fact-contorting media and so I read the bill. What I found was this:
- The Arizona law simply mimics current federal regulations that were not being enforced
- Currently, Federal law mandates that all aliens must register with INS and are required to carry their green card AT ALL TIMES and should be prepared to produce it on request at any time.
- That police are not required to stop anyone, but may do so if they suspect that an illegal alien is present
- That employers may not knowingly hire persons who are present in Arizona illegally and
- Must verify that all employees are eligible to work in the United States of America
- Must keep proof of eligibility on file for the length of a person's employment or three years whichever is longer
- Employers will not receive state monies designed to help small business if they are in violation
- Employers must, if found in violation, terminate all aliens under their employment within three days of verification that a violation exists
- And may have their business and other licenses suspended for up to 10 days for a first offense or permanently for a second offense
- That law enforcement officers may not entrap employers or coerce or encourage them to hire persons not legally eligible for employment
- That NO citizen is required by law to turn in anyone they know to be an alien but that
- A citizen shall not be impeded by another citizen or alien to report
- A citizen may report an alien either by official form or anonymously
- That citizens knowingly transporting, harboring or hiding aliens are violating the law and will be prosecuted accordingly
No part of the Arizona bill seems unreasonable to me. It is a call for justice plain and simple. Neither does the law have any racist underpinnings nor does it discourage immigration. In fact, aliens arrive by air from Europe and Asia as well as swimming across the Rio Grande. The Arizona law (and federal law) look blindly as to where an alien originates, and applies the law equally!
The truth is that Arizona and other border states have been left holding the bag because the federal government has not kept its commitment to secure the borders. What sickens me most about this fact is that securing the borders is the federal government's primary responsibility! You know: Protect & defend! Instead the feds are busy carrying out socialist policies (i.e. ObamaCare) which serve to irrevocably harm the country rather than doing the work of protecting the country.
I agree with the law and believe that all aliens should be repatriated back to their countries of origin until such time that they can pursue a legal course to gain entry. That's it. You are welcome to escape your tyrannical home country and come to America. Just do it legally. Is this too much to ask? Immigration is a good thing! Without it, I would not be able to call America home. My paternal grandfather was an immigrant. He came legally through Ellis Island and gained citizenship. The paternal side of my ancestry are what I would call "recent" immigrants. From what I have been able to figure out about my maternal ancestry, it seems some of them have been here since the 1600's or 1700's. Aren't most of us descendants of immigrants or colonists?
Now here is where the mixed bag comes in: I have worked with illegal aliens in the restaurant industry and also day workers in my current job who I suspect are also alien. Did I turn them in? No. Should I? Perhaps. Is that hypocritical? Most likely. The thing is, I grew to know and love these people. I do wish they would do whatever it takes to make themselves legal because they are, by and large, assets to our country. It is my desire that they do this on their own however, because frankly, I don't have the heart to force them. My humanity, in this instance, is stronger than my conviction for equal justice. Admittedly, I am flawed.