I am so saddened about Arizona. On Friday the governor, Jan Brewer, signed into law sweeping new legislation that will enable law enforcement to detain and arrest “suspected” undocumented immigrants. SB1070 was will require police to detain someone they think is an illegal alien.
The law enforcement officials say that they will not use racial profiling when stopping someone. Hmmmm. Let me get that straight. Most undocumented immigrants in Arizona are from across the border in Mexico. I don’t think there are a lot of Jamaican undocumented workers in Arizona. or Irish undocumented workers. So police are most likely going to stop and round-up Latino/a individuals. How is that not racial profiling? Based on ethnicity?
For the many people who have already come across the border and work at jobs that most Arizonans don’t want like gardening, migrant workers on farms, household help, it is hard to understand how this is anything but punitive. What about all the native Arizonans of Hispanic descent whose families have lived in Tuscon or Yuma for centuries? Will police suspect them too and arrest them too under the arrest now ask questions later approach? This the kind of outrageous legislation that happens into law when there is no federal immigration reform.
If you want to strengthen the border to prevent folks from crossing then it will take much more than the Maricopa county sheriff suspecting someone of having no documentation and throwing them in jail. It will take federal resources at the border. Strengthen the border patrol. Put more officers on the border.
Further it takes detante’ and diplomacy. Again a federal issue. Why you ask? The best way to solve the undocumented worker issues here in the U.S. is to have a strong economic policy and trade policy with Central American countries and Mexico. If there is a strong Guatemala and an economically strong Mexico- less will feel the need to cross the border out of financial hardships. But again this is a federal issue and ultimately this is why we need a strong immigration reform bill.
When folks are angry and hurting we tend to take it out on others. This new law in Arizona is a prime example of this. Turning on our fellow residents and enabling police to roundup whoever they think might be here without papers is a dangerous precedent to set.
Who will be next that they round-up and put in jail on suspicion?