Friday, April 23, 2010

Controversy Over Arizona Immigration Bill

Arizona Senate Bill 1070, the Arizona immigration reform bill is causing quite a stir. Latino members of Congress are critical of the bill, alleging it makes racial profiling part of Arizona police policy. The state of Arizona is among the hardest taxed states concerning illegal immigrants, with law enforcement there running for fast cash to deal with the problem.

Arizona immigration reform SB 1070

SB 1070, the Arizona immigration bill is set to go to the governor having already passed the Arizona House. According to the Christian Science Monitor, the bill would allow police to investigate the immigration status of individuals suspected of a crime. The bill would also make it a crime for immigrants to not possess valid immigration paperwork. After record numbers of illegal immigrations and also the murder of a rancher, proponents of the bill contend the state is picking up the slack from federal inaction. Arizona presently spends a lot more than $ 1 billion a year because of illegal immigration and might be running for additional cash soon if no solution is reached.

Latino members of Congress oppose the bill

CNN reports that several Latino members of Congress are calling for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto the bill. Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva (D) has blasted the bill as discriminatory against an entire ethnic group. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) contends the bill intrudes on federal jurisdiction governing immigration. Isabel Garcia, a legal defender in Arizona, says the bill “legalizes racial profiling.”

Bill deemed totalitarian by Los Angeles Cardinal

As reported by the LA Times, Archbishop of the LA Diocese Cardinal Roger Mahony has dubbed the authority of course law enforcement officials as using “German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques.” Among the other calls for Governor Brewer to veto the bill is Bishop of the Tucson Diocese Gerald Kicanas. Both call for a fairer policy on immigration, and on Mahony’s blog, Mahony contends the attitudes on illegal immigration as unrealistic and unfair.

Immigration reform battles have a long history

Immigration legislation has a long history in the U.S. Asian immigrants were the topic within the 19th century (also in WWII) and Latin American immigrants are today’s cause du jour. Decades of legislation have unsuccessfully tried to stem immigration from Mexico. Pragmatic, rather than authoritarian solutions appear to be the order of the day.

Resources

Christian Science Monitor

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2010/0415/Arizona-illegal-immigration-bill-draconian-or-common-sense

CNN

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/04/20/arizona.immigration/

Los Angeles Times

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0420-mahony-immigration-20100420,,6923812.story

Cardinal Roger Mahony’s blog

http://cardinalrogermahonyblogsla.blogspot.com/



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