Editorial – Legalizing discrimination

Illegal immigration has been a problem in California for years, thankfully no one has decided to turn to racial profiling as a solution.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said in Arizona.

With the stroke of her pen Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, ignored the plea of President Obama to not sign the new immigration law that the Arizona senate passed.

 The new law requires immigrants to carry their legalization papers at all times and allows police to question persons who they suspect may be illegal.

Arizona’s argument to passing this law is because there is too much crime on the U.S.-Mexican border and that it will stop illegal immigrants from taking American jobs.

If they’re so concerned about taking jobs from American citizens then maybe they should be pressuring businesses to stop sending jobs out of the country.

Someone needs to remind Brewer that America is a country built by immigrants. Unless they’re Native American, everyone in the US is from someplace else.

If Brewer ran things back then those original settlers would have been turned away at Plymouth Rock and sent back to England and everyone would be saluting the queen right now.

By the way, that excuse about crime on the border is ridiculous because all border states deal with crime and yet none of them have decided to racially profile their citizens.

Even though no one has the answer to how to stop the increase in crime near the border or even control the amount of immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border, this is certainly not the way.

In remarks on April 23, the day the bill was signed, President Obama said the bill “threatened to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities.”

If Brewer and her supporters really cared they would look into the amount of risk that this bill may cause, starting with the fact that the US’s largest minority group is Latino, making it easy for the police to arrest an innocent person.

This bill makes it seem like the only people that come here illegally and cause trouble are Mexican immigrants, when most of them are just looking for opportunity.

Apparently, the police will be given proper training to ensure that no one’s rights are trampled on.

However, no amount of training can prepare an officer to not offend someone while simultaneously questioning their citizenship.

At the signing ceremony Brewer said the bill would, “strengthen the laws of our state…and it does so while ensuring that the constitutional rights of all in Arizona remain solid, stable and steadfast.”

Well, everyone who doesn’t appear to be Latino.

The fact that this bill was introduced in an election year is not lost on anyone. What’s really going on is that the state’s elected officials need to appear to be tough on immigration and this was the fastest way possible.

No one would argue that immigration reform is not necessary, however, it is real reform that should be strived for, not superficial changes that only serve to stereotype a particular group.

 Giving its new law a name like The Support Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act doesn’t make it any less offensive or wrong. It only makes it easier to tolerate the discrimination that this bill will almost certainly cause.

Let’s hope that states like California where immigration is a hot button issue can see past Arizona’s reprehensible quick fix and strive for immigration reform that doesn’t alienate its citizens and go against everything that America is supposed to stand for.