I am wholeheartedly against Arizona’s SB 1070. The issue of illegal immigration has been a stewing pot way before President Barack Obama became the head chef. What I find interesting is that the term “illegal immigrant” did not exist until 1918. Prior to that the United States only required a person to be able to prove who they were and have a relative already in the US to vouch for them. At that time the US-Mexico border was unguarded and freely crossed back and forth.
Times have become much more complicated yet SB 1070 is trying to try to pick up a soap-bubble with a sledgehammer. It is not a pragmatic nor holistic approach to a problem that does not only affect Arizona but 16 other states that border either Mexico or Canada (ah, forgot about Canada-our border with that country has its own set of unique issues).
I recently engaged in a debate with a friend of mine about this issue. My friend points were that illegal immigration brings crime takes away jobs from natural-born Americans and is a weight on the American medical system and economy. I responded with the fact that only some of the persons who cross the border illegally do it as part of a criminal enterprise or intent. Most just want to provide a better way of life for themselves and their family. Wouldn’t you want to earn more than 3.00/hr?
I eventually had to remind my friend who is also a man of color that SB1070 is no different from the Jim Crow laws. In this country, Driving While Brown/Black is the only reason for some traffic stops. Would you want to prove you are a citizen of the US if you jay-walked or made a right turn on red when a sign prohibits it?
SB 1070 reinforces the concept that all men are not equal, that the American dream is not available to all but for few, and that some of our country’s elected leaders want to only be the source of sensationalist, partisan, and narrow views. Somewhere have we forgotten that we all are equal? That the American dream is available to all? That understated, bi/tri/quad-partisan, independent, undogmatic thinkers is what we need as a country to solve its ills?
Teresa Delgadillo eloquently reminds us that the fight against SB 1070 is a fight for social justice not just for Latinos but for all Americans.