There are people who will continue to argue that Arizona is within its rights to pass laws against illegal immigration. While I don’t think that illegal anything is moral or should be condoned, the truth is that when laws are broken there are various ways of dealing with that. For drug addicts, some state laws require medical rehabilitation. Not a bad approach. It’s humane, and it keeps our prisons from being clogged up with people who may have physical addiction issues rather than truly criminal intent.
For illegal immigrants too we need to find a humane approach to dealing with this problem. Deportation should always remain an option. But the manner in which we look at these individuals should be dealt with case x case. I say this because one of my friends is the daughter of an illegal immigrant. She was unaware of their status until recently. She grew up here in Texas, went to public school. Her father has worked most of his adult life here. He unfortunately has been using a false identification and social security. He has however worked. He has bought a home. He has paid property and payroll taxes. He has supported his community through the PTA, and being a otherwise law abiding citizen.
Recently he’s been discovered and is scheduled for deportation after living here over 40 years. It’s sad, because while I understand he’s broken the law, when I look at some of other offenders in our society there doesn’t seem to be parity in the way infractions are handled. I mean, I would trade this hard working, otherwise-law abiding person for some of the crack heads who were born here, who mooch off society and the tax payers. Could we deport one of them in his place? That seems like a good idea.
This notion that some folks have that ALL illegal aliens are bad people who, by the very nature of their illicit entry into this country, are law breakers who deserve to have the book thrown at them. Many of them are just folks who want the same thing citizen Americans want for their children – access to good schools, access to decent medical care, and hope for a brighter future. Many of them teach their children to be good citizens, to love their country, to pay their taxes and the like.
The notion that we should be able to challenge individuals to prove their citizenship in any form will give us all reason to pause for concern. This is not just scary big brother talk. This is a preliminary step to a national ID card. After seeing how I can have difficulty operating in society for just a day by forgetting my license or ATM card, I dread the thought of a government that could issue (or suspend!) a card which would be vital just to move around society. This is a seriously dangerous progression in our society. Aside from the arguments about whether a state can enforce a federal statute, etc. it’s just a bad evolution.
I hope people really examine these issues. I don’t oppose a boycott of Arizona. Truth be told, I don’t know that save the Grand Canyon, there’s any reason to visit, or do business there in the first place. But, I support them to sort out these issues as state citizens themselves. I just find it sad that they don’t value folks in their midst whose intentions might actually be honorable but for lack of legal entry into this country could be singled out and harassed while some “citizens” in our midst deserve our attention and ire.