It's been an incredible couple of weeks with the signing of the new Arizona immigration laws. They were revised just yesterday to include changes that would require police officers to question legal status ONLY if they are stopped for some reason (ie. traffic violation). Before that change, it was encouraged to seek out illegal immigrants, ask for their papers and if they didn't have them, to deport them. Most will say, "there is no difference" in Friday's change. I tend to agree. Unfortunately, law officers are not always the most honest people in the world, and tend to use their power unlawfully. So I am sure many illegal immigrants will be pulled over for "traffic violations", who were doing nothing wrong.
There are many people who have some fierce opinions on this issue, but instead of blatantly telling you mine, I just want to bring up some facts/issues/point that have been weighing heavily on my mind and my heart in regards to this issue. I am going to keep religion out of this one, and base the following statements on history and little facts.
#1 - When people do things that are classified as "illegal" in America, they are punished. Whether it's with jail or a ticket that must be paid, most of us have had to pay the price for doing an illegal act over the time of our lives. But for some reason in America, no one is ever really punished for living in America "illegally".
>>>I think of my friend Simone who is from South Africa - she had to go through A LOT of trouble to get into America legally, and is finally taking her citizenship test in a couple months. She has done everything right, paid a lot of money for it, and has gone through many trials to get there, but she did it.
#2 - I checked out California's medi-cal benefits, and Arizona's medi-caid benefits, and was surprised to find that anyone (even if you are an illegal immigrant) could get health benefits and welfare if you lived in California. In Arizona, you HAD to be not only a US Citizen, but an Arizona resident. When it comes to this matter, Arizona's laws make sense to me... Especially because California illegal immigrants are pushing $3 Million, and Arizona has a measly $500,000.
#3 - Is the US being hypocritical? The US is FOUNDED on illegal immigration. Unless you are full-on American Indian, then you have no right to say anything about illegal immigrants not getting a fair shot. Unfortunately, it seems as if anger over immigration is tied to racism and greed. Even in the 1930's, when white people immigrated it wasn't much of a problem. But at one point between the years of 1929 - 1930, 500,000 Mexicans were deported back to Mexico from the United States.
>>>>The first American law in regards to immigration was the Naturalization Act of 1790, which stated that "any free white man" with "good moral character" could become a legal citizen of the US.
>>>In 1913, the American Indians were stripped of their legal status and land.
This was overturned in 1952
>>Immigration was shut down during the Great Depression
#4 - In the 80's, there were only 500,000 illegal immigrants migrating to the US on a YEARLY basis.
#5 - In 1990, President Bush signed an Immigration Act that allowed 700,000 more illegal immigrants enter the US, per YEAR. Since 1986, congress has passed SEVEN amnesties for illegal immigrants.
>>>>>How is it fair that the US seemed to have an "open door" policy since 1990,
and now one state just wants to change their mind?
#6 - Illegal immigrants pay about $7 billion into social security every year.
#7 - Most children from illegal immigrants are citizens of the US because they were born here. It's the parents and grandparents who are illegal. And if they are deported in Arizona, looks like they will need to hire more social workers to place all these kids in foster homes, as they literally rip families apart.
#8 - This issue is too closely related to "genocide", and it makes me very nervous. Jews were always allowed to live in peace until Hitler came along and changed the rules around. What was first - they were required to carry around their papers, and wear a Jewish star on their clothes to identify who they were. We all know what happened from there...