So we have all heard the unfortunate news surrounding this piece of legislation, and have been let down by the fact that is passed successfully in the AZ State Senate. Luckily, the state's are allowed to enact laws that are unique to that state, as long as they don't infringe on the rights of the federal government. I think this is good, because if enough people say they want something in one state, then they should have the right to impose that whim on the populace of a state and its inhabitants if they so choose.
I don't understand it from a legal point of view, but is this state law overriding the federal powers granted by the right to not have to submit to illegal searches and seizures? But that is not what is key in this dilemma. What scares people is that SB 1070 will legalize racial profiling. Because AZ is a state that borders Mexico then what an "illegal" looks like is very similar to what a "legal" resident of Arizona of Mexican ancestry looks like. I don't think it is very difficult to see what all the fuss is about.
Maybe the state senators and Governor Brewer are thinking that action must be action, because immigrant laborers are taking jobs from 'mericans in Arizona that want to work but can't find work. But, interesting enough, I was watching the Colbert Report yesterday and Steven Colbert makes some interesting points which aren't really reported when the media reports on this issue.
For example, Colbert reports that rates of illegal immigrants have been in decline for several years, and not just because of the sheriff in Maricopa county. There has been a steady decline in the presence of illegal immigrants for some time now in Arizona specifically because illegal immigrants are present in an area when there is low-skilled and menial labor present. The fact is that in Arizona the rates of illegal immigration have been steadily declining, but SB 1070 makes you believe that it is legislation that is targeting a particular lawlessness.
The only thing that SB 1070 targets is the synaptic receptors of the people who live in Arizona and think their state is being overrun by immigrants (which is a false perception, given the declining rates of illegal immigrants and thus work for them). Could it also be that these measures are being enacted as punishment for the loss of capital and money (according to Colbert the figure was in the millions) that are not collected and used as part of Arizona's state revenue.
The one thing not sufficiently explained by the media and not really known by most Americans is that most people working in this area that are from Mexico have seasonal work passes that grant them the ability to work legally within the U.S. Are there many illegals that don't have seasonal passes. Sure, the estimate by the Pew organization put the number of illegals between 11 and 12 million.
Even if the number is 12 million (the # of illegals in the U.S.), these 12 million make up 3.87% of the population (or 12 million divided by 310 million). This means that there illegals account for way less than 4% of the total population of the U.S.
Can we say that we are truly being overrun? Can we truly say that SB 1070 is going to curb the amount of illegals in Arizona? What are we really talking about when we talk about Americans who want to work but get their jobs taken away by illegals?
A Spanglish blog dedicated to the works, ruminations, and mongrel pyrotechnics of Yago S. Cura, an Argentine-American poet, translator, publisher & futbol cretin. Yago publishes Hinchas de Poesia, an online literary journal, & is the sole proprietor of Hinchas Press.