This being the last paper, I wanted to talk about immigration issues that are currently in the news. It’s always good to be informed of what is going on around us, so here’s your opportunity!
Just yesterday, April 13th, our state passed a bill, SB 1070 that would seriously crack down on undocumented immigrants in our state. Not only would we be asked our nationality at the Border Patrol checkpoints around the state, we would also be asked by law enforcement officers that suspect that we’re “not from here”. NICE. So now… my very Mexican looking parents will be asked, I’m sure I’ll be asked, but my Mexican-American husband won’t because of his green/grey eyes. Good thing my daughter also looks “white”…**sarcastic smile**.
Okay….so what I want to ask our WONDERFUL legislators is: what physical characteristics, or whatever else could produce suspicion, are you placing as a guideline to what is considered “suspicious”? I really hope there’s a Mexican or “foreign” looking legislator that gets stopped by the police and gets asked his/her nationality. Wait…there is! Republican Olivia Cajero Bedford looks like a Mexican Tia! Catch her outside her power-suit and watchale! The cops will be on her like flies…especially if they see her driving a new BMW or whatever legislators drive. Here’s another guy, Democratic Christopher Deschene. He’s Native American, and looks like the kind of guy that would be against this bill, but sorry buddy, your peers allowed that cop to ask you “Where are you from, son?” Poor guy looks more foreign than any of my Mexican cousins. There’s a few other legislators who look Mexican enough to be asked this question, if law enforcement is going to be basing their “suspicions” on physical characteristics. I’m not narrow-minded and think that this will only affect Mexican-American, so I looked for legislators that appeared other-than-Mexican-but-still-“foreign”. There’s one African-American, but that’s about it. I clicked on ALL the names of our legislators on their Member webpage and only found ONE guy. I know that there aren’t many African-Americans in our state but that still seems to be unbalanced, but that’s a whole other issue. I’m against this bill because this seems like a door that is opening up to unfair prejudice and stereotyping that will affect many of Arizona’s citizens. I’m afraid that the way that I looked at legislators’ appearance is going to be the way that law enforcement looks at us.
There is more to this Immigration bill …like jail time and fines from $500-$2500 dollars for not having proof of legal status. Also, this bill would prohibit any Arizona city from declaring themselves a sanctuary city. The bill is also cracking down on employers of illegal immigrants and people who drive with undocumented immigrants in their vehicles.
So my fellow Arizonans, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens to this bill. From what I understand, changes will be made in the Arizona senate, then these changes will be voted on before Governor Jan Brewer (Rep) gets to sign it. Here’s a website where you can sign a petition against this bill, you can even become their fan on Facebook to get the latest news. There’s many many many news clips about this, since it has made national and international headlines. Way to go Arizona…just the reputation that we needed. Here is one of them where Geraldo Rivera talks to Sheriff Joe Arpaio about this issue: