Arizona Senate Bill 1070, the Arizona immigration reform bill is causing quite a stir. Latino members of Congress are critical of the bill, alleging it makes racial profiling part of Arizona police policy. Arizona already spends over a billion dollars annually on immigration related expenses, almost sending the state running for emergency cash loans.
The Arizona immigration bill SB 1070
The Arizona immigration reform bill, SB 1070, just passed the Arizona House of Representatives, and is due on the governor’s desk soon. The bill, according to the Christian Science Monitor, would enable police officers to determine immigration status of suspects involved in crime. The bill would also make it a misdemeanor for immigrants to not have immigration paperwork on their person. After record numbers of illegal immigrations and the murder of a rancher, proponents of the bill contend the state is picking up the slack from federal inaction. If no solution is reached soon, Arizona may be looking for extra cash to keep up with the $ 1 billion it annually spends.
Latino Congressmen in opposition
From CNN, several Latino members of the U.S. Congress have called for Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to veto the bill. Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva (D) has blasted the bill as discriminatory against a specific ethnic group. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) contends the bill intrudes on federal jurisdiction governing immigration. Isabel Garcia, an Arizona legal defender, contends the bill “legalizes racial profiling.”
Bill deemed totalitarian by Los Angeles Cardinal
In an article by the Los Angeles Times, The Archbishop of the Los Angeles Diocese, Cardinal Roger Mahony, compared the methods authorized by the bill to “German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques.” Bishop of the Tucson Diocese, Gerald Kicanas also protested the bill, and both are calling on Governor Brewer to veto the bill. Both call for a fairer policy on immigration, and on Mahony’s blog, Mahony contends the attitudes on illegal immigration as unrealistic and unfair.
There has been calls for immigration reform since time immemorial
Immigration legislation has a long history in the U.S. Asian immigrants were the topic in the 19th century (also in WWII) and Latin American immigrants are today’s cause du jour. There have been numerous attempts to tackle illegal immigration from Mexico for decades. Authoritarian solutions seem to be ineffective, so perhaps more pragmatic solutions are needed.
Christian Science Monitor
Los Angeles Times
Cardinal Roger Mahony’s blog