AZ considers new immigration law

Heidi Anoszko

I am writing in response to the April 15 AP story âÄúAZ considers new immigration law.âÄù It exposes many common impressions of immigration in the United States. The proposed law would make it a state crime to be in the country without proper documentation, and it would also require local law enforcement to verify the citizenship of residents. A measure like this should serve as a red flag to people in all states of the Union. How accurately informed are we as a nation about the immigrant communities in our state and our legislators attitudes toward them? This piece of legislation would set a dangerous precedent for the rest of the United States because it encourages racial profiling. According to a 2008 Pew Survey, nearly one in 10 Hispanic adults reported being asked their immigration status by law enforcement officers in the past year. Furthermore, making the U.S. immigration policy more âÄúinhospitableâÄù in order to discourage unauthorized migration wonâÄôt work because our policy is already inhospitable. In many states bordering Mexico, it is illegal to offer food, water, first aid or any other type of help to fellow humans entering unlawfully no matter the severity of their situation. Also, since 1992, the budget for the border patrol has increased 714 percent, but the number entering the country hasnâÄôt decreased. Not surprisingly, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the number of boarder deaths doubled between 1995 and 2005. Other legislation like Operation Streamline funnels undocumented immigrants into the criminal justice system and prisons, even though unauthorized immigration is only a civil offence like laminating oneâÄôs social security card. So while politicians across the country are driven mad by pieces of paper lead witch hunts, I canâÄôt help but wonder if weâÄôve lost sight of the essence of the problem? Why not invest our time, money and energy to revisit the neoliberal policies like NAFTA, which force millions abroad into abject poverty or force them to choose between their homeland and survival. Heidi Anoszko University undergraduate student