Heated Immigration Bill Could Become Arizona Law
Matt | On 23, Apr 2010
This is a major story this week coming out of Phoenix, Arizona.
The state’s governor, Jan Brewer (R), is about to have a lot of heat on her either today or tomorrow with the immigration bill that’s sitting on her desk. She has a few options in front of her – either sign it into law, don’t sign it and it will become law on its own, or she can veto it. Sounds easy, right?
Well, this isn’t any old piece of legislation. This immigration bill is poised to change the tone of Latino relations in Arizona, as well as give carte blanche to law enforcement and citizens to monitor illegal immigrants in the state. Arizona is home to the busiest border crossing in the nation and an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants.
Hundreds of protesters and civil rights activists took to the State House to make sure the governor vetoes the bill. Their main concern is that racial profiling will run rampant, Latinos will not report crimes as often, and that the power to monitor immigration should come from the federal government. Supporters of the bill point to assumptions of lower crime, smaller classrooms, and shorter waits in emergency rooms as some of the reasons it should be passed.
Honestly, I see both sides of this issue. Illegal is illegal and at some point we’re going to have to find a way to deal with this issue in a civil, yet fair, fashion. I also understand the very real threat of racial profiling because Arizona is NOT the most liberal of states. They are already monitoring the border like crazy.
Still, this state issue is going to turn into a major national election year WEDGE ISSUE (like gay marriage and gun control always do). There are rumors that Congress is going to make immigration their next big issue to tackle anyway. Expect to see this dragged out and pimped every way from yesterday for the next few months. Brace yourselves, people…