New Arizona Immigration Laws

So we hear word today that officially after the Arizona state legislature passed sweeping immigration (or more correctly anti-immigration laws) a couple of days ago, state Governor Jan Brewer signed into law the legislation which makes not just racial profiling ok but also mean US citizens may now be fined or jailed for not having documents.

In short the law gives;

– Police the power if the “suspect” you may be an illegal immigrant to ask that you prove that you are not.
– Citizens the power to sue government organizations if they believe they have failed to act on a know illegal immigrant issue
– Requires all residents and visitors to Arizona to prove that they are in the country legally

Now supporters of this bill have essentially 3 main arguments they use to support this type of law which if only was applied literally and all human beings were perfect MAY make sense to a degree. These are;

– Illegal immigrants are violating federal law and thus should be punished for doing so
– US residents and citizens as well as legal immigrants and visitors have nothing to fear from this
– Illegal immigrants who commit crimes, take jobs, don’t pay taxes and use social services are a huge problem for society

So let’s take each of their arguments and state what is misguided about this notion.

1. Yes illegal immigrants are violating federal law as it is written today but all studies have shown the vast majority of these people do jobs that no US worker is willing to do or willing to do for minimum wages. Also most of these people are paying both income taxes and state sales taxes on their purchases.
If they all vanished tomorrow, the retail, hospitailityy, agriculture, construction and tourism industries of the US would be crippled. Then US citizens would be grumbling about either the fact the prices of goods/services are going up from groceries to clothing to hotels. Also given most of the people who are ardent, hardcore supporters of this type of law are also supposedly 100% supporters of the free market and capitalist economic principles. Well except where absolutely necessary, more jobs in the US (and thus wealth and tax dollars) will be shipped beyond US borders as that is how Walmart, Apple, Hilton and every other organization can maximize profit. So for every additional janitor that is hired by McDonalds, that could me additional office staff’s job are made redundant and contracted out elsewhere along with that person’s spending power and tax payments.
If you want this type of law then be prepared for all the consequences of this type of law.

2. Now say you are US citizen of Latin, Mediterranean or South Asian ancestry and you are visiting Arizona for the first time and are just wandering the streets as tourists do and get a little lost and ask for directions, get a bit frustrated and start arguing with your travel companion. Common travel story right! Say a Arizona police officer witnesses this episode. Well as the law is so grey they may feel like your shouting and back and forth walking down the same street seems odd so asks you for some identification. Now b/c you are a normal person, you would not be carrying around either your passport or a birth certificate. You may have a state ID but that may be expired or you left it in your hotel. Well in that moment and from then on how are you supposed to prove you are a legal citizen and you can rightfully be detained. Sounds a lot like some totalitatarean, non democratic states the US always decries. So these people who are so against the government mandating healthcare which actually can save people lives are NOT against the government mandating citizens always carry documents proving who they are. Hypocracy is always strong and used as a tool of fear with Immigration.

3. OK say you are mugged, assaulted or worse in the street, your home, the workplace, etc. and the person/people who witnessed this crime happened to be an illegal immigrant. Now this person who witnessed the crime has no incentive to do the right thing and to help you as by doing so they will get into trouble. Say you have a regular car accident with either an illegal immigrant driver or a legal resident driver who may be travelling with illegal immigrants. That person now has less of an incentive to stay and file police reports, exchange insurance details, etc. as again it could cause problems.
Then since most violent crime is committed by legal residents of the US, while Arizona police and resources are busy wasting their time with people who don’t have documents and trying to find witnesses to speak about what they saw, the really violent in society will continue to roam free.
Some reputable studies say Immigration contributes as much as $26B to the Arizona state economy. So in a state struggle with the economic crisis and a major real estate crash, making the state less attractive for business, tourism and indeed free citizens to go about their daily lives doesn’t seem like the smartest thing to do.

Well with both Governor Brewers and Senator John McCain’s support of this recent bill in light of impending primary challenges from more hardcore right wing Republican opponents, it is not all that surprising. However somewhere between 2040-2050, it will be non-whites who will actually the dominate group in the US and creating all this unnecessary and counter productive hatred between people may cause the type of issues that South Africa has seen since the end of Apartheid with many angry Blacks lashing out in crime and other anti-social ways against White people and indeed society in general.

The big question here is the impact to Arizona leisure and business tourism both domestically and Internationally. Conventions and conferences are very popular in the state with great weather year round and lots of golf courses but Multi-National corporations, International business people and Domestic business people wary of their global reputation may now think twice.
Certainly you can imagine individual tourists will also think twice as given the other 49 states don’t have an issue, people just don’t want to deal with unnecessary hassle when they are trying to have fun.

The US is a country of immigrants. Ronald Reagan himself, the champion of the Right in the US, granted amnesty to illegal immigrants in 1986. There has to be a better solution than this type of reactive and short sighted legislation which will ultimately hurt the US and the so-called law abiding citizens.


4 thoughts on “New Arizona Immigration Laws

  1. Whoever wrote the column on the above website is a hypocrytical moron! First, when you publish something, you may want to make sure that the writing makes sense. Also, do you not find it ironic that you are using hypocracy as tool against the bill when you are publishing about made up situations? How can you write this and look at yourself in the mirror? How can you state that legal citizens are not willing to do certain jobs? Only people of Spanish decent are willing to do those jobs? Well, if that is a fact, do we not have people of all nationality that are here LEGALLY?!!! If you’re arguing that the legal residents want more pay for those jobs then you should put the shoe on the other foot and make an arguement that illegal people are being over-worked and under paid! If you are trying to protect illegals, then you are going about it the wrong way!! In case you haven’t noticed, not all immigrants are Mexican! I am an immigrant and am as white as can be… I do not have an issue with being asked to prove my citizenship because the fact remains that if all immigrants did what I did and came here legally we would not have this issue now would we? I find it offensive that I took the proper steps to make my dreams come true in the USA and other’s out there get to just be here because they are too lazy to take the few, very easy steps to be here legally. But they don’t want to wait the few months do they? So, do I support this law? Yes, I do because I DO NOT support laziness! Why is Arizona under so much criticsm when this is a FEDERAL LAW already? Let’s come down on AZ for enforcing what is already a law…rediculous just as all you people who have a problem with it. If you are legal, then you have no issues and that is a fact! Also, in regards to statement about “normal people” who do not carry their ID on them…it is also a law that you carry identification on you at all times just as you are supposed to have car insurance if you drive. If you get stopped and don’t have ID or get into an accident and do not have your insurance papers on you, well guess what, you have to fax in a copy that you are legal or do have insurance and the issue is resolved. I find that a minor inconvenience for not obeying the law to begin with and find it an extremely reasonable request. So do your research before you speak out and make up scenarios that won’t even happen. If people just give it chance and see how it goes then we would be in a better position. If it proves that racial profiling is a result, then open your mouth and do your marches but until then sit back and enjoy possibly getting not only our state but our country back in a working order.

  2. Hi Danya,
    The problem with your argument is that it is bunch of non-sensical and contradictory “talking points” that make little sense.
    Do you know what hypocracy means? I can write all these things and look myself in the mirror because the US was founded and is a free democratic country that people created at some pointed as they escaped the persecution and tyranny of regimes the world over. Then the US supposedly has decried regimes like the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Apartheid South Africa for practices like checking IDs. This was initially considered a “minor inconvenience” when you read the early days of their history.
    The fact is if you are a white anglo saxan American citizen and the chances of being stopped and searched is over 10 times less than a black or hispanic person. So people who know they are never going to be checked don’t care about laws like these as it does not effect them. There are hundred of thousands of illegal Irish, Canadians and English in the US and I guarantee they will never be stopped or found under this law.
    You don’t have to carry ID on you at all times. In fact if any asks you for ID as a US citizen you can refuse and just say you are a citizen. In some places you of course need ID to get in so wont be allowed in if you don’t show but it is your right to not show ID.
    I have done my research and the millions of Americans and Immigrants who march today on May 1 around the country today know too that this law is a joke. Hey even the Arizona legislature who only signed the law a week ago, changed wording in it yesterday. How often is a law modified a week after it is originally signed. A state that was effectively forced to recognize MLK day as national holiday doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to race.
    What sort of working order do you want for the US? The pre 1960s era where African Americans had no rights. The pre 1910s era where women had no voting rights. Or do you crave the 1980s where Ronald Reagan gave amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. The state of Arizona is not going so well because too many Americans tried to get rich quick of the real estate boom and consumer spending was out of control. Neither of which were the fault of legal or illegal immigrants. So if you want to fix Arizona, you might want to start there.

  3. Isn’t this law basically a copy of existing federal law? Obviously the people of Arizona are alarmed at the rate of illegal immigrants that are spilling over their border with Mexico into the state. So what are they to do? Just sit back while the whole state implodes? It is clear the feds have no intention of honoring their duty to secure the border. So Arizona has to take these measures. It is a sad situation all around.

  4. Hi Michael.
    It is true it largely follows the US Immigration Federal law. However this law really just masks problems in Arizona which has nothing to do with Immigration. Violent Crime is down there according to the FBI and all credible studies show that Immigrants create jobs rather than take them away. Arizona suffered greatly because of the Real Estate Crash and Government mismanagement and now are using Immigrants as a scapegoat to direct public anger towards illegals and away from government people. I agree it is a sad situation all around.

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