The Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, also known as Arizona Senate Bill 1070, is the strictest anti-illegal immigration measure currently in effect. This bill has grabbed enormous national and international attention.
United States federal law requires illegal immigrants who are 14-years-old or older and are in the country for longer than 30 days to register with the U.S. government and to have the proper registration documents in their possession at all times.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB1070 on April 23. Under this new bill, it is a state misdemeanor crime for an illegal immigrant to be in Arizona without carrying the required documents. It also addresses people who knowingly hire illegal immigrants or transport them.
The bill also obligates police to make an attempt of questioning a person during a “lawful stop, detention or arrest,” to determine a person’s immigration status under reasonable suspicion of that person being an illegal immigrant.
Currently, the U.S. is home to 12 million undocumented and illegal immigrants. While measures to minimize the issue have resulted in controversy, no one is for certain what the new bill will bring for this country.
The rise of fear and alarm for the Hispanic community has grown since SB1070 was announced. Many illegal immigrants who come to this country are in search of a better job opportunities and better lives, not only for themselves but for their family too.
On the other hand, residents who are here legally are concerned about job security, identity theft, over population and taxes.
President Barack Obama has an immigration agenda. In the agenda, the president addresses major components, which will help address the larger issue, they are:
– Create secure borders by protecting the integrity of the borders.
– Improve our immigration system by fixing the immigration bureaucracy and increasing the number of legal immigrants in order to keep families together.
– Remove incentives to enter illegally by cracking down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants.
– Bring people out of the shadows by creating a support system that allows undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.
– Work with Mexico to help promote economic development to decrease illegal immigration.
As a Mexican-American, I can sympathize with both sides of this issue. My father immigrated to
this country in search of the “American Dream.” After obtaining the proper documentations, he sent for my mother and me. At the age of three I became a resident of the U.S. This country is my home. I never forget where I came from, but I understand the importance of being legal. When I turned 18, I applied for citizenship.
I have to admit, the moment I became an American I didn’t feel any different, other than accomplished. The process is difficult. It’s not easy to come into this country to begin with, but trying to become legal can be even harder.
At the same time, my family worked hard to become legal residents and to have the same rights as other Americans in this country. It’s not fair for other illegal immigrants to come into this country and not make an attempt to become legal.
Something I don’t agree with is the racial profiling. It’s easy to blame someone else because they are illegal, but to point fingers at someone because of their skin color or culture is just wrong. No one has the right to judge anyone.
I stand in the middle. Anyone can say they want world peace, but that wish is beyond impossible. What can be done is being civil. The clear resolution is to come up with a clear plan, look at all possible options and most importantly to let go of any pride. This is a nation of immigrants and I believe it’s more than normal to have immigrants here.
This nation should stick to what our founding fathers taught us, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
Alejandra Rojas is a senior majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.