Lately, I’ve seen a scary change in American politics, particularly in Arizona. The fill in Governor Jan Brewer, a republican from Arizona, has been implementing in my opinion racially implemented laws towards the Chicano/Latino community. Recently, she signed the bill SB1070 which states that a police officer will be allowed to ask any suspected “illegal immigrant” for their proof of citizenship. My question is this, how can you spot an alleged “illegal immigrant”? By the color of one’s skin? Governor Jan Brewer denies that it will lead to racial profiling, but by letting the law enforcement take on this task, it’s bound to be racial profiling like no one has ever seen before.
According to a community survey taken by the Census Bureau in 2008, the number of Latinos in Arizona is estimated to about 29.6% of the state’s population, meaning that an estimate of 1.9 million people in the state of Arizona can be subjected to racial profiling at any given time.
Some might argue that this bill is a great one because it “protects” Americans. They believe that this bill will help save jobs, stop the violence, and keep America for Americans. Let’s break this down shall we?
When it comes to jobs, and people saying “they are taking our jobs”, what jobs are you referring too? To an average American, they dream of the stereotypical American life: Successful Job, beautiful family, big bucks, nice cars, etc. To a majority of immigrant families that come to America, they dream of opportunity for education, work, and freedom. They work in fields picking vegetables with their bare hands, they work as maids at hotels, and they do labor intensive jobs in the hot sun like dry wall installers, roofers, carpentry, and gardeners. When you think about this, many Americans don’t want to go to college to learn how to clean sheets, or deal with the hot sun while picking vegetables for grocery stores so people can eat. It’s not like the immigrants come here wanting to do that either, but they have to in order to survive and make opportunity for their loved ones. They are human beings as well, they have families they have to feed and take care of too. Many came to America because back where they came from, they didn’t have that opportunity that us Americans take for granted everyday.
Now, for all of you who still argue that there are many criminals that come illegally, you forget that we are responsible for fueling the fire, and that in a way we are to the blame for the crimes committed. Think about this logic, some kid from the suburbs buys marijuana from his friend who bought marijuana from a dealer who bought it from some drug cartel dealer from Mexico. That drug cartel came to America because of those kids in the suburbs that help support them in an indirect way. People will argue that all the people that buy drugs or do them aren’t from the suburbs but are either children of illegal immigrants or are from the inner cities. The reason why so many people believe that is because when minority or poor children are caught with marijuana, they are automatically labeled a juvenile delinquent, when a kid from the suburbs gets caught with marijuana they get a slap on the wrist and their parents “ground them”. I’ve experienced it my whole high school career because I went to a predominantly rich white wealthy school in the suburbs. What I’m trying to say though, is that by us Americans saying that we aren’t responsible for this is absurd, and for all the immigrants who do come here with good intentions are suffering because of this.
Many families that come here “illegally” come here because they have no time to wait for a visa. Back where they come from, it’s no paradise. They don’t come to America just for the kicks; they have a legitimate reason for coming. I’ve heard stories, predominately about the situation in Mexico, of how the people there are scared for their life. They are being threatened by the drug cartel gangs themselves and are fleeing for their lives because the government isn’t doing much to help them. One lady told me that her family gets phone calls in the middle of the night being threatened by different drug cartels saying that they are going to kill their family unless they get a certain amount of ransom. Many children can’t go to school because they are afraid of getting kidnapped or murdered. The economy is horrible over there with more than 47% of people there living below the poverty line.
My last point is this, many people say that America should stay for Americans; well America is a melting pot. Our land is based off of immigrants unless you are a Native American. Whether you are the first generation or the eighth generation, you still come from somewhere else. America doesn’t have a distinct race or religion, we all are different and that’s what makes America so unique from other countries. So as Americans, let’s help these people out, and also our own. Let’s crack down on the drug issue in our country, and let us help these immigrant families to a better life, and let’s also pay close attention to what is happening beyond our borders, so that we can get a better understanding of what they are going through. They are humans, and to me no human is illegal.
By: Danya Mustafa