Arizona Immigration Law

Posted on July 10, 2012


The Arizona State Law has caused much controversy between the growing Hispanic population and nativist in the state.  Some residents in Arizona believe that the law is needed because the federal immigration enforcement in Arizona is ineffective and that more power should be given to the state police. They also argue that Illegal immigrants hinder the economy and increase the crime rate. Others in the state disagree with the law and argue that it is unconstitutional and that state police should not be given the power on immigration reserved to the federal government.  On one side, it is easy to see that the Arizona State Law SB 1070 is a fear response by nativists on the undocumented immigrants  moving in. On the other hand, America is a country created by immigrants and though there should be some regulation on illegal immigrants, proposing laws targeted toward one racial group is not a clear solution. Instead of forcing the aliens out of the country, the government should continue to regulate illegal immigration while still supporting a new culture in the nation.

Throughout history it is seen that when dominant groups immigrate to foreign lands, it is a natural feeling for the nativists of the land to fear the groups, and as a result become protective of their culture and create laws restricting immigration.  There is a constant repetition of immigration restriction throughout U.S. history, starting from the late 1700s with the Alien and Sedition Acts that gave the power to the President to expel resident immigrants that he thought were suspected of activities that undermined him.  By 1849, with the aftermath of the California Gold Rush, there was an influx of Chinese immigrants, and the Americans again sheltering their country, and passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882.  This legislation banned Chinese migration to the United States for ten years.  The act was renewed in 1892 and 1902, when Congress tried to make it permanent.  By 1905, it was clear that the nativists had no control over the alien migration, when for the first time in American history more than one million immigrants arrived in the U.S.   Between 1901 to 1910 the total number of immigrants in that decade was 8,795,386.  To deal with this new number of aliens in the country, in 1921, a quota was established that limited immigrants to three percent of each nationality present in the U.S. in 1910.  In 1924, the quota changed to two percent of each nationality, (with 82% of all immigrants allowed in the country came from western and northern Europe, 16% from southern and eastern Europe, 2% from the rest of the world) and in 1924, the quota became permanent.  The Arizona Immigration Law is just another instance in this decade of how fear takes over citizens of the native country, and because of this fear of a minority taking over their home, there is a limit on the number of immigrants being allowed to live in this country

Republicans and democrats have continuously debated over numerous topics that have caused major problems in our society. But one topic that has been a big debate since Obama became president is immigration. Mitt Romney blames Obama for not creating firmer policies on the federal government on regulating immigration. Elections are soon to happen and political parties do not want to talk a lot about the subject, especially Romney since he needs the votes to win the election. The issue into why Romney does not want to speak about this debate is because he needs the votes from his party and also from the hispanic community. If Romney does not do what his party pleases he will not get votes from them and he could lose the election. As Obama said, “No one should have to live with a cloud of suspicion”, meaning that profile should not be held against anyone based on how they look. This is why Obama was pleased when 3 sections from the law were shut down. These 3 sections are not carrying documentation, looking or working for a job without papers, and police being able to arrest and search someone that looks suspicion without a warrant.
As a child of immigrant parents, I have a more liberal view on this topic. I agree that the law is a fear response by nativist because of the large number of Hispanics. Yes, the government should put some restriction on illegal immigration, but if no immigrants came to America, it would not be the great nation that it is today. No one should ever have to go through racial profiling. It is racist and unethical. America should have a different way to deal with this problem because this law clearly won’t solve it.

I believe that the Arizona Immigration Law is unjust, mostly because it encourages racial profiling, which is the only way for the police officers to determine who and who doesn’t have their papers.  I also believe that giving so much power to the state government, is wrong because this law will probably grow to other states, and the opinion of one state should not influence other states.  Personally, as a daughter of two Haitian immigrants, though I was born here, I feel like this law is unfair, as it does not give an equal opportunity to every human being at a more successful chance at life.

I believe that Romney isn’t doing the right thing by not talking about the immigration law in Arizona. This law is a form of racism. This law is making history to repeat itself all over again. What i think is that Arizona is not really thinking about the economic view and how it will affect their country.

The future of illegal immigration depends on many factors. Currently Obama has launched a new policy concerning the future generation of undocumented youths. On June 22 2012, Obama’s administration announced to permit hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children to be allowed to remain in the country without fear of deportation. This new policy could benefit more than 800,000 young people. However upon this decision he did not consult with Congress, where Republicans would oppose any measure in favor of undocumented immigrants. The popular term of “anchor babies” is also becoming more and more popular to describe undocumented women from different countries who come to America to have a baby, who then becomes an automatic citizen.  This child is then the woman’s “anchor” so she can stay in the U.S. with her child.  The “anchor baby” is another example of how undocumented youth gain citizenship faster than illegal adults coming into this country. The fate of many illegal immigrants depends on the 2012 presidential election. If Obama wins the federal government will continue to pass policies benefiting undocumented immigrants. However if the Republicans win they will make it harder for illegal immigrants to thrive in America.

By Fernanda Bernal, Isabelle Andre, Danielle Mensah

Posted in: General