The Arizona state immigration ruling slated to go into effect this week was recently blocked by the federal government. The whole issue of immigration is one that sizzles like a hot day in the deep south. If you have followed at all, the ruling clamps down on illegals or undocumented persons, permitting police to question suspected illegals and demand proof of citizenship. A Phoenix federal judge issued an injunction prohibiting this from happening but permitting other parts of the law such as making a crime for a motorist to pick up suspected illegal day workers.
Everyone seems to have some opinion of what the best solution is for our country. I have mine as well.
Like nearly 40% of Americans who can trace some part of their lineage, my grandparents arrived via Ellis Island. They did not come from this country yet they helped to make it great. Individuals arriving then, faced long lines as they awaited legal and medical clearance. Sometimes the process took a few hours but often longer than that. My grandparents spoke no English so when the immigration official asked my grandmother her name and could not decide what it meant in English, he bestowed her “new American name” on her which my daughter and I proudly have for our middle name today. These people were among the hardest working and most patriotic people America will ever know. They forfeited or relaxed many of their customs and roots to rally to become “Americans”. They learned the language, supported the infrastructure, paid their taxes and contributed to the growth of America as we know it today. They were no longer Italians, Germans, Slovaks or Poles…they proudly announced, ” I am American!” The stories my grandparents told touched my memories forever.
To become a naturalized citizen in this county today requires sometimes even more than two years. It is a process that some choose to take because they believe it is worth it. I know individuals who have lived in this country, worked and paid taxes for years while they awaited confirmation for citizenship. The road to America has always been long and hard through Ellis Island or any other means.
No doubt, it is long, arduous and dangerous for those seeking to enter our country without sanction and through less than legal means today. Families face long separations and put their very lives on the line to smuggle their children into our promised land. It must be heartbreaking to be willing to sacrifice the life of a loved one in hopes a better opportunity awaits. But, the heartbreaking sacrifice is a choice made voluntarily. There are means to enter our country legally and honestly and those means seem to be far less dangerous or life threatening. Many others have been in that same “hypothetical boat” and when it landed they did whatever it took legally and morally to make America home.
I don’t really understand the uprising about carrying proof of citizenship. I am asked for my Social Security number when I have any medical work done or want to be employed. I must carry around a Visa when I travel to another country as proof of who I am and where I came from. If I am stopped by a police officer, I might be asked to prove who owns my vehicle, where I live, what insurance I carry and a variety of other means to identify if I am who I really say I am. If they want proof of citizenship, they can find it. If you are proud to be an American then why be so worried if someone wants to know it?
I don’t think Arizona is discriminating, I think Arizona is trying to enforce a law. Being in our country illegally is breaking the law. So is driving under the influence, invading my neighbor’s home and cheating on my income taxes. Yes, until people are caught, sometimes they get away with breaking the law, but I would far rather have a law that at least punishes those who are caught drinking and driving, or who cheat or steal than one enforced minimally so that anyone who wants to invade my home or property or who wants to drive drunk or stoned can easily do so knowing that there will be little if any recrimination. If not enforcing laws would cause chaos why would Arizona’s law be any less important to enforce?
I love that we are a melting pot, but just like I would not want someone to add to “my soup” unless I knew what ingredient it was, I would hope we would not continue to add to America’s melting pot without knowing who is going into the mix. If we let those who break a law live here, aren’t we encouraging them to believe that America is a great country where laws can be made but not obeyed? What is the point of having a rule about how to become a legal citizen if don’t support enforcing it? Should we abandon trying to go after other types of lawbreakers as well? Why are we so concerned about the basic aspect of Arizona’s ruling? IF YOU BREAK THE LAW THEN THERE ARE GOING TO BE SIGNIFICANT CONSEQUENCES and if you are not breaking the law…YOU NEED NOT PANIC.
My opinion stands to DO THE RIGHT THING…THE RIGHT WAY. Follow the rules and someday like the many who are seeking legal citizenship, this country will be home and I will be proud to have you as my fellow American just like I am proud of many of my friends who became citizens through that process. They are proud of their citizenship and would not mind being stopped and asked to show proof because they know what is at stake if we think that this is just a ruling for some to follow and others to blatantly ignore.
What do you think? Is SB 1070 the wrong way to go about it or did this state simply do what every state should and could? We the People is not necessary, “we the government” and maybe “we the government” needs to remember that without the people who make this country great, we have no great country, just great chaos. If we want to have a country of law-abiding people, don’t we need to start with people who abide by the laws?
Yes, I am proud to be an American but not always proud of America…sometimes a lack of vigilance has caused some poisons to taint the product in the melting pot. I don’t want to swallow anything with poison in it and I don’t want to feed it to my children. DO YOU?
Do it right, feds….a law is a law is a law.