The new Arizona immigration law, dubbed SB 1070, is undoubtedly a controversial law that has rekindled the flames on the hotly debated issue of illegal immigration in the United States.
Both sides have become very vocal about the new law. Anti-illegal immigration groups hail Arizona for taking greater actions against illegal immigration that the federal government has so far failed to do. Pro-immigration groups have denounced it, saying the new law will lead to racial profiling and disproportionately targets Latinos more than any other racial or ethnic group.
Before I go any further, let me make one thing clear: I do not take a particular stance on the issue of illegal immigration in general nor do I have an opinion on SB 1070. I would have to say my feelings about both are mixed at best.
However, I do believe both the pro- and anti-illegal immigration sides make sensible points in their arguments. My problem is that there are motivating factors and irrationalities on both sides that prevent me from wanting to wholeheartedly take a stance on this issue.
On the anti-illegal immigration side, the case can be made that those that are not legal citizens of this country should not live here. After all, if they are living here and did not immigrate through the necessary legal channels, they are essentially breaking the law. Despite all that, it seems like many anti-illegal immigration opponents have motivating factors that can best be described as angry and possibly even racist. Many anti-illegal immigration groups that advocate for stricter border patrols and cracking down on illegal immigration harbor some level of resentment, hatred and anger towards illegals for things like taking jobs from Americans, draining our resources and creating a more dangerous environment for people to live in. Others harboring negative feelings towards illegals are motivated by racism, some believing that Mexicans are the reasons the country is spiraling downhill. Groups like the Minutemen Project somehow wants to take it one step further by openly advocating for the formation of militias to take physical actions against illegal immigrants such as killing them. I’m sure not everyone who are against illegal immigration agree with any of these sentiments but after seeing some of the rhetoric from this particular side, I cannot fully stand on this side of the aisle if some of the main voices of the cause advocate something far more radical and despicable.
On the pro-immigration side, the human element is emphasized far more than on the anti-illegal immigration side. Whenever I hear all the debates, those that advocate on behalf of illegal immigrants in this country emphasize that immigrants come to this country in hopes of starting a new life and seek better opportunities. They are some of the hardest workers around who truly believe in the American Dream because they work tirelessly day and night for it. The anti-illegal immigration side seems to put less emphasis on this element, seeming to care less about the real impacts on those that are impacted such as when families get separated as a result of (a) family member(s) being deported. Although the human element aspect makes it so attractive for wanting to side with them, their side defends something that is still against the law. Illegal immigration is illegal, no matter what. Anyone who comes to this country without going through the proper legal channels are breaking the law.
Ultimately, the only real resolve to this issue lies in the hands of the United States Congress and the President of the United States. They must quit lallygagging and seriously work on a comprehensive immigration reform bill, given if they place partisan differences at the door first. People are left hanging, anxiously waiting for what steps the federal government will take when it comes to this matter. Whether this means granting amnesty to illegal immigrants or ordering the immediate deportation of everyone that is here illegally, it must reflect the will of the people of this country and must be one that will help the people more than it will hurt.
Illegality should not be condoned and neither should any forms of racism, hatred and bigotry that also plays into this debate.
Please feel free to comment below and tell me what you think. Rebuttals and challenges accepted as well.