We have said it before and we will say it again, do not expect most people to be charitable when times are hard, jobs scarce and costs high.
Thus, we are not surprised that despite a judge’s decision to at least for now block some of the more controversial sections of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, SB1070, set to take effect today, many other states are contemplating enacting their own version of the law.
While supporters of the Arizona law insist that it is not anti immigrant, but anti “illegal immigrants,” there is no guarantee that those tasked with enforcing the law can easily, or without trampling on individual civil rights, make that distinction as the law is currently written.
In passing the law, Arizona has fanned the flames of discontent on both sides of the undocumented immigration issue. What has become abundantly clear is that no matter their position, Americans wants Congress to stop delaying action on immigration reform in favor of meaningless, and getting us no where rhetoric.
Federal Judge Susan Bolton has stayed some of the requirements of the law that makes it a state crime to be in Arizona without documents proving legal status to be in the country; requires police officers to ascertain the legal status of people they detain; a crime to solicit or perform work if undocumented, and that authorizes the warrantless arrests of people where there is probable cause to believe the person has committed a public offense that would make them eligible to be deported.
Fueled by the bad economy, job insecurity, diminished public services, Latinos, whether native born, legal or illegal immigrants, are now being subjected to a great deal of hate, suspicion and blame for all that is wrong in this country.
While some may excuse a Latino brother-in-law, individual co-workers, neighbors or a child’s friend from blame directed at undocumented immigrants, for many it is still easier to blame someone who is or appears to be foreign, than to blame themselves.
But that attitude will not solve this country’s problems that go way beyond the question of someone’s immigration status. If we continue to blame the wrong people for everything that has gone wrong in this country, we have no doubt that our future will continue to be very cloudy.