On April 23, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB-1070 into law, the Arizona anti-immigration bill. One week later, on April 30, Gov. Brewer signed the first revision of that bill. Gov. Brewer has stated that "Arizona has been under a terroristic state because of the influx of illegal immigrants" yet if she felt that way, why the quick change in law?
Previously under the law, a police officer would have been allowed to asked anyone for proof of U.S. citizenship if they suspected that person was in the U.S. illegally. You need no tot be doing anything wrong, just a simple question at any time, basically a judgment call by the police officer. Now, however, under the revision, you must have done something to warrant the question.
Whether if you are pulled over for a traffic violation or walking outside the crosswalk, then and only then can the police officer ask for legal documentation of U.S. citizenship. So you gotta do something wrong to be asked, kind of like immigration's version of "don't ask don't tell." Yet the revision does not take place till July 2010.
With all the fuss over the Arizona law, the thought of a National I.D. has come to surface. Ever since 9/11, Republicans have told us that they are the true defenders of the United States and the Democrats will allow more attacks to happen. So why is there very little Republican support in Congress for the new National Immigration law?
Under the proposed law, Democrats are calling for immigration overhaul with ideas of; National I.D. card, increased money for border patrol agents, helicopters and unmanned drones to patrol the border. The proposal would also seek out companies the hire illegal immigrants or "undocumented workers." Is that the politically correct term these days?
The law pushes many ideas to tighten the borders, to stiffen prosecution of drug smugglers, to hiring more department agents in: Border, Immigration & Customs, Arraignment officers, Deportation officers, even the Coast Guard would get a bump in surplus.
President George W Bush signed the Secure Fence Act in October 2006 and to this day only about 50 miles of that fence for 700 miles requested was built along the Mexican border. Estimated cost of $9 million/mile, the fence is not moving due to geography and unhappy land owners fighting that the fence would split their pink flamingos in their yard. Not to mention that in December 2006 after the law was signed, the Golden State Fence Company was contracted to work on the fence line outside of San Diego. Golden State was found guilty of hiring illegal, or "undocumented workers" to build that fence. And it wasn't the first time Golden State got busted for using "undocumented workers."
Now if 54 Republicans and 26 Democrats eagerly helped pass President Bush's silly fence bill, why is there no Republican support for the current major immigration overhaul that is on the Congressional calendar?
National I.D. cards are nothing new. Many suggested the idea to President Bush shortly after 9/11 and he waved off the idea. One could consider your Social Security number as one form of National I.D., since we are asked for our Social Security numbers from job interviews to college administration forms to credit cards application.
There was the REAL ID Act of 2005, which became a joke from the get-go. Many panned it as illegal, since it basically turned state Department of Motor Vehicle workers into federal Immigration workers. The cost to implement the technology became bloated and the timeframe for implementation went from January 2008 to January 2017. Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff once said "..embracing REAL ID would mean it would be used to "cash a check, hire a baby sitter, board a plane or engage in countless other activities. This is a description of a national identification system, which is illegal in the United States."
For the longest time, we as Americans have been Pavlov's dog of sorts in stereotyping people by race, religion, etc.. "No Irish Need Apply" was a common advertisement in 1800's America, forcing many Irishmen to take to manual labor jobs, sometimes causing race riots with African Americans trying to get that very same job.
After 9/11, many Americans stereotyped all Muslims as terrorists, while forgetting Timothy McVeigh was still considered a "red blooded" American on April 19, 1995 in Oklahoma City. And many Americans praise Andrew Joseph Stack as an American hero for flying his propeller plane into the Austin, Texas IRS building, killing two federal employees and injuring others.
No one can identify a terrorist nor an illegal immigrant, even Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has stated "I couldn't identify an illegal immigrant if I saw one." Through television and movies, for decades, we have seen image after image that an illegal immigrant is Hispanic. Thoughts of the movie "Born in East L.A." come to mind when Cheech Marin's character gets deported because he left his wallet at home and could not show proof of citizenship. Through constant imagery and repeated rotation, we assume all illegal immigrants are Hispanic and all terrorists are of Muslim decent.
After the May Day parades and anti-Arizona immigration rallies held coast to coast this past weekend, probably one incident will somehow turn into a "6 degrees of illegal immigrants" game.
As many of us now know, Times Square was sent into a frenzy as a T-Shirt (and former Vietnam Veteran)vendor spotted an unattended smoking(!) SUV in the area. The vendor immediately rushed to the nearest police officer. Quick thinking by the vendor and quicker response from New York finest, Times Square was evacuated for a possible car bomb plot. Luckily, those who designed the bomb failed in all their attempts to cause chaos as the car bomb never went off. But one can be positive that come Monday morning, that some media source, whether it be a respected journalist or an opinionator, will have tried to link this terrorist act to illegal immigration.
To truly get a grasp of the issues of national security, illegal immigration, terrorism, we as Americans need to remove the blinders that have been placed upon our faces. We need to look at all and not look at one whether it be religion, race or political party. Not all terrorists are Muslim and not all illegal immigrants are Hispanic.
But then again, if all the illegal immigrants are deported, who will care for all those pristine country club golf courses so many of us jet off to play on in south western America?