Brandon Hernandez is a typical American teenage boy. Clad in sneakers and baggy sweatshirt, the ninth-grade student is standing outside Central High School in Phoenix with a friend, flirting in vain with groups of girls passing by.
School has finished for the day and Brandon, who was born in Arizona to Hispanic parents, should be looking forward to the weekend. But the 14-year-old is worried: the state’s new immigration law could make him a target of police searching for illegal immigrants, he says.
Having been born on the banks of the Rio Grande (Eagle Pass, Texas) and after living 25 years among 2.4 million people in El Paso-Juárez — more than two-thirds of whom speak primarily Spanish — I have acquired a layman’s understanding of international relations. One lesson I’ve learned: Never treat a beehive like a piñata.
Michele Waslin, senior research analyst, American Immigration Council; Washington, D.C.: This law is very problematic, and I believe there are several groups that are already preparing lawsuits challenging it. The White House is also taking a look to see if there is anything that can be done by the federal government. More than anything, this law highlights the fact that our immigration system is badly broken. We’re seeing more and more of these harsh anti-immigrant laws at the state and local level.
Two lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of Arizona’s new immigration law – and the promise of more to come – represent the latest in a surge of outrage over the first-of-its-kind measure to crack down on illegal immigration. The lawsuits follow high-profile protests, calls for boycotts, and a travel advisory from Mexico urging its citizens to steer clear of Arizona.
Arizona's harsh new immigration law has taken quite a beating in the past week.
President Obama has called it “misguided” and promised to keep an eye on it. Attorney General Eric Holder said the federal government may challenge the law. Calls for boycott are multiplying, threatening to stagnate Arizona’s already weakened economy.
But maybe the state's lawmakers should see all these potential obstacles as a blessing. Because the truth is, Arizona may not be able to afford this law anyway.
Last week, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a statewide law forcing local police officers to question and potentially detain anyone they "reasonably suspect" to be an undocumented immigrant. If you believe our local law enforcement agencies, who will be required to implement the mandates of this law, it will lead to mistrust between police and the people they have sworn to protect. The law violates due process, civil rights, and federal sovereignty over immigration policy. While I believe the courts will quickly overturn it, I am concerned that the damage to my home state's credibility has already been done.
The Senate leadership is planning to introduce a summary outline of an immigration bill shortly before 6 p.m. on Thursday, one day after circulating a draft to advocacy groups. The framework—whose existence I reported earlier this week and which is spearheaded by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)—seems to have been written with the intention of attracting support from moderates on both sides of the aisle. But if Dems can't get Republicans to sign on, will they go it alone?
We have always been told that baseball is America's pastime. In fact(after hypocrisy)immigrant-bashing is our new national sport. The draconian anti-immigrant bill recently passed by Arizona's legislature proves just how true this is.
Advocates of this law claim it is necessary to fight crime brought into Arizoma by the "flood" of illegal aliens. In addition, the usual claims of higher unemployment, lower wages and increased welfare spending are cited as reasons for this law.
These claims are largely bogus. A study by Walter Ewing of the Immigration Policy Center shows that if illegals were to suddenly disappear, crime in America would actually increase. Syndicated columnist, Stephen Chapman, notes that El Paso, the ultimate border city, is one of the safest in America.
Now that Arizona has enacted the most xenophobic anti-immigration law in this country, get ready for the big Hispanic exodus.
But it won’t be an exodus back to Mexico or to Central America. It will be a stampede toward Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago and other cities with huge Hispanic populations, where Latinos will be able to live without fear of being stopped by police because of the color of their skin or for speaking Spanish.
According to a bill passed by the Arizona legislature and signed into law Friday, police officers would have to arrest anyone when they have “reasonable suspicion” that the person does not have valid immigration papers. And it would allow anyone to sue local or state officials who they believe aren’t carrying out the law.
Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center, says that ICE could substantially improve its performance by appointing an ombudsman "to serve as an internal conscience, taking in reports on individual cases, making sure that policy is followed and serving as an internal watchdog."