Maybe It’s a Good Thing…

As a Mom, I’m forever trying to teach my children about the nature of people. It’s not an easy job.
I just can't imagine my days without these two yahoos

Sometimes I have to explain to them that people are mean.
Sometimes I have to explain to them that people are evil.
Sometimes I just lie, because the truth is way too much for their innocent minds.
And sometimes I have a hard time explaining, because a person or issue isn’t entirely black and white.

Then there are things like Arizona’s new immigration law. My parental guesswork is minimal on this one, and maybe that’s a good thing.

Well honey, the new law means that anyone the police believe might not be here legally can be stopped and talked to.
I don’t know if they use handcuffs.
Yes, that probably does mean people like your friend S at school. and N too.
Yes, I know they were born here, and they speak English and their parents were born here and they speak English.
No, I don’t think it’s fair that anyone who looks like S or N should have the police talk to them anytime they go to t-ball.
Well honey, some people are afraid of other people who don’t look like them.
Yes, I know sometimes during summer we look like them too. I don’t know, maybe we would get stopped in Arizona.
You mean the people who come here without permission? I’m not sure why we are so mean to them honey.

Perhaps if the Arizona government can explain this better to my 7-year old, without sounding evil, mean, racist, or down right stupid, there might not be such an uproar over this law. But even the children seem to grasp the fundamental WRONG going on.

Comments

  1. maybe if the federal govt would enforce existing laws. AZ would not have to resort to desperate measures. My problem is not with people immigrating to this country for a better life, my problem is they are breaking the law to do it.

  2. So we abandon the fourth amendment in order to enforce? uh… no.

  3. Explaining the adult world to children is the most heartbreaking part of parenting. ­čÖü
    .-= Deana Birks┬┤s last blog ..What I should read? =-.

  4. I’m not sure how one can appropriately explain a law that is beyond inappropriate. It’s like trying to explain slavery, Japanese internment camps, or the vast number of any other civil and human rights violations that have occurred in our country. This law joins that horrible club and I’m looking forward to the day when it is no longer in effect.

    -Aimee
    .-= Aimee @ Ain’t Yo Mama’s Blog┬┤s last blog ..The Children Of Afghanistan =-.

  5. The idea that someone is “breaking the law” and therefore needs to be dealt with harshly rubs me the wrong way. The law is whatever we say it is. The current immigration laws are unjust.

    During the large influx of Irish and Italians immigrants, the law basically said anyone that came was welcome. Obviously that has since changed. Just because reactionaries have changed immigration laws to limit the immigration from certain countries, doesn’t make the new laws inherently right. Mexican immigrants are no different than those that came before them. People are not inherently bad because they are doing what every immigrant before them did, which is move for a better life. Although something needs to be done about the criminal element of illegal immigration (drugs trafficking, human smuggling, etc.), the draconian Arizona law is not the answer.

  6. It is a fact that there are ALOT of illegal aliens in our country. The border patrol obviously aren’t being able to stop them from coming in. The law says it is illegal for them to be here without a work visa or proper documentation/permission to be here. If you come from France you have to do it legally. If you come from Germany, you have to do it legally. If you some from Canada, you have to do it legally. SO why should Mexico be any different? If this law is NOT the answer to the problem, what is the answer? Should we just open our borders and do away with immigration laws now? Or is there some other solution? If ppl say this is profiling, and profiling is illegal…how are the cops suppose to determine if a person is here legally or not? Just not ask? Do nothing? If they have an ID like everyone else who is here legally, it shouldn’t take 30 seconds to show it, and be on your way. I will show my ID. But of course they won’t ask me, they will only ask Hispanic ppl. The problem is with the Mexican citizens so it is the Mexican citizens they are going to ask. What else should they do? Everyone who opposes the law has no better solution to the problem from what I have seen so far. Obviously if you feel strongly enough to blog about it, you must have some feelings about the issue. So what do you think needs to be done?

  7. And just for the record I am not for this law personally. I am not a rallier for the law. But I haven’t seen anybody offer anything better so far.
    .-= Peggy Brister┬┤s last blog ..Watch out Twitter bishes!! =-.

  8. I’m less concerned with legal/illegal border crossing when it comes to this legislation and more concerned with Article 8 which gives the cops power to stop and search anyone they ‘think’ could be illegal. It’s scary.

  9. Peggy the better solution, in my mind, would be stricter fines on companies and people hiring these illegal immigrants. They come here for a better life and to get PAID. We’re not punishing all those companies hiring them enough. Stop the supply, stop the demand.

  10. vaportrailsyyz says:

    I agree that the compaines that hire illegals should be fined and fined hard, but the GOP won’t hurt businesses that way. There is a lot of money to be made by illegal labor, if this was not true, we would not have an “issue.” Money is king in America so we have to hit the purse strings. The other issue is enforcement. What do we do when we catch these guys? Send them back so they can cross again in about 45 seconds? We need to close the border first, then address illegals. I agree that the bill is scary, but I also think it is going to be impossible to enforce. The cops can’t control the real crime problems we already have(and this is a fake issue, drug dealers are here legally and illegally, if we as a nation would quit snorting our weight in Coke every year, the issue would die down without all the drama over the gardner), to think they will be roaming the streets looking for brown people is a little much. Remember, when seconds count, the cops are minutes away.

  11. Just something to remember, not all illegal immigrants are Mexican. Many (like the 9/11 terrorists) are here on expired visas (but those people aren’t going to get caught). It is my opinion that too many people are ignoring that fact and pretending that illegal immigrants are only coming from Mexico.
    (Not really a comment on the post, more of a comment on the comments)
    The people who are actually dangerous and still going to get away with whatever they want.

  12. vaportrailsyyz says:

    Does anybody else find it weird that the GOP thinks the government is broke (no money) and broken (can’t do anything right), except when they want to kill someone or pretend something that is not an issue is something to worry about? That rancher was killed by drug dealers, who cares about his green card, he is a killer and a drug dealer. Could we deal with that without the immigration status? Both AZ senators want 3k troops on the border, where will the money come from to feed and clothe them? What do we do if we do round up all the illegals? How do we pay for all this? Isn’t our state totally broke? Why does the GOP think govt at any level can address this issue when they hate government so much? I keep hearing about all the crimes ilegals commit, is crime really the issue? Do people think if we seal the border crime will stop? I can’t help but think this all comes down to hatred and racisim.

  13. I’m a long way from Arizona, but every time a hateful anti-immigrant message disguised as a political ad comes on our TV here in Alabama, I rush to shut it off lest my almost-4-year-old pick up on this stuff. I’m not ready to explain this yet, because I don’t understand it yet. I’m not shocked that people have these thoughts; I’m shocked they say them out loud and (accurately) believe it will lead to votes.
    .-= Country-Fried Mama┬┤s last blog ..Food fight: why IÔÇÖm rededicating myself to local, organic products, even if I have to pay more =-.

  14. I live in this laughing-stock most call Arizona. As a US Citizen, I am not required to carry anything that says I am a citizen. A Driver’s License is not proof of legal status, so having one isn’t sufficient. A Social Security Card is not proof of one’s legal status. Both can easily be faked, as is well documented through many sources. So what do we carry to prove we are legally here in the US? A birth certificate? Really? According to many of the same people who passed this legislation, President Obama would be rounded up if he were to come to AZ.

    I’d really like to know what an illegal looks like. For almost every other law, there must be probable cause to arrest. What is the probable cause for this new law?

    What about people who believe they are here legally, but in fact are not? What about people who are here illegally but because of Due Process rights are freely roaming? What about someone who is legally married to a US Citizen under fraudulent reason? What do these people look like?

    This is my problem with the law. There is always going to be that faction of law enforcement that abuses laws. But, with this new law, there is insufficient criteria to define how law enforcement is to apply it.

    It scares me. It scares me because my husband could be one of these people deemed illegal solely based on looks. And it scares me that he could be arrested. And it scares me more that it can be done in front of our young daughter. All without basis because he is a US Citizen.
    .-= Sara @ Saving For Someday┬┤s last blog ..Frys: Weekly Deals 4/28-5/4 =-.

  15. I, personally, have to agree with several of the posters here, especially whomever said (and I’m paraphrasing), “It’s not a great law, but it’s not like anyone else is doing anything.”

    I feel like we are (and should be) “mean” to the people here without permission because they should be treated like anyone else who is breaking the law. We’re mean to murders, we’re mean to thieves. . .we’re even mean to people evading taxes. The laws are there for a reason.

    Not too far from me, last year, a woman and her 1 1/2-year-old daughter were killed in a car accident caused by someone here illegally, who was trying to evade a cop, since he was driving while intoxicated. I know Americans do that exact same thing, but these particular deaths could have been avoided if the illegal hadn’t been here at all.

  16. While I agree that this isn’t a positive thing, this law, something has to be done. It’s not about being mean to people who look like immigrants (I’m from Chile, but also hold American citizenship since birth, live in the US, look ethnic, and believe in immigration laws and restrictions) it’s about people breaking the law. The is the law.

  17. Erin, I understand the point you are trying to make and I know the AZ law has many flaws and the potential to cause harm, but here’s the thing: this country has been lackadaisical about immigration for too long. We are not deliberately trying to be mean to those who want to make a better life here. We want them to become citizens by following the laws.

    My great grandparents came here from Poland, they followed the laws, they anglicized their surname, learned English, got jobs, provided for their family and raised their children with little money, all because they wanted to be citizens and accepted in America.

    My friend Afra came to America from Afghanistan and is currently working her ass off to become an American citizen. By allowing others to enter this country illegally we are undermining everything she is doing and working so hard for.

    We are so concerned about racial profiling, and yet we’re discriminating against those who take legal steps to become citizens when we allow others to just walk over the border and live in this country illegally.

    What kind of message does that send? Not a good one. It says that our laws are meant to be broken and that is infuriating. Why do you think 30% of those incarcerated are illegal immigrants? Not because they follow are laws, I imagine.

    By allowing those to enter here illegally we place a financial burden on our schools, hospitals, insurance system, welfare programs, and medicaid and social security. Our country can’t afford to take care of it’s own citizens who need help, let alone those who are not legal citizens. Not to mention that illegal residents who work in this country take jobs away from Americans and do not pay taxes on that money. You and I, the taxpayers, are funding this. Can California afford that? Isn’t your state bankrupt right now?

    I think we need to tell our children the whole truth about this matter, not just the part where big bad Arizona is potentially being mean to people who are here illegally.
    .-= Dana┬┤s last blog ..Six Months =-.

  18. My understanding of the law does not include the right for law enforcement to stop someone simply on suspicion of illegal alien status as you describe. There must first be some other reason for the interaction and then, upon “reasonable suspicion” that the person is an illegal alien “a reasonable attempt […] where practicable” to determine their status can be made.

    Are there too many fuzzy words there? Probably.

    Does this law violate of the 4th amendment? I’m not sure. Individual applications certainly could be, as it will come down to what qualifies as a “reasonable attempt” and whether “reasonable suspicion” meets the burden of “probable cause” or not.

    Is it a good law? I think only time will tell on this. If it turns into a de facto “papers please” scenario, then that’s obviously a problem. If, instead, it simply facilitates the enforcement of existing laws without undue burden on law-abiding citizens, then it might work out. My off-the-cuff opinion is that it isn’t really going to have much effect at all.

    Of course, I’m off the opinion that we should allow the immigration of any non-criminals that can find legitimate employment or can pay their own way in society. Likewise, I wish I could up and move to whatever country I wanted under similar rules. Having immigration restrictions for law-abiding, self-supporting people bugs me.
    .-= Ren┬┤s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday Diptych #17: Urgent =-.

  19. You know, once upon a time there was another politician who believed that a minority population was responsible for many of the economic and social problems of his nation. One of the first steps that politician took was to legislate who was, and who was not, a citizen of that nation. He established rules about what those non-citzens could and could not do. Then in order to effectively identify those citizens his government took steps to easily recognize them, first by affixing their passports with a citizenship status marker, which they were required to carry at all times, then later by having them wear a visible reminder on their clothing. As time wore on, these small steps led to larger and more horrifying acts, until by the end of his reign over 6 million people lay dead because of their genetics. It all started with legislation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Laws

    Yes, I went there. Yes, I am relating this law to Nazi Germany. Yes, I know some people are going to yell at me. Before you do, read that article I linked to. The whole thing. This is where it starts people. By dividing humans into ‘us’ and ‘them’. By blaming all our problems on ‘them’. People often ask how the German people of Hitler’s time could have let things get so bad. It was because he never went out and said ‘we’re going to slaughter all the Jews’ on day one. He took small steps, introducing little pieces of legislation and little ‘programs’ until by the time the full horror was upon people it was too late. That’s where this legislation can take us people. It’s up to us as a nation to stand up and say no, before it’s too late.
    .-= Christina┬┤s last blog ..G-d =-.

  20. I don’t know where I land on this issue. It is tough.

  21. It has been a week of idiocy when it comes to state governments.

    I’m on the fence about this one. I hate profiling and all that this law entails, but I also hate when people who work so hard to become citizens here are undermined by those illegally “hiding out.” *sigh*

    And then there’s the Oklahoma abortion thing that took place this week that has me seeing red and spitting venom. No more craziness! I can’t take it!
    .-= Meg┬┤s last blog ..This is NOT a Post About Abortion =-.

  22. The AZ law as written does not authorize the police to stop anyone because of race. They are not allowed to profile. The local police, as the law is written are allowed to stop based on suspicion. IE a car full of people, on a known smuggling highway is suspicion. The federal Law, the actual Federal law, requires that aliens carry their documentation while in the country. AZ is trying to enforce that law.

    Do I think there will be situations of abuse, yes probaly but that is why we have the 4th amendment as well as other laws to protect people.

  23. As a first generation hispanic in this country, I can’t tell you how livid I am at this racial profiling.
    .-= Alexandra┬┤s last blog ..LOL =-.

  24. As for explaining the tea party, anti-abortion protestors down the street EVERY DAY, or the Arizona immigration law, it’s challenging. The only thing that I know is that I’m teaching my kids to treat all people with dignity and respect. What I actually find most difficult is teaching my kids (and reminding myself) that even the anti-everything people deserve to be treated this way. I’m not saying we don’t rally against them. But I don’t want to treat the people, that I strongly disagree with, the same way they treat others — with hate and intolerance. {sigh}
    .-= Alex @LateEnough┬┤s last blog ..Arizona, You Missed An Opportunity =-.

  25. Totally agree that we should be going after the companies and people that hire the illegals. Why doesn’t the gov. Follow the illegals that get picked up and bust the owners of these companies? Why not go after the families that hire illegals to do their landscaping and take care if their kids? You arrest one ir two rich upper class soccer mons for this and I bet you won’t gave too much of a problem. People come to survive and they will keep coming as long as there are jobs

  26. Another way that we make the situation worse is ethanol. We’re burning food for fuel. This has driven up the cost of corn, the staple food of much of Mexico. That makes it even harder to earn a living in Mexico, increasing the pressure to sneak across the border to earn a living.

  27. A couple of articles I’ve found enlightening recently on this subject:
    An AZ Senator explains… http://bhcourier.com/article/Local_News/Local_News/Arizona_Senator_Explains_We_Are_Under_Sustained_Armed_Attack/67407

    Simon Wiesenthal Center Comments on comparisons to Nazism:
    http://www.wiesenthal.com/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=lsKWLbPJLnF&b=4441467&ct=8389257

    I really hope that everyone will keep the horrible-ization to a minimum. Arizona is just trying to SOMETHING. The Federal government is tying the hands of the Border Patrol and the DEA to protect our citizens.

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