My wife and I were recently discussing the new immigration law in Arizona.
According to Washington Post article, the legislation makes it a crime under state law to be in the country illegally. It also requires local police officers to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants. Everyone must have proper identification.
It is already Federal law for resident aliens to have their "green card" with them at all times. There's nothing new in this.....why the controversy?
As many readers of this blog know, my wife is a Philippine citizen. She is a legal resident of this country. She has applied for US citizenship. She is often mistaken for Hispanic - even by Hispanics. Many who see her will start a conversation with her in Spanish which she does not speak. My wife is fluent in three languages, but Spanish is not one of them.
It's very likely that, should she and I be in Arizona, she might be asked for ID. I asked her if that might bother her. Would it upset her to be asked by a police officer to produce her "green card"?
No, she said. She is here legally and it is no problem for her. The only ones, she says, who would be fearful are those who cannot produce the proper identification. It has cost us a great deal of money, up to now, filing for all the legal documents that allowed her to enter the US and stay here legally. It's not right, she says, for others to by-pass these costs by entering the country illegally.
I'd be the first to agree that reforms in US Immigration laws are needed. I, for one, think that it should be easier for immigrants to come here legally. We'd like to bring my wife's family here. Once she becomes a citizen it will be only slightly easier for her to bring her parents here (but not her siblings, sadly). My wife is following the rules; the laws are difficult and the applications are expensive. Is it fair for citizens of countries that border the US to have an advantage simply because they can walk across the border?