Monday, April 26, 2010

Thoughts on the Arizona Immigration Law.

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?


Corey said...

Hello Bob...I have to agree with the new laws for the same reasons you stated. As you know, we, too, have done things the right way, which includes paying a few thousand in fees, completing the necessary paperwork, and going downtown for biometrics and interviews (when necessary). I have trouble finding fault with laws that crack down on people who have bypassed these steps. Let them come to the U.S., but only after they have gone through the proper procedures to be here legally.

Robert said...

I don't think anyone can accuse you and me of being anti-immigrant.

Al said...

I agree with the need for reform, true reform, not what would be the getting rid of all limits etc that some of these so called reformers are calling for.

My view is formed in light of what the Catholic Church teaches.

"The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. . . . Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens. " Par 2241 of the Catechism

1 of the laws that is to be obeyed is having a "green card".

My maternal grandparents came over from Italia. Ditto with 1 set of great grandparents. & had plenty of neighbors with similar stoies. I grew up with friends who were Mexican immigrants of the children or grandchildren of Mexican immigrants. They all obeyed the laws of their time like you wife is for the current laws.

You ask "Is it fair for citizens of countries that border the US to have an advantage simply because they can walk across the border?"

The answer is NO. It isn't fair, it isn't fair to your wife, or to my relatives & friends or the many others who have obeyed the rules.