Arizona’s New Law is Licensed Racism!General Posts
By Alex Chaparro
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Racial profiling has an ugly history. Humankind’s darkest moments have been incited by fear, ignorance and racial hatred. Is it any wonder then that the spirit behind Arizona’s new immigration law (SB 1070) has incensed Hispanic America?
With one broad stroke, the new law has made all of Arizona’s Hispanic residents, which number 30 percent of the state’s population, a potential target. Illegal aliens come in all sizes, shapes and skin color because they hail from all corners of the world. But, for purposes of this fear-driven campaign, “aliens” are Mexican-looking people, which is a problem for American citizens that match that description.
Nothing about this law will solve the complex problem of immigration reform. But the audacity of it can and should galvanize the voice of people of color. Already thousands of Latinos have taken to the streets in protest. The nation’s Hispanic leaders are speaking out against the bill and joining forces in protest against it — and with good reason. The authors of Arizona’s bill would like us to think that this is just the state’s way to make up for the federal government’s failings on the issue. Make no mistake, my friends, this is licensed racism that has given anti-immigrant factions a pulpit to intimidate Latinos while doing nothing really to tackle the true problem.
“Police state” tactics will do nothing more than incite more anger, fear and hatred.
We are a nation built on the hard work and character of generations of immigrants that came before us. It’s about time that we act like it. We owe it to our ancestors to speak up now. Latinos must pick up the mantle on this civil rights issue and demand comprehensive and intelligent immigration reform that:
- Secures our borders
- Provides a pathway to residency for undocumented immigrants
- Preserves families of the U.S.-born children of immigrants
- Establishes a temporary worker program
The Senate Democratic leadership unveiled a proposal last week that contains many important elements of a new policy. This is a good place to resume the conversation. The nation’s Hispanic leaders must be fully engaged in the debate and have a seat at the table for this — otherwise we’re leaving the fate of our community to others.
It doesn’t hit any closer to home than this, NAHREP members. Get involved. Join in the debate — whether it’s at rallies, on blogs or by picking up the phone and calling your local lawmaker. Make a statement at the polls with your vote. Anti-immigrant groups have forced the issue with this new law. Now it’s up to us to demand reforms that protect and preserve the rights and dignity of the Hispanic community today and in the future.
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