When people hear about the Arizona Immigration Law, they may think of racial profiling or how draining illegal immigrants are on the US economy. Many people that have these assumptions have not even read the law or tried to figure out what the basis for the law is. What they know about the law is limited to opinionated arguments on the internet, radio, and newspapers that do not acknowledge the good and bad about the law. Of course, the law is not perfect, but then again, whichhttps://sphs11onimmigration.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=96&action=edit&message=1 law is?
You may not be aware that the Arizona law is actually based on a federal law that was passed 25 years ago. Arizona hoped to enforce the federal law by enacting its own state law because it felt that the federal government was not doing it’s job of enforcing the federal law. In some counties of Arizona, illegal immigrants outnumber legal citizens 4 to 1. The biggest reason that Arizona decided to pass this law was because of the high cost of combating illegal immigration. Many of these costs we already know come from social services going to the illegal immigrants, housing and keeping them in jail, providing them with health care, and legal citizens losing their job to lower paid illegal citizens. Also, the law does not say that police officers can randomly ask a person for their citizenship papers. They are only allowed to ask for the papers if the person they are pulling over has done something else criminal.
One of the arguments for the Arizona Immigration Law is that illegal immigrants raise the crime rate. Because they disregarded the law in the first place to come to the US, they will overlook other laws. They also neglect the 17 million immigrants who wait patiently for years for their citizenship status by demanding citizenship now. They don’t want to go through the long and painful process that Nick described in an earlier post of obtaining legal citizenship. Although they have broken the law in coming to the US, illegal immigrants may not disregard other laws. If by breaking another law, they are discovered to be an illegal immigrant, they would be in even more danger than if they had not broken the law. It seems like illegal immigrants would try their best to not get arrested if the Arizona Immigration Law says that they can only be asked for citizenship status if the person is being investigated or arrested for another offense. So in theory, the law does accomplish what it was originally planned to do of reducing the crime rate, but in effect, only time will tell.
So if there is all this controversy over this law, why doesn’t the federal government step in and make a final decision? How much sway do businesses that rely on illegal labor have in the government and this decision-making process? And in the larger scheme of things, how will normal, average citizens be affected by this law and its effects?