Arizona and the future on Immigration?
Arizona and Immigration. What does it mean?
Arizona. The name sends a chill through every foreign born person, legal or illegal, living in the United States. In late July, 2010 the Arizona law, the nations toughest new law on immigration, is set to take effect. The Arizona law is aimed to identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants.
Opponents have called it an open invitation for discrimination against anyone who looks like an immigrant. Others have said that the law is a recipe for racial and ethnic profiling. President Obama said that the Arizona law has "the potential of violating the rights of innocent American citizens and legal residents, making them subject to possible stops or questioning because of what they look like or how they sound."
Simply put, the Arizona law demands that immigrants carry identity documents like green cards or work authorization cards, and makes failure to do so a crime. The Arizona law also requires police officers to detain or question people about their immigration status during the enforcement of other laws, such as traffic stops, on the mere suspicion that those people are in the country illegally.
On the positive side, President Obama has recently brought a lawsuit in Federal Court to block the Arizona law, however, the outcome of that lawsuit is in doubt.
So what does all this mean? The simple answer is, for those persons living outside of Arizona, this law has no real consequence. The Arizona law will not affect any person living in New York or New Jersey. However, the spirit of the Arizona law is truly frightening. For the first time, police officers, not immigration officers, will be required to hunt down illegal immigrants. How will the police decide if a person is illegal? In Arizona, merely looking or sounding un-American is enough. That is the frightening part. What does it mean to look or sound American? Worse of all, which state will be next? How long will it be until an Arizona type law spreads?
There is always hope. Hope that a new, comprehensive reform will cure all this mess. Until then, if you are illegal, try and work with existing laws that are on the books today to legalize your status. Try hard. We used to think that things could not get worse in Immigration. If Arizona spreads, things could get a lot worse. Unquestionably, it is a scary time to be illegal in the United States.
Edward J. Cuccia, Esq.