Arizona passes strict illegal immigration act
Arizona’s Immigration Bill is a Social and Racial Sin
by Jim Wallis
ARIZONA'S DREADFUL ANTI-IMMIGRANT LAW
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Immigrants should be treated justly.
The most extreme conservative opinion, regarding undocumented workers and their families, is to arrest them all and ship them back to their country of origin. While there are people here illegally from many parts of the world this is first and foremost a reaction to the Spanish speaking Latinos from South of our border.
Massive roundups of those that are unjustly judged ‘unacceptable’ have never worked well for those being arrested or for the offending country involved. We have recent horror stories from Cambodia and Nazi Germany and in the United States with the Japanese internment and the Trail of Tears both of which were a disgrace. Tearing apart Latino families on our ‘liberty loving’ soil would be comparatively disastrous for obvious reasons for them but also for our national spirit which has suffered enough wounds already, most recently through the Bush years..
These people our not from the far flung reaches of the world, they are, especially from Mexico, our neighbors who share history with us. They are a part of the New World family, an ingredient of who we are. Their poverty and status has been used against them, as it was in the past for other immigrant groups deemed unacceptable, for the benefit of unprincipled business interests for many generations now.
It is immoral to use people then throw them away when they become inconvenient. Christian (isn't that the kind of country the religious right repeatedly says we have) kindness would dictate care and forgiveness for these people. Those who wear the bible on their sleeve should know very well how the Lord expects us to treat immigrants and all others who fall into need whether financial or medical. The arguments rationalizing this away do not come from God it comes from a much darker, hotter unholy place.
We need to protect the border. Many business interests seem to prefer the status-quo while others want the border closed simply out of unjustified prejudice. .
Bring them into citizen ship in a manner that's just. We need to have strict, consistent punishment for all those who hire these people with the intent of misusing them for their own benefit. Strong penalties need to be given for all those who pay substandard wages.
Any corporation that moves south of the border must pay livable wages and conform to rational environmental controls or risk a high tariff or lose the ability to trade with the United States. We must realize US involvement in many of the economic and political hardships suffered by others who share the Americas. We have a moral duty to work to make things right and that doesn’t begin with exploitation.