Arizona’s SB 1070 – No

Lifting As We Climb unequivocally opposes SB1070.

Not because I’m African American.

Not because Latinos are the largest ethnic minority in the U.S. and it’s politically prudent to support them.  After all, there is legitimate debate in Latino(a)/Hispanic communities as there is elsewhere about illegal immigration.

It’s because I grew up in upper Manhattan where there were plenty of illegal immigrants from Ireland and Russia.   While people occasionally squawked, there was nothing approaching the vitriol that meets Mexican and Central American immigrants.  Racial hatred is deeply entwined with Arizona’s concerns, some legitimate, others not on illegal immigration.

Even President Bush acknowledged the need for a sane immigration/guest worker policy.  Enjoying cheap domestically grown produce, household help and construction?  Thank a Mexican.

NAFTA – devastating to the Mexican economy.  Where are Mexican workers supposed to turn?

And then there are stubborn facts.

Because of America’s economic troubles, many Mexican and Central Americans are returning home.  In 2008, Banderas News reported:

“Enrique Hubbard, the Mexican consul general in Dallas told Fox News that the rate of Mexicans returning to their home country is “almost 100 percent more this year than it was the previous two years.”

A report published in The Dallas Morning News last month said the same thing. Carl Rusnok, spokesman for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Dallas, told the paper that deportation of Mexican immigrants nationally has increased from “108,900 in 2005 to 136,370 in 2007.”

While many cite the U.S.’s slowing economy for the growing numbers of Mexicans going to their native country, others say that toughening laws on illegal immigrants has ignited fear and apprehension about living in a constant state of lawlessness.

According to the Center for Immigration Studies, there has been an 11 percent drop in illegal immigrant population in the U.S. since August of last year, and that 1.3 million illegal immigrants have returned to their home countries. According to the C.I.S. the population of legal immigrants is still growing.”

That’s it, reverse migration.  Some cities, like El Paso, are suffering because of diminished sales.

I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that this bill helps Governor Brewer so much.  The State Column blog notes that:

The poll, conducted by Rasmussen Reports, determined that 81 percent of the Republicans surveyed approved of Brewer’s performance, up from 52 percent previously.

Sorry, I’m just not with it.

And the sad thing is that things in Arizona and soon, other copy cat states,  are about to get ugly.

Pray.  Act.  Debate.   Agitate.


About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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