The phrase, "that class of people" was spoken by Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce in an interview on Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO. Pearce sponsored SB 1070, and made it his mission to leave a legacy. He seemed to be referring to illegal immigrants, namely Mexicans, whose violent crime rate is said to be twice as high as the Native American crime rate. He wasn't referring, I don't think, to all Mexicans. He also had no problem passing on an email that he received to stop the "anchor baby racket." The constitutional issue seems to be the interpretation with respect to citizenship of the meaning of "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" in the 14th Amendment. Senator Pearce seeks re-election this year, and he'll undoubtedly win. He also seeks the Legislature's President of the Senate leadership position, and will probably get it.
Yet, SB 1070 also addresses the hiring of Mexican laborers, who simply hang out on certain intersections where they can be picked up to earn a living working as day laborers. They are not drug dealers or violent criminals, why would a drug dealer or violent criminal be looking for day work? And then there's Sheriff Joe Arpaio, everybody should know Sheriff Joe by now, who does his "raids" in predominantly Mexican areas, because, as he says, that's where the illegals are. But, I haven't heard of any employer being arrested for hiring illegals, which is also against the law. Somehow police enforcement, and the tipsters who phone in the illegal violators, can spot these illegals, but the employers seem deaf, dumb and blind. Is any illegal going to tell others, "Hola muchachos, soy inmigrante ilegal" (remember, illegals are not supposed to know English).
Now, I am not against protecting our borders from illegal aliens, especially drug runners and violent criminals, but does that require harming innocent people like the children of illegal aliens? Separating them from their parents? Many of these parents, the media reports, are illegal by virtue of expired visas and not their illegal entry. Some 5 million expired-visa-holding aliens are still here in America.
What happened to the fundamental belief in justice and individual rights, values strongly held in this country? Don't the children have rights, in the name of justice, to remain in America? Haven't many illegal immigrants earned the right to remain in America? What has happened to America since,
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Oh yes, sorry, what has happened is that our value system has changed. As Jim Wallis writes in his book, Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street,
The cultural messages over the last several decades have clearly been: greed is good; it's all about me; and I want it all, and I want it now…What has been deliberately and carefully made 'socially acceptable' was, not too long ago, thought to be irresponsible — both financially and morally…
Do we want the market and market values to prevail everywhere and in all things? . . . Are there some areas of life where market values should not determine what is most important — personal and family relationships, ethics and religion, community and public service and social justice?
Why not grant them amnesty, which is hardly mentioned in the media? The immigration reform bill of 2007 died, it would have granted amnesty to many illegal immigrants. I am not talking about granting amnesty to terrorists or to perpetrators of violent crimes, just to those immigrants whose visas expired or who entered the country illegally, but who have been productive, law-abiding residents of this country for an extended period of time; immigrants who have proven their worth and who have earned their right to become a citizen. What's wrong with that?
I believe that many innocent immigrants who are yearning to breathe free would be harmed by deportation, and should be granted amnesty.