“The other side” of Arizona’s immigration debate

I’m not happy about the new immigration law in Arizona, but one of my aunts thinks it may be a good thing.  This morning she suggested I more carefully consider “the other side” because of the discarded items in the Sonoran:

It’s definitely true that Oregon Pipe is littered with the backpacks, water bottles, and other garbage of illegal immigrants entering the country, but problems of illegal immigration don’t justify a discriminatory law that probably won’t actually solve problems such as trash in the Sonoran.  Besides, the Republican Arizona legislature and their supporters don’t seem very interested in environmental issues.

Perhaps we should consider how our country’s policies are intimately linked to the horrific torture and murder of hundreds (and maybe thousands) of Mexican women and other violence, or that we helped put in power and supported dictatorial regimes that murdered their citizens indiscriminately, later leading to civil unrest and poverty.  We created or contributed to many of the problems that force people to flee their homes and families.  Addressing those problems is the real way to deal with illegal immigration in the long term.

In the shorter term, INS needs serious reform – not just for our current immigration issues, but for coming, far more serious immigration issues that we expect due to climate refugees (150 million in the next 40 years alone).  The impact of immigrants (legal & not) on our economy isn’t nearly as bad as most people make it out to be and it is actually positive in some sectors – I don’t think a guest worker program with steps to citizenship is bad idea at all.

I think that we can find practical solutions that don’t force us to sacrifice our rights or act inhumanely, but the AZ legislature isn’t heading in the right direction at all.

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