"Life in Arizona for undocumented immigrants since SB 1070 passed is a combination of basic survival under a climate of hate and inspiring organizing that will one day turn hate to love."
Arizona's immigration law burdens businesses with regulation and penalizes workers. It has driven tens of thousands of laborers, consumers and entrepreneurs from the state. This policy is an unfunded mandate that raises the cost of hiring workers and expanding production.
The Supreme Court shouldn't buy S.B. 1070 supporters' claims when it hears arguments tomorrow. The Constitution doesn't allow states to set immigration and foreign policy, and it certainly doesn't allow them to do so in a manner that discriminates against people of color.
At its heart, America is an idea, not an ideology. And the idea that all men (and women) are created equal is unique to America. Once we allow law enforcement to ask someone for identification because they look less equal, the idea of America weakens.
As the president of the Unitarian Universalist Association and a man of faith, I knew it was my obligation to stand in opposition to this draconian legislation that harms immigrants and people of color, tears apart families and destroys the peace of mind within American communities.
There is an indissoluble link between immigrants affected by S.B. 1070 and the fight for LGBT equality, because the LGBT community encompasses not only binational same-sex couples and LGBT asylum-seekers but undocumented LGBT immigrants.
The Supreme Court turns its attention this week to the emotional subject of immigration controls. At issue is the constitutionality of a 2010 Arizona law so widely known that its very title -- S.B. 1070 -- seems enough to start a political argument.
The American sociologist, Erving Goffman, famously wrote, "By definition...we believe the person with a stigma is not quite human. On this assumption we exercise varieties of discrimination."p
In a move that had been expected for some time, the states of Florida and Arizona have merged in an effort to consolidate financial resources and to enact a series of laws even more insane than the ones that either state had passed individually.
Any and all efforts that can potentially awaken our consciousness and drive us to individual and collective ownership and action over issues, are completely worth it, in my book.
To truly reform immigration, we should look back to the nation's first immigration and naturalization laws, which are a far cry from restrictive laws in Arizona and Alabama.
As Esperanza asked what I thought she could do, I found myself paralyzed. Esperanza asked if she could call the police. A chill went through my spine as the lawyer in me carefully answered that I did not think that was safe under HB 56.
The problem is that our immigration laws give such a massive incentive for immigrants to try to defraud the system that they create similar incentives for immigration and law enforcement officials to do the same.
Choosing sanctuary policies over policies of fear, like those embodied in HB 56, tells immigrants and the rest of us what type of community our leaders and law enforcement officials are choosing.
Even at their most extreme, Bill Clinton's political opponents derived their opposition from what he did, not who he was. Not so with Obama. Opponents on the extreme right focus their attacks on his American identity and less on his record.
The thinking goes, any increase in immigration will increase the number of people on welfare which will increase taxes for Americans. Very few people would want to pay more taxes in that scenario, so most people are skeptical of immigration.