Letters (May 26, 2010)


Arizona’s law: Read it before commenting

 

This letter is in response to John Griffin’s column titled, “MLB, NCAA should make a stand against racist law” (May 12 issue).

First, let me say I am an immigrant. I came to this country legally, I assimilated, I learned the English language and I obeyed the law. I did not illegally come here, didn’t demand other people cater to my needs, didn’t evade paying taxes, didn’t work illegally without a work visa, didn’t use any emergency rooms as a primary care facility; nor did I mooch off of any type of social welfare programs.

Nope, I came here legally, worked legally, took a citizenship test (knowing the English language was part of it), then naturalized, becoming a United States citizen.

I read the article written by Mr. Griffin with great curiosity. I decided to look into the law he cited as being “racist” to see if in fact it was. The link I looked at to find the text of AZ SB 1070 was located at: www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070h.pdf

The first thing I found to be incorrect about Mr. Griffin’s article was, “The new law gives Arizona officials the power to question the citizenship of anyone on suspicion alone.” The law says “reasonable suspicion,” not “suspicion.” The law requires reasonable suspicion to investigate and probable cause to arrest.

The second thing I found incorrect about what Mr. Griffin wrote was, “Basically, the law will make racial profiling legal, as the targeted suspects will be mostly Latin and Asian.”

The law actually addresses this concern specifically and says, “A law enforcement official or agency of this state may not solely consider race, color or national origin in implementing the requirements of this subsection except to the extent permitted by the United States or Arizona Constitution.”

Nope, no legalized racial profiling there.

The purpose of SB 1070 is to enforce federal immigration laws, and it says so in the beginning of its text. Mr. Griffin compared this to “Jim Crow legislation.” I wonder if he thinks the federal law is also “Jim Crow legislation”?

The law addresses not only illegal aliens and their various criminal activities, but also their employers. I think this a good thing, especially in light of our nation’s current high unemployment rate.

I am curious to know if Mr. Griffin actually read the bill, or if he regurgitated the current pop-culture mantra of political correctness? There was no mention of going after any race of people, which shows a lack of knowledge on his part. Read the law for yourself.

I for one see this as a step in the right direction considering the federal government has shown no legitimate interest in securing the border. As for harming the state of Arizona, I say no. In fact, we just made a large purchase from a vendor in Arizona; a kind of BUYcott in support of their new law.

Ina Rust

Rural Marion County


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