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Arizona move unfair to law-abiding citizens

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POSTED April 30, 2010 2:01 a.m.
Rafael Ayala’s parents immigrated to the United States from Mexico.

His dad went to work at Gladding, McBean & Co. in Lincoln in Placer County helping produce clay building products ranging from sewer pipe to bricks. His mother stayed at home to raise their family.

They bought an older house that made the one bought by George Bailey in Frank Capra’s film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” look like a new Malibu mansion. Rafael and his younger brother Ruben spoke Spanish at home but their parents insisted they speak English everywhere else.

They are two of the many reasons why Arizona has gone a bit too far in its frustrations over the federal government’s failure to secure our collective southern border with Mexico.

Rafael has a distinctive accent. Under Arizona law if they stopped him for a broken brake light they could demand that he produce a “green card” because they might suspect him of being an illegal. Not only is Rafael a United States citizen but he put his life on the line for years serving as a Lincoln Police officer.

His brother Ruben, by the way, has a slight accent as well. He has spent years making a big difference in the lives of high school students who come in all colors as a Lincoln High teacher.

How can you justify asking a man that has been a hardworking , taxpaying, and legal citizen of our nation whose skin tone and accent happen to match the illegal-immigrant-du-jour target of public frustration for a green card because one might suspect they are illegal?

How is this not going to be racial profiling? Rest assured that anyone with Middle Eastern or Asian accents will fall into the sweeping dragnet that Arizona is essentially creating. There are surely illegal Canadians in this country too. How are Arizona police going to detect those among the Caucasians they pull over for other infractions? Perhaps it is the way they dress or speak. Or perhaps more precisely this is only about one set of illegal immigrants. Arizona believes it is perfectly OK to proceed with its new law to enforce federal immigrant law by demanding green cards of any Hispanic their law enforcement officers’ suspect might be illegal.

That said the people of Arizona – and the rest of the nation – have every right to be frustrated and demand action about illegal immigrants.

They are going about it all wrong, though.
What Congress needs to do but never well due to the amount of campaign cash greasing the skids from major corporations such as Wal-Mart, is to go after those corporations that employ illegal immigrants. Not picking on Wal-Mart, but major companies such as the mega-retailer have been slapped on the wrist more than once for employing cheap, illegal immigrants to clean their stores and do other work.

The double talk about the economy collapsing because no Americans want to do the jobs that illegals do or that they won’t work for the pay is disingenuous. First of all, you can still have a guest worker program much like the successful program in the 1960s that met farming needs. Next you can match welfare recipients – as well as the jobless – with those jobs.

It is easier said than done but it is much more effective in the long run than what Arizona is doing.

Yes, maybe there has to be sweeping amnesty programs for a set number of illegals who have been working and living in the United States for years as President George Bush once proposed. But it can’t take place without a serious and effective program ready to implement to go after companies that hire illegals including those who refuse for whatever reason to take advantage of an amnesty program to become United States citizens. Being serious means deportation and a $100,000 fine for each such worker a company employs.

Yes, such verifications are supposed to happen now but it won’t be done with the needed due diligence without severe penalties.

A draconian fine would make sure that employers got copies of driver’s licenses or – for guest workers – green cards.
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