As a nation founded on immigration and established by the workforce of millions of immigrants, it often takes us aback that the intolerance for people of other races, ethnicities, and nationalities has reached the level that presidential candidates are calling for self-deportation of illegal immigrants. How is this so? How does a nation that prides itself on freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness culturally and legally prosecute people who enter this country searching, sometimes in vain, for a better life? While the answer is still out there, we can examine if laws against immigrants, primarily illegal immigrants, are working to further spread intolerance or are they stemming the tide for American workers to find employment during hard times.
One of the most notable and controversial laws against illegal immigrants was established and adopted in Arizona in April 2010. The Arizona Immigration Law SB 1070, also referred to as the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, “it expanded the powers of state police officers to ask about the immigration status of anyone they stop, and to hold those suspected of being illegal immigrants,” according to the NYTimes. Basically, this law gave law enforcement officials the right to question and demand identification from ANYBODY they thought suspicious of not being American. Is this not a gross neglect of innocent until proven guilty? Police officers typically must have evidence of illegal activity or a warrant issued by a judge for a search and seizure. Minorities and opposition to the law were prevalent as many citizens and non-citizens alike did not take too kindly to this law and it was ruled against by the United States Court of Appeals, citing that the law overstepped its authority. A final ruling was made by the U.S. Supreme Court, rejecting nearly the entire law, but allowing the most controversial provision to stand, citing that “federal law did not pre-empt the state’s instruction to its police to check the immigration status of people they detain.” However, the original law has been modified, now knows as HB 2162 with reduced fines and a jail sentence, reflecting the harsh nature of the law and its consequences in its original form.
While one law does not fully reflect the entire spectrum of opinions and attitudes toward immigration and illegal immigration, the fact that this controversial law focusing against illegal immigrants has reached national attention and had garnered many televised debates can only mean that the final decision on anti-immigration laws is still out there. It has yet to be proven that this new law will have any effect on immigration since it does not focus on prevention.
If you or anyone you know are in need of an attorney to help you with your immigration issues, please contact an Immigration Lawyer in your area today.