I think it's time for political blog entry. Possibly a controversial political blog entry, depending on who you are.
I have had this conversation with several people lately - people that I respect. I also overheard clients today discussing it while waiting for their therapists. Really, who discusses this possibly heated topic right before a massage? You're there to relax, people!
Anyway, I originally had very mixed emotions about the Arizona state immigration law that is going into (is now?) effect. It felt very wrong and it still feels like profiling. They can say it's not focusing on Mexicans, but really, is Arizona overly concerned about the number of German immigrants in their state? I think we all know who they are concerned about and I don't know why they just don't admit that. Maybe they have and I missed it.
However, the more I've thought about it and the more I've discussed it, the more I see where that state, and those who are following, may be coming from. I don't necessarily like that it has come to this, but I do think if one is here illegally, then one must go. Do I think immigration laws could be reformed? YES! But for now, they are what they are and I think it is a requirement of our government to enforce the laws they set. (Yes, this statement could lead to a lot of other areas that need to enforce a variety of laws, but today we are talking about immigration.) For anyone who feels strongly against our immigration laws, I think this is a fine opportunity to take your words and beliefs into action and do what you can to improve the system. I do believe there is a lot of room for improvement!
The one part I really don't like is that the state of Arizona finds it necessary to do this. If the laws our federal government has in place were being acted upon, it wouldn't have come to this. As a former Human Resources Manager, I had to collect documentation from all employees to prove their citizenship or legal right to work. It's for an I-9 form. I also had to submit my own documentation for the same purpose every time I started a new job. It seems very simple. However, companies all over our country are hiring illegal immigrants to work for cheaper labor than if they hire citizens. If citizens are hired, the businesses would then have to not only pay at least minimum wage, but also taxes on that employee. I guess for the businesses, since they know our government either a) overlooks this illegal practice and/or b) has no intention of following up on employers to verify they are within legal practices, it is cheaper for them to hire illegal labor. I really feel if we started there, hit the businesses, small and large alike, with big fines or more, that the incentive to save a few bucks and risk not getting caught hiring illegal immigrants would diminish. Then the desire to sneak into this country would also diminish, as there would be no jobs for anyone who is without legal working papers.
So there it is. A very quick summary of my thoughts. I really could go on, but it would probably just get confusing as I ramble on with examples and tangential comments. So lay it on me readers, what is your opinion. Be kind though, to me and other commenters.