Is it just me who’s disturbed by the recent Immigration Bill that was passed by Senator Jan Brewer of Arizona allowing police more leg and handcuffing room to detain residents in the state that they suspect are illegal immigrants or am I just being Miss Rant-Off-Your-Face again?

Well, my answer to that is definitely a YES! I’m disturbed.

Well, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then please do watch the video below.

OK, you watched it?

Good! Now on to the rest of the blog. Make sure you’ve got your headphones on, coz boy have I got a few things to say here.

I do admit that this issue does make me hot under the collar despite me not even being a resident or illegal immigrant in any of the 50 beautiful states of the United States currently.

However I am still slightly disgusted at the bill because it reeks of racial elitism and xenophobia: And this coming from a country that was built and founded by the blood, sweat and tears of migrants, which is why I find this bill a really ironic political move.

I was once a foreign student there, though on a short-term work permit which allowed me to know what it felt like to be an alien, so what I’m hearing now over the US media and news circuit does not please me at all, especially from a place I once called my short-term adopted home.

But before I continue on, let’s take a closer look at the main components of this bill shall we?

Protestors in Arizona striking against the new Immigration Bill 24/04/10

Right – so, the main focus of the bill requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect that they’re in the United States illegally. It also targets those who hire illegal immigrant day laborers or knowingly transport them.

Now before this bill came into place, officers were authorised to check someone’s immigration status only if that person was suspected in another crime.

So now, the brouhaha revolved around police being given more legal room to check just about any damn person who remotely looks like an immigrant whenver they feel like it and do whatever they feel to that person or persons.

What this also does is encourage the community to practise racial profiling which is quite unethical because it only serves to discriminate the majority of the immigrants who are of Hispanic/Latin American descent.

Who’s to also say that the buck stops there?

Pretty soon, immigrants from other ethnic groups may also be targetted in the long run especially if clauses and amendments are made to the bill in the long run.

What’s even more alarming is that the police force in the US are not known to be kind folk especially to poor, impoverished communitites who mostly happen to be drug-consuming communitites as well.

I’ve watched COPS – I know what could go on in these ‘here boondock parts’. These guys can be ultra bad boys to the general public and will show no mercy if such legal documents aren’t produced. There could also be shady coppers who might even take it a step further by exploiting the situation even.

I’m not saying that’s going to happen regularly but should the opportunity be created as this bill is doing right now, there could be such cases cropping up to quite frequently.

After all, coppers are humans too and they can succumb to their weaknesses and follies.

Hell, a person in uniform carries a lot of power in their hands but the question now is, will this power be implemented responsibly without prejudice or pre-conceived stereotype ideas of what an immigrant is and why he/she is in the country.

Here’s also the other irony.

Most native residents of Arizona and even the US have a really foggy idea as to what an immigrant looks or sounds like. Legal or otherwise.

Could this bring us back to 2001 when because of the 9/11 backlash, a wave of violence erupted in the country against Muslims?

After all, instantaneous raging  against the enemy seems to be the typical reactionary solution for a lot of the country’s domestic woes.

But here’s the other paradox about the bill. The need to fill jobs that US citizens themselves aren’t interested in; jobs that new immigrants are happy to do as long as it allows them to enjoy all the other prosperous perks that come with residing in the country and of course, the opportunity to send remuneration back to desperate families back home.

While employers were happy enough to take these folks in, with this new Bill, employers are going to be at a disadvantage since once these migrants are ousted out of the state, employers will find it hard to take on residents who are willing to work these very low wages, hence leaving an economic conundrum in the hands of the State’s authorities.

Another irony – who said Mexicans, who form the majority of these legal and illegal immigrants are immigrants anyway? Taking a quick look back into the history of the US, one will ironically find that

How this pans out, one can only wait and see as Obama’s administration has thumped down hard on this bill, calling it ‘misguided’  and a threat that will undermine basic notions of fairness that  Americans cherish.

So far, the Obama administration has ordered the Justice Department to investigate thoroughly into this Bill to determine if it violates civil rights and to take necessary action if it does.

However, whatever the results, it still portends to America’s continuous struggle and evolution with migration and racial issues that still plagues the country even after 200 years after its independence from ts colonial predecessors.

A struggle that will not end anytime soon as recession woes add to worries of every citizen concerned with their financial survival in an uncertain global economic climate.


About thejellyfarm

In real life, I am a television writer and producer...er no...scratch...a television director....noo, scratch....a media loser.....wait, that doesn't sound quite insulting enough....... OK, ahem. In real life, I'm an idiot box expert with a penchant for the creative. In short, I'm a loser with no focus or direction in life. I just go where the creative flow takes me. Mostly it takes me to clogged up drains and stinky oceans but it's going.......going.....somewhere. And this blog is an expression of that mindblowing roadblock. Creative frustration is a great motivator and here is a result of that.

Posted on April 25, 2010, in Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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