What’s More Important, Crime or Illegal Immigrant Control?

Let’s not go overboard when it comes to illegal alien control like Arizona. Human rights issues are at stake.

Many people in the nation are keeping a watchful eye on Arizona to see what they do with their illegal immigration law touted as one of the toughest in America. If Arizona can pass that kind of a law while comprehensive immigration reform is still up in the stratosphere, then a valid question may be what will stop other states from doing the very same thing?

Just to quickly recap what Arizona’s illegal immigration law does for those who might not recall what the flap is all about: it provides wider police authority to check the residency status of “anyone” considered to be reasonably suspicious of not having the proper documents. Racial profiling comes to mind here. And, the law also mandates that legal immigrants must carry their status papers at all times.

The reason Arizona got fed up and passed this law in their state is that Congress, the supposed “authority” on comprehensive immigration reform with a bill so big it could be used as a doorstop, has done nothing to address the issue. Congress and the House are slowly circling one another during an election year and carefully doing nothing that would impact on anyone’s election campaign strategies.

“Of course, Arizona is perched on the border with Mexico and it appears the administration isn’t about to do anything about CIR anytime soon, so one may be able to appreciate their determination to take the matter into their own hands. Having said that, their particular approach to the tough question of how to handle illegal immigration lacks sensitivity and certainly rides roughshod over any human rights issues,” commented Sally Odell, an immigration lawyer at Rifkin Fox-Isicoff, P.A., in Miami and Orlando, Florida.

Another question that a great many Americans are asking these days is whether or not the whole process of CIR, the great debate over what needs to be done and what will and won’t work, is perilously close to overkill; overkill that can and does divide communities for no really good reason. Currently, the prevailing reaction to all of the high profile rhetoric and lack of action on the hill is being slotted into the “overkill” category.

“What should happen is those who have the say in CIR – Congress and the House – need to take the bull by the horns and “do” something with it, not let it languish for yet another year or two. Frankly, white collar crime these days impacts us to a much greater extent than illegal immigration,” observed Odell.

The most troubling aspect about states who pass laws that border on being unethical, potentially abusive and constitutionally unwise is that wither one state goeth, others will follow if they don’t have direction from the White House. In the meantime, Arizona walks to the beat of a different drummer. Who else will follow that beat and what will the long-term consequences be for fairness, equality under the law and human rights issues? Perhaps more importantly, will CIR ever come to be?

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