My immigrant husband and I lived in Tucson, Arizona for four months when we returned to the U.S.
We relocated to the Bay Area, Ca about two months ago, after finding the desert to be less than appealing during the summer months, and because there were better work opportunities here.


Recently a controversial 'Immigration" bill was passed that allows police officers to ask for immigration status during routine stops.
I honestly don't know the full details of the bill, but it seems strange to me that such a law would even cause a stir. In every other country of the world, you have to carry your paperwork and proof of status with you.
We did so in Thailand.
We did so in Vietnam.
I did so in the U.K. (To an extent. I only had to provide a picture I.D unless I was on the clock working somewhere, in which case then I had to have my passport and work permit on me at all times.)
If that is the full impact of the law, and there isn't some small print that changes the game, I have to say that I'm not finding a whole lot of reason not to support it.

But then... but then...
There was an incident.

Before the law was enacted, my husband and I were traveling between Tombstone and Tucson and came upon an immigration check point.
He wasn't carrying his passport, only his British Driver's License.
Uh oh.
The border patrol glanced in our car, saw us both with our blond hair and light eyes, and asked if we were both citizens. We answered truthfully.
This man was stunned. Seriously. The look on his face was hysterical.
We admitted that he was from the U.K, and the officer asked if he had his passport and visa with us.
We did not. All we could do is show proof of Colin's legality to drive in the U.S (It's an international license) We couldn't provide proof of him actually being here legally.
The border patrol officer looked at us.
He looked at his co workers.
He looked at us again.
He waved us on.

My husband was not here legally at the time.
We've been working on his green card, but it is expensive. During the date of that stop, he was undocumented. (Unknowingly.)
We didn't find this out until later. Basically the stamp on his passport expired two days before INS received our paperwork package. Once they did, his status changed from overstay to pending, but for those 48 hours, we could have gotten into a bit of trouble.
Legally, he could have been deported, but in reality, it's an unspoken rule that spouses don't get shipped off. They probably would have fined us (again, helpful since we are struggling to afford the filing fees that are now in excess of $1800) and gave him a warning.
But still, it bothers me.
Had he been dark haired and dark eyed and spoke with a Latino accent instead of a Scottish lilt, the outcome would have been different. I know it. That's the reality of the situation. This was even before the law passed. I'm curious what it's like now.

Recently another bill has been proposed in Arizona.
This one makes my stomach turn.
Professional douchebag and Republican senator Russell Pearce has introduced the prospect of a new bill, one that would revoke or simply no longer grant citizenship to babies born on U.S soil but to illegal parents.
Funny, but this was discussed in another thread about a year ago. At the time, I'm pretty sure I supported something like it. Now I'm a little afraid. (I think that my 'support' was that so-called anchor babies should not be allowed to sponsor their parents, under the logic that if their parents were here illegally, they were breaking U.S law, and no one should be able to be sponsored if they have broken U.S law. Also, I think I said that their parents should still be subject to deportation on a case by case basis. I still believe this, really.) But this... This is not the law I was looking for, Arizona.
I just wanted you to enforce already existing immigration policy, not start writing new ones.
Any time a legislator starts talking about reforming any amendment in the Constitution, especially those written  before the last one  hundred years, I fear for my personal liberties.





Tags: imigration

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In my opinion, If you don't vote in AZ, disagree all you want, but for the most part mind your own f***ing business.

I don't get this seemingly contradictory statement. Plus, if it is a state overstepping boundaries onto a federal issue, it really is the business of all Americans. And that is what it appears to be.
Some of Arizona's laws didn't seem so keen on protecting it's citizens so much as punishing immigrants or those that look like immigrants. I am sure there are other ways for Arizona to lobby for federal aid or reform when it comes to immigration. Enacting laws that belong in the federal domain or that risk harassing citizens who don't look American are not the answers and they do nothing to address the root causes for illegal immigration.

If Arizona's real intention was to thrust immigration reform into the national debate, then they did a good job.
Well, plenty of states have done plenty of stupid things. But does this really protect Arizonians? Many police agencies expressed concerns that the compelling nature of the law would make Arizonians less safe. I have not seen the revised version, so I may be speaking about something that was extracted from the law.
Very true!
Obviously changing or enacting a law here or a policy there would not curtail the illegal immigration problem, since it is multi-faceted. However, as part of comprehensive, federal immigration reform, would it be wrong to include the exclusion of birthright citizenship for babies born of illegal immigrants?

As it stands, it seems unfair that the reward for an illegal who manages to give birth on American soil is automatic citizenship for that child. And I do not see how not granting citizenship punishes the child in any way. Obviously, I would not like to see a de facto underclass that is conveniently exploited. But, I don't see the how something illegal is to be dissuaded when the rewards are so great.

And birthright citizenship for illegals is just one piece of that reward system. I'm really eager to focus just on that and hear arguments for or against.
I'm well aware of, although not intimately familiar with, the conditions that drive illegal immigrants north. But are we obligated to provide asylum to all those who suffer from poverty outside of our borders? Or is the obligation only to those who are within walking distance? And if our obligation is allow them in to provide compassion and succor, then why do we first make them risk their lives on this journey?

I guess I see this part of immigration reform being worked on in another capacity that is not focused on the individuals coming across the border, but rather focusing national political and economic strategy to address the conditions that create this migration. True reform will have to be politically daring and comprehensive on all levels if we really want to conquer this problem. Building a fence or revoking birthright citizenship to illegals will definately not do anything to solve it, I realize.

"...but by giving it to everybody born on American soil, we ensure fairness, no distinctions are made at birth, you are who you are regardless of who gave birth to you, where they were coming from, or whether they broke the law or not. If we don't, we open to door to questions of who is a "true American"..."

By far, the most compelling argument.

However, that door has been opened. Some, like Sarah Palin and her supporters, see a "real" America existing alongside some, undefined America. But regardless of that thinly veiled bigotry, there is such a thing as being a citizen or not. And while I view some non-citizens as truer Americans than some citizens might be besides the point.

We already have an underclass of many sorts. But while I see the point about a multi-generational underclass being sustained (which, we have already, too!) due to citizenship status, I think it presumse that we are allowing illegals to continue to come here and live in large numbers.

I guess what I am searching for is some inherent logic in what is wrong. I think any and every policy choice can have negative effects outlined. The lesser of evils can be chosen, then we hope that the anticipated effects are somewhat accurate, and then call this good. However, this doesn't satisfy me.
I think we need to really dissuade parents from making 'anchor babies' with the intent of using them as such.
I would NEVER support repealing birthright citizenship, but I would support measures that make it less enticing for parents to exploit this Constitutional right.
The only way I see to do this without making a system of second class citizens (the 'anchor babies' themselves) is to make it illegal to sponsor anyone that was previously deported or here illegally.

Let me define 'here illegally.' First off.
I have about six overstays on my passport from Thailand. Colin was here 'undocumented' for two days.
This isn't breaking the law. Not by American standards, not by Thai. Overstays and 'here illegally' are two separate things.
But when you live, work under the table and make no attempt at changing your residential status for a number of years, when you utilize public funds without paying taxes, when you exploit a system for residents, built by residents, then that is 'here illegally.'
This isn't a matter of opinion. The law backs me up on this.
Those people should lose their right for sponsorship on a CASE by CASE basis.


And Neal...my friend...I miss 'shrooms so much. :(
Good point. I think I said something in my post about not wanting anymore immigration laws, just wanting the ones we already do have to be enforced.
Revoke any business license that is convicted of hiring illegal immigrants?
Permanently?
Just like you said you were IN VIETNAM and THAILAND this is not those countries. My family came here in the 1600s my husband came here in the 80s. He is an American so am I. I am blonde he has black hair who is going to get asked for the papers????Hum I wonder. The only ones that would like this would be people that look anglo. What a sorry thing to see in the US it makes me sick. All 4 of our kids look Middle Eastern like there Father.Am I to worry my kids may one day get pulled over, be asked by the authorities where their papers are? What kind of world are we in I was Born and raised in Los Angeles...City of Lost Angels.
Um..if your kids get pulled over they are already legally obligated to hand over paperwork that states their residency.
It is called a driver's license.
It has your address right on it.
Yes, but that is a requirement for operating a motor vehicle.  Passengers in the motor vehicle are not obligated to provide this.  Neither are pedestrians. 

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