SB1070 is a bill that is sitting on Gov. Brewer's desk right now awaiting her signature or veto. If she signs it, or if she chooses to do nothing, the bill will become law, and police all over the state of Arizona will be mandated to check the migration status of anyone they come into contact with.
So our position is a little like hers: we do nothing, and this thing becomes law. If we make our voices heard, maybe, just maybe, we can stop this.
In my travels I have the blessing and curse of telling people I meet that I am from Arizona. If they know the state, they usually smile and we talk about its natural beauty. If they've never been, they usually say something to the effect of, "Oh, you're from the state that wouldn't recognize Martin Luther King Day until the NFL threatened to boycott." If SB1070 becomes law, we will once again affirm the reputation as being one of the most backwards states in the nation.
We do not want cops enforcing immigration policy. We want cops enforcing criminal law.
being born and raised in Cochise County, I was privileged with a childhood surrounded by people with many different backgrounds. In part because of my many Mexican-American friends while I was an adolescent, I have gone on to learn Spanish and lead an artistic career very much connected to Mexico.
Yes, Mrs. Brewer, our state and country is badly in need of immigration reform and a comprehensive response to our border issues. SB1070 is not either of those things, rather, the bill further cements Arizona's image as a racist and backward state. Like being 50th in the nation in per-capita education funding, racist legislation is NOT something to be proud of. This isn't "tough on immigration," this is unconstitutional.
I should mention that I come from a family of Irish-Slavic decent. It is unlikely that police would stop me and ask me to prove my citizenship. However, throughout my life I have been taught not to defend only my rights, but those of others as well. Mexican-Americans are integral members of our communities, and this bill, if signed into law, will open up the door to more systemic discrimination.
Mrs. Brewer, history is not on the side of the hysteric anti-immigrant lawmakers, sheriffs and other demagogues. Though you will face initial criticism for vetoing the bill, it is the only sensible and human action to take.
Thank you for your time,
Logan T Phillips