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Alabama's recent immigration laws racist to South American immigrants

Brittany Dant

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It is time to take stock of our lives as Americans and face the question that has plagued our country for centuries: what should we do about immigration?
Let us take it a bit further. What should we do about illegal immigration?
Well, it seems that Alabama has a new plan to take on the question of immigration. This plan includes anti-immigration laws that require Alabama police to act as immigration enforcement agents by demanding proof of legal status from anyone appearing to be foreign.
The laws also require public school officials to check the legal status of students and their parents before allowing children to attend public schools.
All in all, the new laws will limit access to housing, utilities, schools and employment to anyone who cannot produce the proper documentation proving that they are either American citizens or legal immigrants.
While the Alabama law may be taking the question of immigration a bit too far— I mean, some of the provisions are downright racist — the new laws definitely shine the spotlight on the issue of illegal immigration.
It cannot be denied that thousands of illegal immigrants are crossing our borders every year. From Cuba, to Mexico, to Latin and South America, there are plenty are immigrants flooding into the United States.
There have been numerous reactions to this problem over the years. In the early 20th century, when thousands of Irish and Chinese immigrants came into the country, the solution was to contain the problem with separate ghettos.
Now, when there are thousands of immigrants coming into the county from Mexico, among other countries, the solution is to tighten border security in an attempt to stop the immigration indefinitely.
Regardless of if this approach is actually working, I wondered why this immigration is even an issue.
Yes, illegal immigrants are “stealing” American jobs. Jobs that no American would choose to do in the first place, might I add.
Yes, most of them do not speak English, and yes, some of them are abusing the housing and federal aid systems.
But aside from all of that, are those things truly the real problem that most Americans have with illegal immigrants? Or is there another issue that goes straight past their job status to an issue of skin color?
Would Americans react the same way if the immigrants were coming from European countries?
Why do illegals from South American countries get more attention and action than illegals coming in from Canada?
Could it be because Canadians look like the majority of us? Could it be that they speak the same language as us? Could it be that they blend in with us?
Is the reason that illegal South American immigrants get such negative reactions because they stick out? Would we even care if they came in illegally if they were white and spoke English?
Somehow I do not think so, because then, how would Alabama police know who to stop and from who to demand proof of status? We would all look the same.
I think the reason that illegal Hispanic immigrants get so much attention is because they cannot blend in with us; they stick out like a sore thumb.
That fact that this racial discrimination is still present in our society is disgusting. When are we going to finally look past the issue of skin color and see that every person is truly a human being that deserves respect, regardless of the color of their skin or the language they speak?
This is America; aren’t we supposed to be a country that embraces difference, not shuns it?
Why can we not accept Hispanic immigrants like we have accepted European immigrants?
I think it is high time to remember that the Civil Rights battles have already taken place and equal status has already been gained.
Stop judging based on skin color alone, and if the problem truly is that of illegal status, crack down on all illegal immigrants and not just ones who look Hispanic.

Comments, questions, concerns, or critcisms about this column can be sent to
opinions@mercercluster.com

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No Responses to “Alabama's recent immigration laws racist to South American immigrants”

  1. Mikej27 on October 5th, 2011 7:52 pm

    “I mean, some of the provisions are downright racist”

    Your proof? You made the accusation. Please back it up with facts.

    “Jobs that no American would choose to do in the first place, might I add.”

    Americans don’t want to do farmwork, but the percentage of illegal immigrants doing farmwork is relatively low. According to NPR (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5312900), more than half of illegal immigrants work in construction, manufacturing, leisure, or hospitality. I’ve read other estimates that as few as 20% work in agriculture. Yesterday, I read about one who was a fire chief in New York. There’s another one who is a journalist and actually won a Pulitzer while breaking multiple immigration laws. I guess those are also jobs Americans won’t do, though, right?

    As far as why we complain about those south of the borders, have you looked at the stats for south vs. north? Most of our illegals come from the south. And they don’t speak the language, so it costs TAXPAYERS more to accommodate them and their kids. Also, they have more kids than illegals from Canada. It costs about $8K/child/year to educate a kid in Georgia public schools. I read yesterday about a farm losing illegal workers. The foreman said that several of them had 6 or 7 kids. 6 kids * 8K/kid = $48K per year just to educate those kids for a single year. That worker doesn’t make that much in a year and he probably pays no taxes – so he’d ALWAYS be a huge drain on taxpayer resources just by being here and having a ton of kids (not to mention the free healthcare they’d receive).

    You REALLY haven’t researched this subject. Our country is broke and we just can afford to keep importing Mexico’s and South America’s poorest, most uneducated citizens.

  2. Joeym on July 4th, 2012 6:19 pm

    They’re taking several American jobs.  And their children will take ur children’s. They work the system get medicaid Foodstamp housing then marry Americans and get more. Wake up.Plus most call centers don’t hire non bilingual Spanish employees now because of the increase in ppl calling who don’t speak English and refuse to try. Kitchens in restaurants are all Mexican except the chef usually. Hotels , maid services, home health, stockboys, construction. If u go to areas like south Florida or border TX u can’t even find anyone who speaks English. I went to a tjmax and asked for directions to the bathroom and cashier did not speak English. What does that mean? Fake papers if u think this is not a problem u must not be in a highly concentrated area. 

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Alabama's recent immigration laws racist to South American immigrants