Illegal immigration is a tricky topic. The Supreme Court ruled three of four parts of Arizona’s controversial immigration law unconstitutional Monday. States with similar immigration laws, such as Alabama, know now what will and will not be allowed in the quest to enforce stricter immigration policies.
The Obama administration sued Arizona in 2010 stating, in a nutshell, that Arizona was intruding on the federal government’s territory. Justices upheld the more controversial and potentially invasive “show me your paper” law, section 2(B) of Arizona’s law, which will allow police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop, detain or arrest, if they suspect the person is an illegal. The court struck down laws that would make it criminal for illegal citizens to work or seek work in the state of Arizona and criminal for illegal immigrants to fail to register with the federal government. They also ruled against arrests without warrant or probable cause.
In the scheme of things, “show me your papers” is completely fair, and apparently constitutional. If you get stopped by the police for any reason they have the right to make sure you are a citizen of the U.S. I can see where this law can get messy-- if used inappropriately, racial profiling suits might run rampant. If states do enforce this right properly, “show me your papers” can become essential tool of communication in regard to a state’s ability to share information with other states and the federal government. It would be an easy way to keep track of discretions committed by illegal persons in the U.S.
On page 19 of the Supreme Court documents in the case of Arizona, available on the New York Times website, justices said, “As a general rule, it is not a crime for a removable alien to remain present in the United States.”
There were 396,906 deportations in 2011; in 2010, there were 392,000 deportations, according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement press release. Fifty-five percent of the 2011 deportations were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors, the most of which were drug-related crimes. Under a new policy under Homeland Security, children who were brought to the U.S. before they turned 16 and have not been convicted of a felony or a significant misdemeanor or multiple misdemeanors will be not be an immediate target for deportation via a two-year renewable work permit. Granting immunity to children of an illegal is as equally debatable as “show me your papers.” A child under the age of 18 in the U.S. is not responsible for self and children of illegal people in the U.S. should be given some leniency. It is not right to employ people who don’t have the legal right to work in America, especially in a time when American citizens are struggling for their American dream.
But what is the solution? People have historically reaped the benefits of using a foreign people to do labor for a lesser price and/or benefit. I would argue that people who intend to work and live in this county for an extended time period should take the necessary actions to do so according to the laws provided, whether it be citizenship, a visa or whatever options there are, but there are so many more risks to humanity than a working illegal person with no criminal record.
America gives people the opportunity to self-actualize. I’m not saying it’s a straight path for every person, but there is a lot of opportunity, that’s why people from other countries want to come here. Children born here to illegal parents should have a more clear cut path to citizenship, but illegals should be given and, more importantly take, the opportunity to become citizens before or during their extended stay in the U.S.