One immigrant's plight v Arizona law

My friend Maria is among the fairly good-sized community of illegal immigrants living in San Francisco. She works hard, buys local, supports her church and her daughter’s school, adds a lot to the city and state economy and functions in every way as a model citizen except she doesn’t pay income taxes. She would like to pay those taxes, but over the years that she’s been here she has not found an opening to apply for citizenship.

Once I asked Maria about her car, a nice one on which she paid hefty sales taxes but which, of course, she drives without a license.”I just drive very, very carefully,” she said, “and keep everything perfect with the car. If you’re stopped, maybe for a turn light being out, it’s $1,000 minimum.”

“A thousand dollars?” I said; “you’re kidding.”

“They impound your car. You have to find someone with a valid license, get them to go get your car for you, plus paying the fine and all the fees.” Maria said this in a quiet voice while I exhaled.

Now, if Maria is stopped in Arizona she will simply be sent home. And this makes very little sense to me. President Obama said the Arizona law threatens “to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”

He also said that he is monitoring the Arizona bill for civil rights and other implications.

“If we continue to fail to act at a federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country,” Mr. Obama said.

In his remarks, the president didn’t offer a timetable for trying to pursue an overhaul of immigration laws in Congress.

Something seems not only unfair but un-American about making it legal for Maria to be summarily sent home after a traffic stop. Or some other kind of stop, no matter how vehemently everyone insists that racial profiling will never happen. We welcome Maria and her family in — after all, we need their labor if we’re going to eat strawberries — but once they’ve proven themselves solid citizen potential we throw them out.  Maria has cousins who were migrant workers although she herself has always been a small step up the ladder from that back-breaking job.

Admittedly, illegal immigrants come here for less than good-citizen motives. Certainly we must protect our boundaries. Arizona’s abuse-inviting law does not seem the right way to fix our immigration policies.

Obama Slams Arizona’s Immigration Bill – The Caucus Blog – NYTimes.com.

10 responses

  1. Fran, what part of “ILLEGAL’ don’t you and your friends understand ?????????????????????? We Americans don’t mind if mexicans immigrate to the US, but let them do it ‘LEGALLY”. No problem. You and your friends bash Americans for opposing immigration. ….NOT SO…. We oppose “ILLEGAL” immigration. The illegals,by law, have NO rights here……period. No more than someone has the “right” to run a red light just because they are in a hurry,or murder someone just because they don’t like that person !!!! Let them go through the proper channels. I was married to a south american woman who did and waited for years and spent alot to be accepted. Is it fair to her to allow these illegals to walk across and be admitted ??? I don’t think so. And I’m so tired of hearing the old “well, who else will do the grunt work”idioms. Don’t you realize that if the greedy farmers would pay a decent,liveable wage that they would be overwhelmed with applications ???? Why don’t you try blasting the greedy corporate farm corporations instead of the average American ??? I understand that you are one of the so called “guilty white Americans” but I am not, and most of the rest of us are not. Please quit appologizing for all of us, OK ?????

    • Actually, Cato, I don’t even feel guilty for eating strawberries. And I do not favor illegal immigration. I simply feel our immigration policy has been so wrong, for so long, that it is stupid not to fix it. Part of the fix, in my opinion, would be some way to legalize the uncounted thousands who have become good quasi-citizens over past decades, and the other part would be to accept, annually, an adequate number of temporary workers. As to corporate farming, which is unlikely to replace bottom-line profits with humane concerns — well, yeah, minimum wage with benefits would be nice. Also oughta be part of the fix. But I’m not holding my breath.

  2. Pingback: Ricky Martin, Eva Longoria, George Lopez Speak Out on Racist Arizona Law - Lez Get Real

  3. Fran Johns response to Cato speaks for many of us. Create a fair immigration to deal with the issues … not a wall, not a “where are your papers” environment. I don’t believe the Arizona law will stand. If it does, well then, that’s scary.

  4. Cato is spot on..

    Fran from San Fran. Before I read your comments I knew what you were going to say from your title/name. typical bleeding heart lib. Your comments confirmed my suspicions. The problem you and the racist illegal aliens don’t get is who is paying for Maria’s medical bills? We can assume most illegal aliens dont have jobs that carry health insurance. Who is paying for the birth of the 10 children she had? Who is going to pay for their education? What if maria’s illegal alien husband got drunk and hit/killed someone-who is going to pay for all of that-the court costs, the damages to the injured/killed? Who pays to incarcerate her husband? Who pays for her children’s health care? Who pays to feed her children because she doesnt make enough to feed her children? Her husband gets injured while working as a tree trimmer paid under the table with no health benefits, who pays for that? What if Maria falls asleep behind the wheel and kills someone, and is too poor to carry car insurance? Who is going to pay for that? Are going to pay for all of this Fran, are you a billionaire? don’t think so. So, until you are willing to pay for all the costs/damage to society, you don’t have a valid argument.

    • Cacitizen, thanks for you support on this issue. It’s very difficult to get any support for our viewpoint on Ms.Johns’s blog since her supporters are very,very left wing extremists. I even offered her and friends a solution to this problem. I suggested there be “block” on the fed. income tax return where you could pay as much extra as you like to pay for all the illegals’ drain on our society. That way she and her friends could help them and they would stop feeling guilty for being a white American. She replied she would be happy to pay for them………yea,right…….I would like to see her and her friends’ generous contributions, wouldn’t you ?? Here again I will state..these people are I L L E G A L…. H E L L O !!!!!!!!! Fran, please look up the definition, OK ? By the way, I am also against very,very right wing extremists. People on both ends are blinded by their extreme views.

      • thanks Cato. I live in L.A. I’ve had friends who were beaten to within an inch of their lives by illegal alien gang members, for no reason (other than being white). Standing in line at the store its not unusual to hear a mexican saying racial slurs in spanish at you, “pinchi cabron, gringo, el americano.” They think we whiteys don’t understand, but many of us do, and it confirms what everyone knows. Illegal aliens are just as racist as anyone else out there..If Fran was beaten up by an illegal gang meber, she would change her mind real quick. The libs won’t get it until it LITERAlly hits them in the face!

  5. Cato is spot on..

    Fran from San Fran. Before I read your comments I knew what you were going to say from your title/name. typical bleeding heart lib. Your comments confirmed my suspicions. The problem you and the racist illegal aliens don’t get is who is paying for Maria’s medical bills? We can assume most illegal aliens dont have jobs that carry health insurance. Who is paying for the birth of the 10 children she had? Who is going to pay for their education? What if maria’s illegal alien husband got drunk and hit/killed someone-who is going to pay for all of that-the court costs, the damages to the injured/killed? Who pays to incarcerate her husband? Who pays for her children’s health care? Who pays to feed her children because she doesnt make enough to feed her children? Her husband gets injured while working as a tree trimmer paid under the table with no health benefits, who pays for that? What if Maria falls asleep behind the wheel and kills someone, and is too poor to carry car insurance? Who is going to pay for that? Are going to pay for all of this Fran, are you a billionaire? don’t think so. So, until you are willing to pay for all the costs/damage to society, you don’t have a valid argument.

    Reply to this »
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    7:52 am on 04/30/10 cato
    Cacitizen, thanks for you support on this issue. It’s very difficult to get any support for our viewpoint on Ms.Johns’s blog since her supporters are very,very left wing extremists. I even offered her and friends a solution to this problem. I suggested there be “block” on the fed. income tax return where you could pay as much extra as you like to pay for all the illegals’ drain on our society. That way she and her friends could help them and they would stop feeling guilty for being a white American. She replied she would be happy to pay for them………yea,right…….I would like to see her and her friends’ generous contributions, wouldn’t you ?? Here again I will state..these people are I L L E G A L…. H E L L O !!!!!!!!! Fran, please look up the definition, OK ? By the way, I am also against very,very right wing extremists. People on both ends are blinded by their extreme views.

    In response to another comment. See in context »
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    2:29 pm on 05/05/10 cacitizen
    thanks Cato. I live in L.A. I’ve had friends who were beaten to within an inch of their lives by illegal alien gang members, for no reason (other than being white). Standing in line at the store its not unusual to hear a mexican saying racial slurs in spanish at you, “pinchi cabron, gringo, el americano.” They think we whiteys don’t understand, but many of us do, and it confirms what everyone knows. Illegal aliens are just as racist as anyone else out there..If Fran was beaten up by an illegal gang meber, she would change her mind real quick. The libs won’t get it until it LITERAlly hits them in the face!

  6. “She would like to pay those taxes, but over the years that she’s been here she has not found an opening to apply for citizenship.”
    Come on Fran. Do you seriously believe this? It’s called being lazy and not having the incentive to do it. How have others become citizens or even Permanent Residents? Did they win the lottery? In other words, it wasn’t high enough on her “to do” list to get done. Now that the poop has hit the fan, we are supposed to be okay with the lack of urgency she had before? And the car. I can pretty much assure you that if she doesn’t have a license, more than likely, she doesn’t have insurance. When she gets into an accident and seriously hurts or even kills somebody, what then?

    You seem like a fair enough person. However, I have to disagree with you. This law is both fair and constitutional. This law is only putting an exclamation point on a law already in effect. Did you know that when somebody gets a green card, it is part of the conditions that you MUST have it on your person AT ALL TIMES? Yes….it’s actually the law and if you get stopped for whatever reason and you don’t have the ID on you, you can be arrested and possibly deported. In my opinion, your friend is a criminal. Just because she hasn’t caused and accident or hasn’t been caught doesn’t make her any less of a criminal.

    This country is pretty fair. Previous laws have upheld that you can not detain or arrest a person based on racial profiling. The law even re-states it (even though it shouldn’t have to) that racial profiling will not be tolerated. While I agree that there are “bad apples” out there that might abuse this law…it is the same with any other law that person would have abused anyway. If anything, it’s a small price to pay for safety in your communities.

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