Immigrants and Ignorance

July 9, 2010

What would happen if Native Americans in Arizona (or throughout the West), were to set up check points and arrested everyone who didn’t look like they were Native American and, hence, is a suspected illegal immigrant? Since Native Americans control their reservations independently, they conceivably could do on their land what Arizona has done on its land.

Fear is the real basis for the fundamentally racist movement to limit immigration. Over 100 years ago, during a similar time of high unemployment, California attempted to restrict all immigration from Asia (Chinese immigrants were not only hard workers, they also worked for very low wages). The US Supreme Court at the time actually read the Constitution that explicitly relegated the issue of immigration to Congress and overturned the California law. Let’s see what the conservative activists on the current Supreme Court will do to overturn yet another set of legal precedents…

Whenever there has been a political movement to restrict immigration it invariably involves two elements: economic turmoil and the targeting of a specific race/culture (e.g. Asians, Irish, Hispanics). The politicians who generate the fear of “those people” are simply diverting attention away from their own policy failures. For example, the Governor of Arizona recently talked about decapitated bodies being found in the desert… even though medical examiners across the State deny that any headless bodies had been found. Was the Governor confusing an episode of “Breaking Bad”, or was she just trying to inspire some anti-immigrant violence?