Reader’s comment on Peru lawmaker’s reaction to Arizona’s illegal immigrant law

Dear Peruvian Times Readers,

It has come to our attention that the “Comment” form on our Web site is not working properly, and we are working to fix the problem as soon as possible. In the meantime, we received the following message from one of you concerning our story posted April 29, titled “Peru’s foreign relations commission to analyze controversial Arizona law, “ offering a heart-felt, alternative perspective.

The views expressed below by Mr. Rodriguez in no way reflect the editorial position of the Peruvian Times.

Unfortunately it is not Peru that has “illegal” foreigners committing crimes, some violent, taking tax dollars from its citizens and using its resources – some of which are already pressed to their limits – without having to pay for them. According to the Rasmussen Poll 70% of the citizens of Arizona support this new amendment, SB 1070. That is a significant majority. That the majority of the bill’s critics live outside of the state of Arizona speaks for itself.

Why Congresswoman Luisa Maria Cuculiza would make such accusatory remarks only goes to show that she is ill informed as are so many people about this subject. From her remarks, and like so many others speaking about how this law will affect Latinos, Ms. Cuculiza may not have even taken the time to read the actual amended law.

So what’s to “analyze?” Congresswoman Cuculiza should tell people not to live in any country illegally and if you do, to either leave or get your status changed to be legal. You should not be rewarded with amnesty nor moved to the front of the line. You should not be rewarded for breaking the law. Instead, you should be put to the back of the line behind all of those people trying to do things correctly. You should know that we do not want to keep you out. We welcome you if you have something to contribute, even if that is just your dream for a better life. But you must do things according to the law of each country you want to enter. You must be subject to any and all procedures that allow the country you are seeking to gain entry into, to determine if you are a criminal, a child abuser or a felon. If you are, why should you be allowed to enter?

As far as the bill is concerned, please note specifically Article 8, B. which begins on line 20. This language specifically prohibits the types of imagined abuses its critics are voicing. Furthermore, the bill again specifically states that federal immigration laws will be upheld and does absolutely nothing to countermand existing federal immigration law. This is all right there in the bill if only people will read it before expressing opinions that are based on hearsay. I have also placed a link to a letter written by the Governor of Arizona, Janice K. Brewer about this new law. It is very clear and is worth a read.

If a foreigner was living illegally in Peru and was discovered they would be detained and deported immediately so it is nothing less than hypocritical for a Peruvian government official to make comments as if somehow things are different here.

If a crime is committed, and that is why it is called “illegal” immigration, the law must be upheld. To do otherwise is to say we then can decide which laws to obey and which to ignore.

R. Rodriguez

“Legal” immigrant

Lima, Peru

A comment from PeruJan:

Message Body:
I am responding here to the letter you have printed by R. Rodriguez since the comment section is not working.

Mr. Rodriguez forgets that while the some parts of this bill use the legal terminology of “probable” cause, the use of the the nonlegal term “reasonable” (“reasonable suspicion” is used in several places) allows for the introduction of a shadowy area for law enforcement. What is “reasonable?”

In addition, it is already understood that Arizona is a border state and that the signing of this bill is directed at illegal “Mexican” immigrants. Is it “unreasonable” to think that law enforcement officials might consider any brown or darker skinned person as “reasonably suspicious?” It does not take much imagination to see the possibilities for overly aggressive abuse of all darker skinned peoples whether legal or illegal. Thus, these “reasonable suspicions” might easily constitute civil rights violations.

It is also not surprising that both federal and state governments have begun a crackdown on illegal immigrants. The US is currently still in the throes of a major recession which has resulted in a huge increase in unemployment (especially high among blacks and Latinos). When unemployment is high the allowance granted to illegal immigrants during times of high employment disappears. It is no longer necessary to import cheap labor (or export jobs to gain cheaper labor elsewhere) since there is a huge labor pool of the unemployed who are willing to work for less. The federal government is responding to high unemployment by tightening laws and enforcement against illegal immigrants; as are the states. This is understandable in business and also political terms, but any laws created or amended ought not to do so at the expense of everyone’s civil liberties or at the expense of one racialized group.

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One Comment

  1. Americorps says:

    I am very disappointed with the Arizona law. While I call for an end to illegal immigration and I will even support the deportation of illegal immigrants, I think to honestly maintain the integrity of the USA, we must maintain the integrity of our Constitution.

    As the law stands now, a legal contact with a person could result in his or her documentation being requested and if not presented the person could be deported in as little as 2 hours without a hearing, even if they are an American Citizen.

    That violates the 4th and 14th Amendments of unreasonable search and seizure, due process for American Citizens and opens the door to racial profiling.

    Those who support the law usually simply use the argument that they do not believe any of that will happen. That is NOT an argument for the law, in fact is is supportive of changing the law because it is an admission that the law leaves the door open for Constitutional violations.

    The majority of Constitutional scholars who have reviewed how Arizona has written and imposed this law agree that as written, it will not hold up under Constitutional scrutiny. That means Arizona, a state in in financial stress, will spend millions of dollars in a legal battle that most predict they will loose.

    So what we end up with is an unconstitutional law that will not be enforceable and will eventually be over-turned, a tarnished reputation that the USA did not follow its own laws in creating and enforcing this law, charges of racism and millions of dollars wasted.

    As an American, I think it is safe to say that we all agree illegal immigration is causing great problems and needs to be halted immediately and we can all agree that no president in the last 50 years, no matter what party, has done next to nothing of significance to fix the problem.

    Where we disagree is the solution. I, however, stand firmly resolved that if we violate the Constitution of the USA in the process, we damage our country. I believe that the USA can and MUST figure out how to resolve this issue in accordance with the laws of the Constitution, or we fail as a nation.

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