Saturday, July 3, 2010

What makes America great

In the current immigration debate a lot of misplaced anger and heated rhetoric has been flying around. It seems that some people forget what makes America the dynamic country that it is today.

Of course, some would like the country to take solace in its Judeo-Christian roots -- apparently ignoring the waves of immigration over the past 200 years that have successfully integrated into the country.

We agree that immigration reform is a noble goal. But discrimination, deportation, profiling, and racist legislation is simply the wrong tact to take on this issue. It can only further divide and ramp up the already violent inclinations among the most devout purists.

In honor of the Fourth of July we wanted to point out this piece in the Village Voice which tracks the story of Julia Amparo-Alvarado, who fell ill once she emigrated to our country:
Under no circumstances, however, could she see a doctor. Doctors ask questions. They request documents. They might even call the police. One phone call could mean incarceration, deportation, and separation from her kids. Julia knew she was sick, but a doctor was out of the question.
In 1998, she had trekked across Mexico to get to the U.S. for more money, better education, and less violence. Her home, the southern end of Guatemala, was racked by mayhem left over from a civil war.
"There was a better future here," Julia says in Spanish. Her eldest sister, Carmen, draws a finger across her throat: "[The violence] was everywhere," she says.
Arizona has been out front on this issue, we believe the wrong side. It's hard for us to make blanket assumptions about the 11 million people who are living here without legal distinction.

But it's likely that Arizona is only the first area which will tackle this on such a anti-immigrant bent. With a flailing economy and a Mexico rife with violence, the immigration issue will not disappear in any form and pleads for bipartisan approaches and courageous leadership.

Some may say Arizona's Jan Brewer is this leader, but her half measures are just election year pandering. Mayor Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch recently came together in an effort to forge a common approach. It's a good start but we can't simply kick the can down the road.

1 comment:

  1. The way I see it, America became great because it was founded on a few well written laws, justly enforced, that put the rights of individuals ahead of government.

    Now we have a literal shipload of laws, arbitrarily enforced, that puts the rights of corporations and government ahead of people.

    To become great again, we need to return to what helped make us great.