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Understanding the Arizona Immigration Law

Guest Author - Stephanie Romero

I think itís time that us common American citizens begin to really understand what the Arizona Immigration Law is really about. This law is setting a tone for the nation that is frankly, not making us look very good.

Some in politics who have chastised the law have never read it. Others choose to dwell on certain aspects of the law. Others think itís nothing but a path to racial profiling. And then there are others who feel we are simply following the laws of our land.

One thing I get tired of, is hearing people voice their sometimes very strong opinions on something that they really know nothing about. Either it is because of ignorance, whether intentional or not, or because we choose to listen to everyone else instead of looking into it ourselves.

I challenge every reader to take the time to look up the Arizona law and read it on your own. It is a 17 page document that is not terribly difficult to understand.

I just want to point out some important aspects about this law. After reading it, I have come up with some of my own conclusions. First, the intent is to enforce federal immigration laws. We do have them and we need them. If illegal aliens are coming into Arizona then immigration laws that are already in place are not being followed. Arizona wants to enforce a law that already exists.

Second, the law makes it clear that there is a desire to work together to keep people from unlawfully entering our country. Do we not realize that it is unlawful to just come traipsing into our country without following the laws of this land? Does this mean that the United States does not want foreigners? No, it simply means that we want them to come into our country legally.

Now when you get into the part of the law where law enforcement officials ďstopĒ people, it clearly states that there must be reasonable suspicion that a person is unlawfully present in our country. Letís consider ďreasonable suspicion.Ē It is the same thing as probable cause. It is not something you have a hunch about. There are significant and plausible reasons that are causing you to believe something.

So letís address the racial profiling issue. Will there be law enforcement officials who stop people for the reason of race? Yes, there will be. It happens all the time. Itís unfortunate but it is a cold reality of the world we live in. Does that mean since we have police officers who do this, that we should cease from stopping potential criminals? Do we stop pulling people over? Do we ignore 911 calls?

We cannot prevent ourselves from enforcing the laws of our land because there are a few bad seeds. It doesnít make sense. How do we continue to allow people to illegally enter our country just because we are afraid of offending some people?

I am a Caucasian woman married to a Hispanic man. We have experienced what we believe was racial profiling. A few years ago we were driving through a well-to-do neighborhood for a job interview that I had. My husband had done absolutely nothing wrong but a police officer from the small community pulled him over. We were able to leave without incident but it certainly created some unsettling thoughts in our minds.

It disturbed us but it doesnít mean that all police officers are bad and that we think the laws of our city shouldnít be followed. It happens but so do a lot of other bad things happen. Racial profiling is a real issue but it has also become a bigger issue than it really needs to be. Suddenly everything gets turned into a race issue. Not everything is about that.

Donít take my word on anything I have to say about the Arizona law. Read it for yourself and draw your own conclusions. I just want to see more Americans empowering themselves. I want to see Americans draw their own conclusions based on what they have discovered, not on what others are telling them.

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