Monday, April 26, 2010

Arizona Stricter Immigration Law is a Troubling Sign

The new Arizona immigration law is similar to western governments, such France, Belgium, and Quebec, Canada, attempts to ban the burqa and niqab.

Western governments are facing population and culture threats from legal Muslim immigrants. Instead of upholding freedom of expression and religious belief, some of these governments are imposing stricter immigration laws and attempting to ban certain cultural features such as the Muslim burqa. The end result is a less free, tolerant society.

Arizona is facing threats from Mexican illegal immigrants in the form of crime, thereby increased policing and the costs associated with it including financial and quality of life of Arizona citizens. Moreover, the US federal government has failed to deal effectively with the illegal immigration issue. In response, Arizona's new immigration law would allow police to arrest anyone in Arizona on grounds of reasonable suspicion that he or she is an illegal immigrant.

The problem with this approach is that it will encourage racial profiling, because Mexicans are the primary source of illegal immigrants in Arizona. Moreover, people are deemed guilty until proven innocent, rather than innocent until proven guilty. The end result as above is that Arizona will be a less free, tolerant state.

Yet, Arizona needs some way to combat illegal immigrants.

Without compromising basic liberties, Arizona would be better off trying to stop illegal immigrants at the source: Arizona borders, and arrest illegal immigrants on grounds of reasonable guilt (rather than reasonable suspicion.)

Overall, it is troubling that some western governments are not willing to uphold basic liberties such as freedom of expression and religious belief, and freedom of movement when it pertains to particular ethnic issues. In these cases, democracy and its core values are shed in favor of individualistic/group survival.

Arizona Immigration Law Signed

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