Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Arizona Immigration (from Erica)

This is a quick post to direct your attention towards an eloquent op-ed piece written by Elizabeth Kapnick, a student at an Ohio high school that canceled its women's basketball team's field trip to Arizona in protest over Arizona's new immigration law. The decision has riled team members, students, and parents, and has drawn heavy fire from political figures across the country- especially leaders in conservative media.

Kapnick's piece illustrates some of the very real challenges presented by the presumed alternative- allowing the team to make its field trip in spite of the law- and does so in a way that drives home some of the more frightening aspects of Arizona's immigration law. I highly recommend taking a look at it, particularly since it's better-written and more thoughtful than most of the articles- news or opinion- than you're likely to find anywhere else.


  1. You were right about the article. It was very centered and clear. I still don't understand what this law really entails. I understand what she is saying and totally support the school board for doing what was best for the safety of their students. I still am very foggy on what the law actually will do. Some say that it is extremely radical and others say that it is merely enforcing federal law. Do you have any better insight or link?

  2. Sure thing. Here's an article from the New York Times from when the law was enacted at the end of April: It's intended to prevent undocumented immigration across the board, but is drawn in such a way as to permit the police wide latitude in determining who is "reasonably assumed" to be here without documentation- which puts people of Mexican, Latino/a, or Hispanic descent or origin at extreme risk of being arrested regardless of their immigration or citizenship status.

    I think this quote sums it all up: "The law would require the police “when practicable” to detain people they reasonably suspected were in the country without authorization. It would also allow the police to charge immigrants with a state crime for not carrying immigration documents. And it allows residents to sue cities if they believe the law is not being enforced." It's the kind of law that isn't unheard of in Western countries- in Germany, for example, you have to have your visa on you at all times- but in the context of Arizona it will have a disparate impact on a specific social class, and that's unconstitutional.

  3. Here's a link to a post a friend of mine wrote about cracking down on illegal immigration. He doesn't really talk about the issue of enforcing immigration restrictions, but the post raises some interesting questions about why we restrict immigration, and what benefits and costs come from sending immigrants back to their home countries.