Sunday, May 2, 2010

Why Arizona's immigration law matters

So for the last week I've found a new cause to work on-- getting Major League Baseball to move the 2011 All-Star game out of Arizona due to the state's new law that legalizes racial profiling.

Like when I got involved in the fight for marriage equality in New Jersey, I am often asked why I am involved in a law that does not affect me personally. This is true. I'm a white Mayflower descendant and both sides of my family have been here for generations. I would probably not be profiled in Arizona. I'm fighting this law on behalf of everyone in America, legally or illegally, citizen, alien, or tourist, who may be profiled by the police.

Racial profiling is wrong. How is Joe Police Officer going to distinguish between someone who crossed the border yesterday and a third generation American who's grandparents came here from Mexico as children. How do you tell if someone is illegal by looking like them? It's not like they're wearing a t-shirt that says "I'm illegal arrest me."

The reason why we are trying to get Major League Baseball involved is because of the high concentration of Latino players, fans, staff, umpires, coaches, etc. It truly has become a worldwide game. It is also a very lucrative business for any state that has a team (or more). By moving the 2011 All-Star game out of Arizona, it costs the city of Phoenix lost revenue not only from the game itself but from hotels, restaurants, and other touirst attractions.

I will agree with most that something needs to be done about immigration. However, this is a federal issue and not a state issue. And the best way to approach this problem would be penalizing the employers that knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

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