An Absence Of Fairness
If I had a dime for every time I saw one of those pictures of President Barack Obama with a little Adolph Hitler moustache I do believe I would be a very rich man. The sign is one of the mainstays of the tea party and other staunch political conservatives. Before Mr. Obama could be sworn into his oval office people were painting him as a dictator out to trample anything that remains of human rights not trampled on by his predecessor. By making healthcare reform his number one priority, many people who will benefit from such a change in our national policy has dubbed Mr. Obama the harbinger of everything that stands against true freedom and the American way.
Of course, anyone with an agnostic sense of politics would hardly support the idea that healthcare reform that is trying to stop the abuses of health insurance companies and give more Americans adequate healthcare equates as a threat to personal freedoms. Granted, a mandate that says everyone that can afford healthcare insurance must have healthcare insurance is an obstruction to our personal choice to do without healthcare if we so choose. But as soon as someone gets hurt and is transported to hospital for emergency care or is disabled is in need of medical assistance, the impact to the rest of us is inevitable. A healthcare plan that requires all of us to contribute out of pocket since there is no political will for any thing resembling a healthcare tax is a compromise that many people can find fault with. Nevertheless, it is a step in a right direction. Some social reform in this area is better than none. But the leap that Mr. Obama is single handedly pushing this agenda and is therefore trying to become a dictator is a pretty long one.
In the mean time, conservative Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a bill that makes it a crime under state law to be in the United States illegally. It also requires local and state police officers to question people about their immigration status if there is any reason to suspect that someone is an illegal immigrant. The new law allows lawsuits against any government agency that hinders enforcement of immigration law and makes it illegal for anyone to hire an undocumented immigrant for day labor or knowingly transport them.
Supporters of this new law said would take handcuffs off police in dealing with illegal immigration in one of the nation’s busiest gateways for human and drug smuggling from Mexico. However, opponents of this law believe that it would lead to racial profiling and civil rights abuses. Ms. Brewer made a statement that harsh critics of the law were overreacting and that she wouldn’t tolerate racial profiling. Ms. Brewer claims that the law is intended to send a clear message that Arizona is not a haven for undocumented aliens. After waiting for decades for the federal government to act, Ms. Brewer claims that decades of inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation for Arizona. Ms. Brewer also claims that the law is intended to protect every Arizona citizen, at least those citizens that may not fit the profile of an illegal alien.
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund plans a legal challenge to the law arguing that it is a concession to people’s fear of Hispanic and Latino immigrants and would lead to community distrust and costly litigation with nationwide repercussions. The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders Legal Defense Fund is preparing a lawsuit against Arizona to stop the law from being applied. Mexican Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa said that the law will affect relations between Mexico and Arizona and it will force Mexico to reevaluate whether or not the cooperation agreements that have been developed with Arizona are viable and useful for resolving what they previously believed were mutual problems.
The law will take effect in the late July or early August time frame. The state’s law enforcement licensing agency will be developing a training course on how to implement the law without violating people’s civil rights. Ms. Brewer says that the law must be enforced evenly, without regard to skin color, accent, or social status. But it is a fair bet that she isn’t too worried about the illegal Canadian coming into her state. The idea that this law is intended for anyone other than people with Latino or Hispanic ancestry is pretty farfetched. Ms. Brewer faces a tough election battle and there is growing anger in the state over the issue of illegal immigration from south of the border. Anger against illegal immigrants has swelled and nobody is pointing a damning finger at anyone from Europe or Asia or even from Africa.
Mr. Obama, the man in more pictures with a Hitler moustache than Adolph Hitler himself, referred to the new law in Arizona as misguided. He instructed the Justice Department to examine the law under a microscope to prepare for a legal challenge from the federal government because it is the federal government’s responsibility to enact immigration policy. If not, we leave the door open to other people’s irresponsibility which will undermine basic notions of fairness that Americans claim to cherish. But it is becoming quite clear that some of us are becoming more and more comfortable with making exceptions to that notion.
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