Apr 252010
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

For decades, people have been divided on the issue of immigration reform, hotly debating human rights versus the security rights of legal immigrants and United States citizens and the idiosyncrasies in between.

Often, the question arises: What method should the federal government use to identify illegal immigrants? But there is no clear answer.

Arizona posed their answer to the question Friday when its governor signed a bill into law that would require police to question people about their immigration status and ask for their identification if they suspect the person is an illegal immigrant.

According to U.S. Immigration Support, between 12 and 20 million illegal immigrants live in the U.S. While there are no hard statistics linking violent crime with illegal immigrants, increasing violence in Juarez, Mexico and Phoenix, Ariz., show a strong correlation.

Cases of kidnapping and murder linked to drug and weapons trafficking in both areas are increasing daily and have become the concern of not only local but also federal concern.

Though no one has developed a flawless plan to process illegal immigrants, requiring law enforcement to stop anyone they suspect of being so sets a dangerous precedent that could lead to unchecked racial profiling.

Millions of immigrants come to America legally. Based on their skin tone and features, however, Arizonan police have the ability to harass them for their paperwork and make them prove, again and again, their citizenship.

While this bill seems an immediate fix to the problem of identifying illegal immigrants, a larger problem hovers on the horizon: a deepened divide between Americans and already alienated legal immigrants.

 Posted by at 2:23 pm

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