Saturday, May 01, 2010
Why I'll walk today with my immigrant friends
Recent legislative action in Arizona prompted renewed conversations about immigration policy, national security and immigration reform.
It's about time.
News reports out of Arizona over the past couple of days link the new law, giving police the authority to arrest residents without proper documentation, to Mexico's "drug wars" that threaten to spill over into the United States. Making that connection doesn't stand up under even a cursory investigation.
The vast, vast majority of immigrants in the United States and in Arizona have no connection whatsoever to the illegal drug trade. Such unfair, unproven rhetoric does not advance an honest discussion, but promotes bigotry, hatred and division in our communities.
The hundreds of immigrants I've known and talked to over the past 16 years came to the U. S. seeking a better life, work and hope for themselves and their families. This is the story for almost all of the 12-14 million immigrants in this country without the proper papers. And, this has been the story of all of us immigrants who came to the U. S. or whose ancestors arrived before us.
And, we've all taken good advantage of their presence. Businesses, homeowners, contractors, restaurants. . .the list is practically endless. The economy in Dallas would be hurt severely by the exit of the folks who are here without documentation.
So, I'll walk with thousands of others today.
I'll walk because I believe in the people who need to be included in our national life.
I'll walk because I believe in the promise of our nation.