The United States has for many years faced a great challenge in ascertaining the exact needs of its population as a result of illegal immigration. For this reason, politicians whose strategies point out on combating illegal immigration have in the recent past received a lot of public support from American citizens. However, the new Arizona law seems to be taking a different dimension with some citizens supporting it and others vehemently opposing it. Arizona lawmakers approved one of the harshest immigration laws of all time which makes it a crime to be in the United States of America without the right registration credentials (Smith, n.d.). This law also gives the police the power to stop, question and scrutinize the immigration status of people suspected to be illegal immigrants in the United States. The unique impacts of this law have elicited different feelings among U.S. citizens.
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Arizona’s new immigration law which was approved by Arizona lawmakers and signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer has elicited enormous public attention both locally and internationally (Davenport, n.d.). The problems eliciting this heated debate are connected to the impacts of the law on individuals, employees, employers and Arizonian citizens in general. This law forbids state, city or county officials from restraining the optimal implementation of federal immigration laws and permits Arizonians to litigate any official who puts into effect a policy that counters the federal immigration laws. Frolicsome lawsuits are highly discouraged by a provision in this law that states that if one sues such an official and loses in the case; he/she should compensate the accused. This law requires the police to scrutinize the immigration status of only people they sensibly suspect of being in the U.S. without the right registration credentials. However, the law states clearly that officers should desist themselves from scrutinizing such suspects in occasions whereby doing so may hamper an investigation. Police officers do not need a warrant to arrest a suspect as long as they have sufficient grounds to suspect that the person may be an illegal immigrant (Smith, n.d.).
Though there are mounting protests across the whole of the United States against the new Arizona immigration law, some researchers feel that this law could be the ultimate solution to America’s immigration problems. In the past decade, frustration has been manifest among members of public with regard to the best way to deal with illegal immigration. Moreover, the federal government has remained dormant on the issue for a very long time hence prompting the public to support any solution that comes their way regarding this issue (Smith, n.d.). A countless number of illegal immigrants have also been reported to be committing serious crimes and these findings have raised deep concern among Arizonians for years. In a society faced by such problems, proponents claim that this law couldn’t have come at a better time.
In this regard, it is alleged that crime levels along Border States are very high. Consequently, some Arizonians claim that the non-Arizonians opposing the law are not affected by illegal immigration that much as compared to them. Proponents claim that if crime levels are to reduce to insignificant levels, then the Arizona immigration law has to be allowed to take its course (Smith, n.d).
With regards to social costs and jobs, proponents of this law claim that the Arizona immigration law may save the government and the American citizens from social costs arising from illegal immigrants and competition of jobs respectively. When illegal immigrants fall ill, they go to the same hospitals that are meant to citizens and sometimes fail to pay their medical bills. Since the hospitals have to continue running, these costs are transferred to the government and the taxpayers and this is an economic setback to the entire U.S. fraternity (Davenport, n.d.). Proponents also think that illegal immigrants are taking away employment opportunities meant for citizens.
Though issues such as use of excessive force by the police, bad press image of the Arizonian government and international relations have a big stake in the great opposition being experienced against this law, racial profiling is the most prevalent issue among opponents of the Arizona immigration law (Archibold, n.d.). Even though most Americans support the new law, quite a number of cities have staged protests against the Arizona immigration law. Opponents claim that this law is likely to propagate racial profiling since the excessive mandate given to the police could cause prejudice against African Americans and Hispanics who are the most vulnerable to federal laws and other laws as opposed to American Natives.
Opponents claim that the grounds of suspicion offered by the law are not clear and the law therefore gives excessive mandate to law enforcers. Police have in the past been reported to perpetrate racism (Farrel and McDevitt, 2010). Opponents claim that the undefined clauses give the policemen unjustifiable freedom to persecute people based on their own judgments. In that regard, a policeman can unjustifiably decide to take on a suspect based on racial grounds without being charged under a court of law. Opponents claim that accepting this law will take America aback in its fight against racism and hence counteract all the efforts that have been implemented against racism so far.
Illegal immigration is undoubtedly a big issue in the United States of America and Arizonian lawmakers and their supporters claim that introduction of the Arizona immigration law may be the best solution for this menace. Moreover, the proponents claim that the law on illegal immigration could lower federal social costs and combat delinquency in Arizona and the United States. On the other hand, opponents think that the law gives the law enforcements undue mandate and this may lead to racial profiling among the police force. Opponents also believe that this law may be a setback to America in many dimensions and may adversely affect its international relations. However, both opponents and proponents are aware that illegal immigration is a disturbing issue and agree something should be done about it.