An American State has stirred-up an hornets nest by passing an immigration law that may commence an new era of racial recrimination and security men’s abuse of minority group’s privacy.
Fears are gripping many foreign nationals across Arizona State in America as a new immigration law have delegated power to the police to arrest any suspected illegal immigrants.
The new law serves as a free ticket of harassment of minority groups and there is fear of serious boomerang and eventual racial and communal unrests.
International communities are being requested to boycott Arizona’s businesses and tourism industries as a way of showing disenchantment over the new law.
There are fears that a new wave of racial discrimination may sweep across the American State as a result of the new immigration law.
Many politicians have condemned the new law which they claimed is reminiscent of the early days of Nazi Germany.
President Obama said the law is un-American.
On take off, tha law requires Arizona police to arrest anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally — a move that critics say will lead to discrimination and racial profiling.
The shock waves from the legislation, signed into law this week by the Republican Governor, Jan Brewer, have spread far beyond the state’s borders, with the Mexican Government issuing a warning for its citizens planning to travel to Arizona and President Calderón saying yesterday that he was “angered and saddened” by the move.
Eric Holder, the US AttorneyGeneral, said the Justice Department might sue the state to get the law overturned, while Janet Napolitano, the Secretary for Homeland Security — and a former Arizona Governor — told the Senate yesterday that it could siphon off resources to combat crime
John Harris, head of the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, opposed the law. Gavin Newsom, the Mayor of San Francisco, in neighbouring California, issued an immediate ban on city employees travelling to Arizona on official business while 7 of the 15 members of the Los Angeles city council signed a proposal for a boycott, calling for the city to “refrain from conducting business” or participating in conventions in Arizona. “When people are asked to show their papers it brings back memories of Nazi Germany,” declared Janice Hahn, a Los Angeles councillor.
The leader of the California Senate, Darrell Steinberg, called the law a disgrace. He sent a letter to the Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, asking for an inventory of Arizona businesses and government agencies that do business with California.
Yet the law is backed by 70 per cent of voters in Arizona, a state where a third of residents are Hispanic — it has a border with Mexico — and where an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants live. They fear being swamped by Mexico’s criminals and its drug wars.
Mrs Brewer claimed that the law was needed to keep the public from harm. “We cannot sacrifice our safety to the murderous greed of drug cartels,” she said. The law takes effect 90 days after the legislative session ends this week.
Critics believe that Mrs Brewer might have been motivated by political concerns close to home when she signed the legislation. She is in a tough Republican primary election fight and many say she backed the law to burnish her conservative credentials. There is perhaps no more controversial and politically volatile an issue in America than immigration. George W. Bush tried and failed to pass a law that would give the country’s 13 million illegal immigrants a path to citizenship after a revolt within his own Republican party. However, social conservatives — notably Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee — have embraced Arizona’s law.
The immigration issue is also complicating the political fortunes of two of the US Senate’s most prominent members: John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, and Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the chamber.
Mr McCain is seeking re-election to his Arizona Senate seat this November and is struggling against a primary challenge from a conservative who has accused him of not being a true Republican. Mr McCain backed President Bush’s efforts at immigration reform but, faced with the new law, which is overwhelmingly popular in his home state, gingerly embraced it this week. He called it a “good tool”.
Mr Reid, meanwhile, is in real danger of losing his Senate seat in Nevada, which borders Arizona and also has a large Hispanic population. In what many view as a ploy to gain their votes, he abruptly declared last week that he would seek to get an immigration reform Bill through the Senate this year. Yesterday he was forced to back off from that pledge after it became clear that he did not have the votes.