Originally Posted: Friday, August 6, 2010
My name is Sara Hutchinson. I’m a 24-year-old Nevada resident, college student, worker, and advocate of American laws, rights, and freedoms. I was born in Iowa and raised both in Iowa and Minnesota. Aside from those states, I’ve lived in Michigan, California, and here in Nevada. I also have family all over the country, so I think it’s safe to say that I’m familiar with the problems that are going on in this country and know what states are hit harder than others. I’ve always felt passionate about voting and what it means to be an American citizen. However, until about a year and a half ago, I didn’t always keep up on current events or politics, like most Americans. Since then, I try to stay up to date on what is going on in our country.
When I heard that Arizona was attempting to pass an anti-illegal immigration law, my interests and passions were peaked and I decided that I was going to use this as my topic for my communications class at the College of Southern Nevada. Since I made that decision, I have continually read about what is going on with the law and the reactions to that law. I have done hours of research on what it means to be an illegal and legal immigrant, what you have to accomplish to have documents, what the federal laws are, and what the current statistics are about illegal immigration from places like I.C.E. and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. I thought I was finished with my research, seeing as my speech is tomorrow, but I came home from class tonight to have my friend and roommate (he is, by the way, Mexican) read an article from CNN.com about your judgment today. I must say, I am truly saddened, frustrated, and all around disgusted with the way our country is handling many situations, including this one.
I honestly think it’s absurd that I have to quote federal statutes to my government officials. However, I’m tired of sitting back watching my country make poor decisions, being a part of the “voice of the people” and only releasing that voice to people that, in the grand scheme, don’t matter. Whatever it takes to make my voice heard, even if it means I have to quote our federal law to those that should know it. According to the article titled “Legal battle looms over Arizona immigration law” posted on July 28, 2010 at 3:32 p.m. EDT on CNN.com states “U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton also blocked provisions of the [Arizona] law making it a crime to fail to apply for or carry alien registration papers.”
According to Title 8 of the United States Code, Chapter 2, Subchapter II, Part VII, Section 1302(a); “It shall be the duty of every alien now or hereafter in the United States, who (1) is fourteen years of age or older, (2) has not been registered and fingerprinted under section 1201(b) . . . and (3) remains in the United States for thirty days or longer, to apply for registration.” That’s pretty cut and dry. There is not much room for interpretation with this law that is in effect in our federal government. If I’m not mistaken, every state, including Arizona, is part of our federal government. Therefore, how can you rule that requiring immigrants to apply for registration unjust, illegal, or in any way unconstitutional? Did our government not already make this decision for you?
Further more, the same area of the United States Code section 1304(e) states, “Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him.” Again, this is a straight forward statement. If an immigrant has documentation, which all immigrants must have if they are in the country for more than thirty days, they then must carry this documentation at all times. I don’t understand how this is right, having you rule against what is clearly already a law.
Let’s say we, as a nation, do decide this is unjust and change things for those illegal immigrants that are already here. From my understanding, President Obama is playing with the idea of granting all of these people immunity and allowing them all to become legal residents. How is this a fair and just practice? I recently heard a story on KNPR about an American man that married a Canadian woman. She had never been to the states before, didn’t have any documents (aside from her passport), and they were married here in the U.S. with no problems. However, when they were coming home from vacation in Canada, she was told she could not re-enter because she didn’t have the proper documents. Her and her husband have been fighting this battle with our federal government for over a year. What does our government do? Nothing, they tell her the consequence for being in the country illegally is to be forbidden to enter for the next ten years! How can we punish those trying to do the right thing and reward those in the wrong?
The illegal-immigration is a major problem in our country. A larger problem we are facing is that our government is trying to fix things by letting the criminals be here and keeping the law-abiding citizens out. I think it’s imperative that the federal and state governments get on the same page and the federal government needs to help the states when they feel it’s necessary to enforce immigration law on a local level. I also think we need to take a look at our current immigration structure. I believe it’s a good idea to have the tests we implement; they are a lot easier than I thought they would be. I also think we need to charge a fee for this. However, it’s extremely difficult to figure out where to start and where to go to begin the process of entering our country legally.
Our country has strayed far from where our founding fathers wanted us to be. We take our Constitution and Bill of Rights for granted every single day in this country. There are more problems that exist in our country that I can count on my hands, and it’s time to start making some changes. It’s time to start looking at where we came from and where we were intended to go. We are the greatest nation in the world, making some really poor decisions. Let’s stop wasting time and money helping others right now, and let’s fix our problems first. Once we have some things under control here, we can start being the “world police” again, but we need to police ourselves and set an example before we continue telling others what to do.