Friday, April 30, 2010

The new Immigration law/debacle in Arizona

My readers know that my parents are immigrants - first generation to England after the emancipation of Jamaica, a former British colony. Many great countries are built on the backs of their hardworking immigrants - taking jobs that most Americans or even Europeans, for that matter - don't want to do.

Years ago, whilst working in preparation for the Olympics of 2002 in Salt Lake City, Utah - I recall vividly a raid on airport workers - they rounded up nursing mothers - separating them from their not-yet-weaned babies - I watched them put them all into paddy wagons or vans designated to harbor the disenfranchised.

I fielded many phone calls from disgruntled residents - many of whom wanted to know how they could apply for those jobs that had been "taken from them" by these undocumented workers. Turns out they didn't really want to work for barely over minimum wage - turns out they mostly wanted to vent and have some innocent bystander listen to their rantings about undocumented aliens.

The ACLU is poised to address this issue and I know they are working overtime to make sure that they are ready to meet any challenge.

I hope to be able to attend a rally supporting immigrants in New York - how thankful I am for the leadership of Mayor Mike Bloomberg who supports immigrants and recognizes the vibrancy that they bring to our lives - this is not about who cleans your hotel room or who busses your table - this is about giving opportunities to all who desire to come to America.

There has to be a humane and orderly way to do this - in the meantime - "Ihre Papiere bitte" - to which I would be tempted to reply: "Do I look illegal?"

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