Friday, February 18, 2011

Indiana: Arizona Style

A second Indiana Senate committee has voted to advance an Arizona style immigration bill.  My state is going down the path blazed by the state of Arizona.

ONE of my concerns with pieces of legislation such as this is that "reasonable suspicion" is ill defined. A person could easily be pulled over or detained for looking a certain way, or having a certain pattern of speech. These kinds of laws presume a person guilty (of being an illegal) until they can prove their innocence. The presumption of innocence is one of the most basic tenants upon which our system of justice was built, are we just tossing that out the window?  This kind of an environment is inconsistent with the professed American ideals of dignity and privacy, and creates an environment of suspicion between our neighbors and fellow human beings.  

So NOW let's pretend we were a nation of illegal immigrants - oh yeah... we ARE!  Circa 1492 a tidal wave of illegals swarmed our shores, overran its peoples and ignored the established rules of the land (yes, my friends there WERE established governments and agreed upon parameters of living back in those days).  These illegals refused to learn the language, did not abide by the established ways and customs, pillaged, raped and plundered the people and the land and expected the First Nations Peoples to learn THEIR language and ways.  In fact they went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that the ways that had existed for hundreds upon hundreds of years were all but annihilated. So why now... is it totally unacceptable for people to immigrate here without following the rules???

What kind of society are we trying to create? One rooted in exclusion, punishment, and fear, or inclusion, understanding and civic cohesion?