Monday, May 24, 2010

Why I support the Arizona Immigration law

Essential disclaimers before I start. I have not suddenly veered to the dark side. I still do not watch faux news. I voted for Obama, and will do it again. And I am a brown skinned male, very much look and smell like an illegal immigrant.

But I support this law. Or better, I do not oppose it.

It is not a perfect world. This law is not a perfect solution to immigration issue. Or any issue for that matter. And let us face it, this is more of a deterrent to scare potential illegal immigrants away, rather than pack and ship them across the border. I wish that was the case. but we have to many watchdogs worried about human rights violation, effectively negating the possibility. And then also, we have no idea it would work.

Still I think it is a step in the right direction.

Illegal is illegal. They should not have the rights and privileges legal residents enjoy. Now the definition and moral interpretation of the term may vary, but I'll stick by the current laws here. And whether one likes it or not, most of them are brown skinned, accented English speaking folks. Profiling may be morally reprehensible, but show me a better solution, please?

Most of the dissenting voices are worried about that. And the requirement of carrying an ID. Here is Germany, we are supposed to carry our passport all the time with me, whenever I step out. I have been asked to show my ID, politely but firmly many times in train stations, in trains, at the airport, when Germans walked by peacefully. Do I feel violated or discriminated? Hell I do. But then again, its their country. Its their law. I am free to leave if I dont like it. I am told this is the case in most of the Europe. Carrying your ID is not that big a deal, specially if you have one.

Once in Munich train station, I was asked for my passport. I was attending a conference, and did not have my passport with me. I explained this to the guy, he listened to my explanation patiently, looked at my conference badge and the ATM card I had with me, and allowed me to go, with a reminder that I should be carrying my passport. These guys have a decent feeling who is an illegal and who is not. They are not going to arrest every Id-less Indian/foreign grad student in Arizona, contrary to the fear mongering propagated by certain people. They have better things to do.

Protesting for the sake of protesting is not a justification to oppose this.