Senate Bill 1070

Today Senate Bill 1070 takes effect in Arizona.

This is in effect the civil rights battle of our time.

Although immigration reform is long over due, we must and should resist playing into the exaggerated fears being provoked into the already charged situation.

I can empathize with Arizonans and their frustration with drop houses that hide immigrants in their neighborhoods and the hundreds of deaths that occur in their deserts each year.

The system is broken and has been for many decades.

Our government has the authority, the duty and the ability to create the necessary immigration reform desperately needed.

I support a path to legalization and at the core understand why migrants crossed our borders enroute to a job and a better life for themselves and their families.  

Less we forget that their labor contributed and continues to contribute to our country's prosperity.

A recent survey showed that 62% supported allowing illegal immigrants now living here to remain in the country if they had a job and had no criminal record.

Another survey showed 55% supported SB1070.

More over Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona is wrong in implying that the vast majority of these immigrants are criminals and are in our country to collect benefits or ferry drugs.

A sound immigration law that would sanction employers and make immigrants follow certain steps towards full citizenship thus channeling them through our ports of entry is needed.

We had such a program called the "Bracero Program", a bi-lateral agreement between the US and Mexico.

Between1942 and 1964 it legally brought 4.6 million contracted Mexican workers into our country to work arduous farm labor jobs.

Clearly it will take years to resolve the upcoming court battles and sort out the political and social implications of B1070's misbegotten immigration law.

I pray that we have the conviction, the compassion and will to see this resolved in a most humane way.

There is no doubt that history will judge us on how we react to what happens in the coming days and weeks - maybe months. 

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