LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - U-B mischaracterizes Arizona law

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In its May 12 editorial, "Immigration reform could be fueled by Arizona law," the U-B correctly noted that 80 percent of Americans want U.S. immigration laws to be enforced and the tide of illegal immigration stopped. However, the editor goes on to make other statements that are misleading or untrue.

First the editorial makes what I would consider to be a gratuitous statement, that "most (Americans) do not approve of racial or ethnic profiling." This buys into the Democratic leadership's position that anyone who supports efforts to stop illegal immigration is racist or xenophobic, and only inflames emotions and does not further honest debate.

In reality Arizona's law specifically prohibits the use of profiling, and if people are detained or arrested for defying immigration law then they can legally challenge their arrest through the courts. I'm sure the ACLU will assist them.

Next it states, "...do we really want to live in a state (or country) where we are stopped by officials to look at our papers?" The Arizona law prohibits this too, and the U-B should be ashamed of itself for lending legitimacy to such propaganda. People must first have been stopped for a lawful reason unrelated to citizenship and then, if they're unable to provide state or federally recognized identification, they may be questioned further as to their status.

A valid driver's license, state I.D. card, or other approved identification are acceptable as proof of citizenship. Existing federal law requires legal resident aliens to carry their registration document (green card) with them. Arizona's law doesn't add any additional burden to legal immigrants.

The Arizona law was carefully crafted to mirror federal law. It was enacted out of frustration that the federal government will not enforce existing immigration law.

If you oppose Arizona's law and declare or imply that it's racist, or make comparisons to Nazi Germany as so many on the political left have done, then you only expose your ignorance or bias.

It seems that the U-B, like U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, feels free to opine about Arizona's immigration law and denigrate its supporters (intentionally or not) without having actually read the law.

Arizona Senate Bill 1070 (Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act) is very short and may be read in 10 or 15 minutes. You can find it on the Internet. Read it, understand it, and then let's discuss it intelligently.

Ron Wade
Walla Walla

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