I truly am not one to make very public any political views I might have. I am not going to do so today. What I am going to say is that it is not terribly comforting when the daily newspaper has a headline that reads “CENTER OF THE STORM”. That center is Arizona and the storm is from the tremendously controversial law the Arizona Governor signed yesterday that makes it illegal to be an illegal immigrant in the state. Most would agree that illegal immigrants are not welcome any place in the U.S. It is the way law enforcement in Arizona is going to be able to stop folks ‘who just don’t look right’ and make them prove they are legal citizens that becomes the issue. It is reported the state stands to lose many tourist dollars as others outside the state see this as racial profiling. Arizona did this in the recent past when then Governor Mecham refused to let there be a Martin Luther King holiday in the state. Millions of dollars went to other states that had the holiday as conventions looking for a city chose to boycott Arizona. (We now have the holiday.) No one can be sure what is going to happen now – it is all just guess work. What I do know is that my dear neighbors next door of Mexican heritage can now not ‘look right’ to law enforcement and be forced to prove their citizenship. For them and countless others it seems like a violation of civil rights. What are we doing here in Arizona??
Last week Pete and I enjoyed a birding festival in Yuma. The birds seemed to be able to safely cross the border between Arizona and Mexico. One of our guides suggested if we had time we might want to drive to the border and look at the fence that has been erected to keep illegal immigrants out. We did. It is a hideous thing standing 16 feet tall with blazing lights available to spot night time crossings. Cars, vans, temporary buildings and awnings saying Border Patrol are very evident. There was a check point on our way back to Yuma where we had to stop. A pleasant looking male, in a Border Patrol uniform, peeked in and waved us on ‘to have a nice day’. Up the road was an airplane circling over head. We stopped to watch. What we found out was air traffic is now becoming popular as a border crossing as planes can pick up passengers or a supply of drugs and get them very quickly across the border. Can it be we should be more upset with the drug seekers in the U.S. If there were no outlets for drugs the supply would not be needed.
The sun is shining, my coffee is just great this a.m. and, in general, things seem to be as usual. But they aren’t here in Arizona and I can only hope none of this crosses our borders to the rest of the U.S.