May 01, 2010

   Mexican art directors, account managers and staff who work at the multicultural advertising agency, Adrenalina, New York, will march in support of immigrants and workers rights and to voice opposition to Arizona's new immigration law at a rally and march today at Union Square, 14th Street and Broadway.

Adrenalina personnel, including the ad agency's creative, account management and strategic teams who have visas to work in the U.S., are legal residents and who are U.S.-born Hispanics, will wear white T-shirts conceived and designed by their colleagues bearing the phrase “I Look Illegal.”

The words “I Look Illegal” are intended to make a statement about the vast diversity of the U.S. Hispanic population while drawing attention to the long held stereotype by some that undocumented immigrants and U.S. Hispanics, including those who are born here and those who are legal residents, are all the same, and thus are open to scrutiny by law enforcement under Arizona's new immigration law.

Since a wide majority of the Adrenalina staff are either Mexican immigrants who are legal residents or have visas to work in the U.S. or they are U.S. born Mexican Americans, the agency's staff was compelled to take action and speak out against Arizona's immigration law.

On Thursday (April 29), Colombian superstar Shakira and Mexican American singing legend and activist Linda Ronstadt were in Phoenix to voice their opposition against the new Arizona law as the backlash against the state's crackdown on illegal immigration widened and plans for lawsuits were announced by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Immigration Law Center.

The new Arizona law requires police to determine whether a person is in the United States legally. It also requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect they are in the U.S. illegally. Critics argue the law will foster racial profiling.

¿Y tu que?

Comments

Eduardo, if you travel to Mexico you will be received graciously. They will check your documentation upon entering the country, but you will not be stopped randomly and asked for documents. But that is not the point. This law is wrong on many levels, and more importantly it promoted violating our constitutional rights. This law requires state employees to enforce a federal issue, but more importantly it promotes racial profiling. Do you ask someone for documentation because of they speak only Spanish! Do you ask someone for documentation because of the color of their skin? What if a legal, Spanish speaking resident does not have proof of citizenship on him? Can he be detained for extended periods of time until he proves his residency?

why must we always compare US laws to the laws of other countries, as if those countries were the standard bearer of what is morally correct? And when it comes to current laws, our feelings about whether WE like them or not are irrelevant. The real question is whether those laws are constitutional. There have been many legal scholars who have already publicly stated that Arizona's law stands on shaky constitutional grounds. We shall soon see. And there's the Pima County (Arizona) Sheriff who's already stated that this new law is racist because it encourages racial profiling.

The new law not only violates constitutional rights but it will also yield to civil/human rights violations. History being our guide, we have seen numerous racial profiling cases in the past with Asians detention camps during WWII, with blacks and muslims, as of recent. Since then, we have looked back and realized that those were dark days in our history that we much rather forget, as no one likes to admit when they have committed an error in judgement. Arizona has made an error in judgement. Yet, thankfully we live in a country where there are checks and balances that we must trust in. President Obama has already taken offense to the matter as he said this past week that the law would- “undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and our communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.” So, hopefully it's a matter of time before the federal government steps in an rules this law unconstitutional, or so we hope... we would hate to be one of the chapters in history we want to forget. On the other hand, we still need this work force, they do most of the jobs other people (legal residents) would not touch with a ten foot pole... a reform is needed, but this is not the way.

If one is a LEGAL resident, then why be concerned about a law that simply enforces federal law targeting ILLEGAL immigrants. If any of us who are not Mexican were in Mexico, the authorities there would require that we carry documentation and would request to see it if they questioned our presence on their sovereign land. I was in Costa Rica two weeks ago, driving along when I arrived at a random police checkpoint. They requested to see my "documents" and asked me about being in the country. I guess I didn't look Costa Rican. But I didn't get indignant because the authorities questioned my presence in the country or ask for "papers". I'm the son of immigrants (who emigrated legally) and believe we need immigration reform but I also believe we should enforce existing immigration laws. As Hispanics we are not helping the public perception from non-Hispanics, by protesting the enforcement of existing laws. It would be much more productive to focus all the misdirected emotions and angst at the federal government, pressuring the feckless politicians and bureaucrats in Washington to get off their a#sses and secure the border and then reform the archaic immigration laws. Let's focus on improving the laws instead of wasting energy protesting the enforcement of the current laws. Like them or not, it is the law.

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