Letter: SB 1070 critics are disingenuous
The debate over SB 1070 has an ugly side. Although the law contains filters and prohibitions against racial profiling and discrimination, there is an element of the left that chooses to portray it as racist legislation, rather than anti-criminal legislation.
The law is at the heart of a dilemma. The middle and southern Americas are populated by Hispanics, and our illegal border immigration problem is directional: from south to north. That creates an unavoidable blending of ethnicity, race and illegal activity along our southern border.
The only way to sort the difference between illegal activity and perceived racism is for leaders of communities to show honesty in addressing border issues. SB 1070 is an honest attempt to fix violations of existing law that have been allowed to persist for decades.
It doesn't help for elements of the left, supported by the remnants of illegal immigration, to cry racism when in their hearts they know that long-standing, persistent illegal activity is the root cause of this problem. It is a failure of the Latino community that leaders will not acknowledge the difference between legal and illegal immigration among them.
A recent Courier letter by legal immigrant, Mr. Enrique Melendez, is a courageous exception, and he should be congratulated for speaking out. We wonder why more Hispanic-American citizens and legal immigrants don't decry the illegal immigration that has tainted their community.
When protesters call Arizona's citizens racist for supporting this law, they're only elevating the specter of discrimination and promoting backlash and racial divide.
It's time for sensible, pragmatic Latino leaders to rise above this racial fray.