Saturday, May 01, 2010

Arizona's Immigration Law and MLB

Since this story has become a baseball story, there is a need to make some comments on what has, to this point been a real hot-button issue. The players' union, MLB, posters on reddit and others have weighed in on what has become a significant issue. For a balanced article from a baseball perspective, here is just one example. No doubt the issue is complex. But for this writer, a key part of the linked article was the amendment made to the bill that will fight the natural racial profiling that would normally accompany such a law.

Those who oppose the new law have compared it to Nazi Germany and the badges that had to be worn by non-"Aryans." It's easy to see why that leap of reasoning has been made. Foreign nationals inside of Arizona will have to carry documentation showing they are legally in the state of Arizona. That the police and other law enforcement in the state could at any time ask for that documentation is indeed alarming. But the amendment states that the request for documentation can only be made now if some other break in the law is under suspicion or investigation. That makes things a little softer.

There are two things that are obvious by all of this. First, American farmers need foreign labor because we in America are just too lazy to do that kind of work. In the Fan's own agricultural county, where 8% of the population collects unemployment, Mexican workers are brought in to work the potato and broccoli fields. It's a sad statement on the kind of labor pool America has become. The second obvious thing is that illegal immigrants pose a serious risk to our economy and to our safety. Most of these illegal immigrants are hard-working folks just trying to survive and you can't blame them. But it takes just one illegal to bomb a building or a subway or a ball park. Plus, our tax dollars are strapped every day providing health care and other services to people and their children that are not in this country legally.

And so the problem with illegal entry to this country is an issue that needs constant vigil and smart legislation. On the other hand, our farmers need foreign labor to bring the crops in cheaply and efficiently. Both need to be accounted for and both need solid thinking processes.

The bottom line is that with the amendment in place to check on law enforcement's...umm...over-enthusiasm, this law seems fine to this observer. If you are in this country on a work visa, shouldn't you have documentation on you? If we are in a different country, don't we need to carry our passports and papers? Sure we do.

But you know as much as this Fan does that once an issue becomes a hot button issue, all kinds of folks start screaming from all sides without even having an idea what they are talking about. Pretty soon, the Hollywood star machine will kick in with their own protests that we are supposed to be so swayed by. There will be a call for MLB to move the All Star Game away from Arizona. But careful though needs to prevail here. Lord knows, that's asking a lot these days.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

I'm all for cracking down on illegal immigrants, but this is just giving the police way too much power. They already abuse the power they wield. This is giving them a license to justify anything, and that's pretty scary.