The L.A. Times's article "Immigration law ignites fear in Arizona" reports on a new state law in Arizona that requires public workers to report illegal immigrants who apply for benefits they aren't entitled to.

The article implies that the law is unjust because immigrants hesitate to seek assistance from state agencies for fear their illegal status will be reported. It concludes by providing the following story and the thoughts of Sofia Machado.

"The state Department of Economic Services, which administers welfare benefits, has referred to federal authorities more than 750 people who applied for benefits without proof of legal residency. Officials at ICE have not said whether they have taken action on those cases, but stressed that their priorities in deportations lie with violent criminals.

On a recent morning, a group of immigrants sat in the modest offices of the Border Action Network, sharing stories of fearful trips to apply for benefits. Sofia Machado, an English teacher and volunteer at the group, said one of her neighbors had been deported after seeking Medicaid for her U.S.-born children.

Just as Machado finished telling the story, her cellphone rang. The caller's daughter was three months pregnant and had started bleeding, but the caller feared taking her to the hospital. Machado tried to reassure the caller that hospitals should not be checking immigration status."

Following this the strained logic occurs. Referring to the effects of the law on illegal immigrants Sofia is quoted as saying, "Look at the disaster these people have created."

There were many a day when I was young I would wait anxiously for my dad to come home from work so we could play catch. And then there were those days when my brother and I, as young boys are apt to do, would commit a transgression out side the normal boundaries of civility that would bring our mom to say, "Wait until your father gets home!".

On those days I feared the arrival of my dad at the end of the day.

So what changed? Not my dad. And not the rules. What changed was my position as it related to being within our outside "the law". 

Although my dad caused the fear, I owned the fear.

Likewise, there is nothing wrong with the law. Neither is there anything wrong with those who support it. Although the law causes the fear, the illegal immigrants own the fear.

Why? Because they are illegal. As such, they stand outside the law.

Click here to view the L.A. Times Article "Immigration law ignites fear in Arizona".

© 2010, VoiceWind. . .Greg Loveless. All rights reserved.


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