Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It's not a crime to look for work

That was the essense of a Court of Appeals ruling this week that took down another portion of Arizona's attempt three years ago to make criminals out of people they'd prefer not to have living in this country.

We're talking about the dreaded "S.B. 1070," that measure enacted by the Arizona Legislature that was meant to give local police broad authority to weed out those non-citizens without valid visas and get involved in enforcement of federal immigration policy.

MUCH OF THAT law was struck down previously. But the 9th Circuit appeals court this week took down another portion -- the one that was meant to discourage people from finding day laborers for certain jobs.

Under Arizona's questionable attempt at legislation, those people looking for a truck to come along and pick them up and take them to a farm field or construction site as cheap labor would be committing a criminal act in that they could be construed as disrupting the flow of traffic.

If anyone is committing a morally questionable act, it is the people who send the trucks out in search of workers for day labor.

Because what they're doing is preying on people who are forced into the shadows of our society. As a result, these employers are looking for workers whom they can take advantage of.

FINDING WORKERS WHOM would have to be treated fairly, decently, or like other workers, is something that doesn't appeal to them.

Instead, the ideologues want to criminalize the people who are being taken advantage of. Real nice!

So to the extent that the appeals court sided with the workers by saying that people in search of work cannot be considered criminal, all it really means is that they took a sensible stance.

They took a view that anybody should be able to accept, and that it takes an incredible ideological leap of faith to try to comprehend otherwise.

ALTHOUGH I'M SURE those ideologues will make the leap anyway. They seem determined to want to criminalize certain people. Which is their real problem with all the talk of immigration reform being passed about like gas on Capitol Hill.

For immigration reform would legitimize these individuals as human beings. Which ought to be the broad goal of all of us. Because the bureaucratic mess that currently is our immigration policy (one that can literally have some members of a family with "legal" status and others without) is something that does none of us any good.

And Arizona, in trying to pass its partisan measures a few years ago, was merely trying to mash the mess up even further.
BREWER: Should she give it up?

So is there a discouraging moment in this week's activity?

JUST THAT ARIZONA Gov. Jan Brewer's aides say a decision has not been made as to whether to try to appeal the Court of Appeals ruling to the Supreme Court of the United States.

You'd think that with the legal defeats this measure has endured, the governor would be eager to cut her losses -- rather than have the ideologues drag her down to defeat yet another time.


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