‘Illegal’ immigrants have moral claim on US citizenship rights

April 27, 2010

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THE GREATEST injustice in Arizona’s new immigration law is being ignored by the mainstream media (‘‘Ariz. governor signs tough immigration bill,’’ Page A2, April 24).

Certainly it is true that, as has been reported, people oppose this law because it would promote racial profiling and would increase the power of police to detain and question innocent people.

What goes unmentioned, however, is that some of us also feel that the fundamental aim of this law - enforcement of federal immigration regulations - is immoral.

A great many undocumented immigrants come here from countries that the United States has systematically devastated for generations by overthrowing democracy (as in Guatemala), sponsoring dictatorship and state terror (Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Haiti), and invading and annexing territory (Mexico). Actions such as these have helped the United States to control a grossly outsized share of world resources.

Until the US share of world resources is proportional to its population, so-called illegal immigrants will have a moral claim second to none on the rights of US citizenship. Arizona’s new law, like the federal laws it seeks to enforce, is an assault on people’s basic right to feed and clothe their families - in other words, on their right to access their fair share of the planet’s wealth, the patrimony of humanity.

Seth Minkoff

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