What is the deal with southwestern states these days? In my short blogging career I have already written about pending legislation in New Mexico, and everyone remembers the
horrendously racist iffy legislation that was passed in Arizona in 2010, "The Support Our Law Enforcement & Safe Neighborhoods Act." (Ha!) Well, Arizona legislators are up to their old tricks again, with the introduction of House Bill 2293.
State Representative Steve Smith, a House Republican, says that he introduced House Bill 2293 in order to find out how much money the state spends on the treatment of immigrants, and that it in no way aims to crack down on illegal immigration. “It’s a data collection bill, that’s what it is...That’s it. We don’t deny anybody. They don’t come in and not get treated. Everything stays the same, we just want it documented,” Smith told ABC. Sounds reasonable, right? Well, there are lot of groups who say it is chock full of bologna.
The Arizona Hospital & Healthcare Association says the bill will disrupt work, and rhetorically asked what other industry has to take the time to screen their customers for citizenship verification. Absolutely a reasonable point. But here's where my main objection to the bill comes in- it is blatantly racist.
When asked about these discrepancies, one of the bill's sponsors replied, "There's a lot of good relationships we have with Canada, legally, there's lots of reciprocity...If you have Canadian papers, you're deemed legal in the United States." Reciprocity? With regard to trade, perhaps, but this is simply not true! It is true that Canada is part of the Visa Waiver Program, but it is not true that it is easier for Canadian citizens to become American citizens, or that having Canadian paperwork deems one "legal" in the United States. It seems that what he meant to say was, "There's a lot of good relationships we have with Canada, they're white, and we aren't scared of them."
What's the big deal? So they know you're not a legal citizen, so what? They will still treat you and give you the medical care you need! Yes, it is true that the bill does not go into details about what will actually happen with regard to specific penalties. However, and here's where the claim that "it's just for data collection, silliez" falls apart- the bill REQUIRES hospitals to report
I hear it's warm there- maybe you should look into growing tobacco, or is it the right climate for cotton?