Opinion

Arizona immigration law strikes fear in Latinos | Tito Hinojos

In my young 50-plus years, I have visited many historical sites and places. The ones that have left a lifelong impacting image are the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Holocaust Museum.

The one represents to me the action of those who give their lives so that we can live in freedom. The other reminds me of those who have nobody to fight for them, nor protect them, ultimately snuffing out the light of hope.

Last week, America witnessed the downward spiral attempt to extinguish hope for thousands of immigrants and their families. The Arizona State Senate Bill 1070 was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer. This has created a profound fear in the Latino community, as the new measure will permit the practice of racial profiling by Arizona law enforcement personnel. This bill would establish Arizona as the nation's leader in creating anti-immigration laws — and as the leader in anti-Hispanic sentiment.

The scariest part of the bill is that it would allow police to arrest people without warrant, as long as there is "suspicion." The bill would make it a crime to employ undocumented workers or transport them to work, even if they are family members.

"It's going to change our lives," said a 13-year-old American citizen from Phoenix. "We can't walk to school any more. We can't be in the streets anymore without the cops thinking we're illegal immigrants."

The bill, which takes effect in late July, is going to affect all human beings, creating more problems and violating constitutional rights. On April 23, Congressman Raul Grijalva in Tucson, Ariz., even received telephone calls threatening to bomb his office for his stance on the bill.

Is this a direction toward a “Hispanic Social Holocaust?”

Not by any means am I implying that it is in the same degree as the persecution and genocide of Jews in World War II. However, there is a similarity in the patterns of persecution. In Nazi Germany, it began with legislation that allowed the removal of Jews from civil society.

Is Arizona setting the pace for other states to enact a similar program of systematic state-sponsored social "extermination?"

This is going to affect Federal Way and the Pacific Northwest. There's potential for an influx of Latinos in the Northwest as they leave Arizona for other states. It's almost like a cycle that takes place, affecting everything from business to education.

So my friend, next time you visit the Valley of the Sun and enjoy a day watching the Mariners during spring training, or if you happen to be one of the thousands of snowbirds who migrates down to the desert during the winter, or perhaps you just enjoy the beauty of such places as the Grand Canyon, remember that it has been the hard working citizens and immigrants who have developed this wonderful state.

Please support the rights for human decency. Help stop this evilness so that the Valley of the Sun does not convert to the valley of dry bones — and let's hope the Northwest does not hop on the back of Arizona.

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