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S.B. 185: More Political BS

Allowing local law enforcement to ask people, who they detain or arrest, for their legal status is just another political ploy that will only keep our borders broken.

El Paso Police officers and Sheriffs’ deputies should not be burdened with extra duties that are already reserved for federal officers to perform.

Texas Senator Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, seems to be sending a clear message that racial profiling is acceptable, as long as those who have been detained or arrested look illegal (whatever that means).

I’m not sure if this bill is a viable solution to the much larger problem of illegal immigration or if it is even a sincere effort to curtail illegal entry into this country. It does seem to perpetuate negative stereotypes that continue to follow immigrants living in the United States, legal or not.

By casting a wider net in an attempt to catch those with questionable status, the opportunity for more civil rights violations to occur becomes greater.

For those wanting a better life by coming to America, the hurdles and obstacles are already numerous, and with bills like S.B. 185, it is just another unnecessary barrier that sends the unfortunate message that immigrants are not welcomed.   

This bill has no true purpose other than to intimidate those who have come to America to stay in the shadows, to be exploited for their labor, only to be forced into the shadows again.

There is no question that reform is needed when it comes to controlling the influx of immigrants that enter through our nation’s borders. Yet, S.B. 185 seems to expand the very system that is already broken.

Approaching the issue of illegal immigration by proposing bills and laws that do not take into account the humanity and dignity of those who have simply come to this country to make a better life tarnishes the history of what makes this nation great.

A bill like S.B. 185 would only lead to other bills, other laws, other measures that would have citizens asking for proof of legal status from those they deem not from here. I exaggerate to make a point, or maybe I’m not exaggerating.

Bills like S.B. 185 seem to be created to keep the disadvantaged at a disadvantage.

Immigrants who look a certain way are already targeted by federal law enforcement and live in constant fear when working or going to school, driving or simply living their lives as contributors to an economy, but with a price on their heads.

It is an unenviable existence that is shaped by a constant paranoia that the years they’ve worked, the families they’ve raised, and the improvement to the lives that they have managed to carve out in an environment that often threatens to become hostile to their presence will all be taken away.

The goal is not clear as to why local law enforcement should be involved in immigration matters that have been solely left to government agencies for decades.

So called “sanctuary cities” do more to address the problem of illegal immigration than any law or bill can ever do because they address the difficulties that the immigrants face rather than make it more difficult for immigrants to get help.

It is obvious that this bill was crafted in political expediency and is not genuine in its attempt to provide a realistic solution. Local law enforcement is trained to protect and serve the local community, not to become freelance border agents at Sen. Perry’s convenience.

The issue of illegal immigration should be addressed on a more humanitarian level and not exacerbated with bureaucratic mumbo jumbo that gives political currency to the one creating the bill at the expense of real human beings.

I hope the bill doesn’t pass and that, we as a nation, find other ways of addressing our issues when it comes to those less fortunate.

America may be a nation of laws, but it also a nation of immigrants who are human beings.

Ben Woolridge may be reached at [email protected].

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S.B. 185: More Political BS