I read your newspaper eagerly each Shabbos and find it to be insightful and fair in its editorials.
As a legal immigrant from South Africa to the United States, (does that make me “a documented immigrant”?) I find your editorial “We are all immigrants,” disingenuous and devoid of any context.
Every rational person acknowledges that the United States faces a serious illegal immigration problem from the Mexican border. Over 22,000 have died in just five years in overflowing drug wars on America ‘s southern border.
At the same time any mildly politically conscious person also understands that successive administrations, sensitive to the Latino vote or big business, have turned a blind eye to the exploding hot potato illegal immigration issue.
The vast majority of Arizonans who support this law are not bigots. They are simply reacting, as any other rational person concerned about his family would, as a front-line recipient of a failed south-of-the-border immigration policy.
For Jewish American organizations like the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society to sound the horn that this is an attack on all immigrants is a troubling reflection of a seeming inability in a post-World War II world to divorce sound and legal immigration policies from unjustifiable and discriminatory quota systems – as if any support of such Arizonans would just be a step away from new anti-Semitic quota legislation.
Gideon Aronoff’s statement that the law “betrays the proud history of a nation built by immigrants” is perverse to say the least. The problem is illegal immigrants.
What Americans desperately need is a clear, unambiguous and enforceable immigration policy for temporary workers. The term “undocumented immigrant” is a liberal farce and dangerous – just ask the many victims of crime in Arizona .
It is easy to pontificate from the towers of New York City and get on the feel-good bandwagon of universal outrage. But as Jews, and legal immigrants to the United States, should we not, at the very least, try to understand the complexity of migration and a country whose laws should first protect the legal residents of the United States and the people of Arizona?
While we here in the northeast enjoy cheap fruits and vegetables in the comforts of our homes, thanks very much to the cheap labor of illegal immigrants, unlike those in Arizona and elsewhere we do not live with the social consequences of such rampant and uncontrolled illegal immigration on our doorstep.
We, as Jews, should know better.
Context is what matters most.