Welcome to the official, independent student-run newspaper of Hofstra University!

Racist immigration law forces Alabama Hispanics out

Two of the P.R.I.D.E. principles that Hofstra preaches are Diversity and Community and Respect for Self and Others. Apparently, our country does not seem to value these principles as much as Hofstra does. A primary example of this is our mistreatment of illegal immigrants. Even though they are not technically citizens, we must recognize that these are still people. They are not the unwanted gum that attaches itself to the bottom of our shoe. We need to respect what these people contribute to our country day after day in a foreign land. Overall, America could use a little Hofstra P.R.I.D.E.  

How did the first settlers of America obtain their land?  Some of our ancestors, the founders of the America that we live in today, were illegal immigrants who stole land from the Native Americans, the rightful owners.  Subsequently, they forced the Native Americans to move further and further West until they were cornered into sometimes inadequate reservations.

This is not the case with current illegal immigrants.  They have to live in fear of being caught. Knowing that they are not welcomed by a majority of America, they hide in low wage jobs so as to avoid being detected and deported, or even worse, imprisoned.  

One of the strictest immigration policies was recently upheld in Alabama, leading many Hispanic immigrant families to flee. Instead of chasing immigrants out of their now stable homes, America needs to take a look at how we got to this point. Yes, we are becoming a little crowded, but we cannot let this racism labeled as "immigration policy" continue.  At least these people are not forcing aliens into reservations.

In what is called the strictest immigration law of the country, Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn upheld a law that would include asking for immigration papers at routine traffic stops and forcing schools to confirm the immigration status of students at the time of enrollment.  It is still unclear how severe a punishment Alabama police are expected to enforce, but many immigrants are not remaining in Alabama to find out.   

Within days of the ruling, 123 students had withdrawn from state schools. By the end of that week, the total statewide absence count of the Hispanic student population was just under 2,000. In a week, five percent of the Hispanic student population had disappeared. Residencies in some areas have dropped by about a quarter.  Stores have less traffic.

Is a minor increase in employment worth all of these downsides?

As a result of the strict law, schools will not be as populated.  This is good for the overall student-to-teacher ratio.  However, if attendance plummets further, funding will have to be cut.      

What about the children? As families search for another place to call home, their education becomes less of a priority. Everybody, not only citizens, have the right to education and the right to social mobility. Additionally, there are less people who can spend money on goods. The economy will ultimately suffer as unemployment has only a slight decrease.

Are the immigrants even doing enough harm to justify this treatment? They usually take low-wage jobs for which many Americans previously felt that they were overqualified. Now that unemployment is up, people are just now starting to get less picky, salivating over jobs that they once looked down upon. The United States is too crowded, but it's not merely the illegal immigrants over the last decade or two, it is an accumulation of steady heavy immigration since the days of Jamestown.

At the heart of the matter is racism. Do we have a wall blocking Canada from us, with border patrol ready to arrest at the drop of a hat? No, we welcome the "aye"-sayers with open arms.  

This is just like the Chinese Exclusion Act of the late 1800s, which banned anyone of that ethnicity from immigrating to the United States for 10 years. Soon, we will have specific percent quotas on how many Hispanic immigrants will be allowed in the country each year.  We need to realize that though this racism may seem justified through quick fixes in increasing the amount of jobs, we will ultimately suffer in our country's turnover in employment, education, and economy.  



Footloose Remake Review

Roommates: Perfect or problem?