Pro vs Con: Immigration Law Reform And You
1 year ago
Two powerful arguments for an issue dividing the nation.
Semantics can be everything. Nowhere is that more glaringly obvious than in the immigration debate, where the same group of people are called both “undocumented immigrants” and “illegal aliens.” No matter what you call them, one thing everyone can agree on is that this will continue to be a major issue in the current election cycle. Besides being a battle between political parties, it has also become a states’ rights versus the federal government battle. The U.S. Justice Department has filed suit against Alabama, Arizona, South Carolina and Utah, challenging the constitutionality of the state laws.
“A patchwork of immigration laws is not the answer and will only create further problems in our immigration system," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a press release. "The federal government is the chief enforcer of immigration laws, and while we appreciate cooperation from states, which remains important, it is clearly unconstitutional for a state to set its own immigration policy.”
To date, several provisions in those laws have been struck down, including the Alabaman provision that bans "concealing, harboring, transporting, etc., of unlawfully present aliens." Alternatively, the same ruling upheld the state’s right to check the immigration status of public school students.
We went to the people who are on the front lines to discuss this divisive issue and how it affects black folks. On the pro state immigration law side, we spoke to Stacey Swimp, spokesperson for Project 21 and president of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of Michigan. For the opposition, we tapped Lecia J. Brooks, Outreach Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center. We asked both the exact same questions; their answers have been edited only for clarity and space. Give it a read, then head to the comments to tell us where you fall in this debate. Let the discussion begin:
Stacey Swimp is a spokesperson for Project 21 and president of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of Michigan.