'Scuse me for a moment while I get all political on ya. It's not often (ok, it's not ever, really) that I talk politics on this blog, but this is an issue that has got my hackles WAY up, and I need to vent for a moment. The outfit details are all the way at the bottom of the post if you want to skip my rantings; the rest of this post has nothing at all to do with fashion.
As you may have guessed already, I have a deep and profound love of all things Latin American, and as a native Californian I consider many aspects of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and other Latino cultures to be a part of my own heritage. So the shameful immigration law recently passed in Arizona, which I'm sure everyone has heard all about by now, just makes me clench my teeth with indignation.
Now I acknowledge that Arizona does have a hefty set of immigration-related issues that the federal government has done a terrible job in dealing with. But enacting a law that promotes mistrust and angry division is just never the right answer, is it?
Sure, illegal immigration poses problems; one of the most overlooked, in my opinion, is the way it undermines the Herculean efforts of people who come here by legal means. Talk to anyone who's gone through the process of obtaining a work visa in the US or becoming naturalized and you'll hear stories of miles of paperwork, gobs of money spent, hours in impossibly long lines, and legal red tape that would make your hair stand on end. Having obtained my citizen status by the easiest possible method, birth, I wholeheartedly admire the perseverance of legal immigrants. Moreover, I wonder what the US would be like if everyone was as passionate and committed to being here as our legal immigrants are? Would we suffer from the same sense of entitlement if we had to deal with the USCIS to obtain our rights?
On the other hand, it's pretty tough to blame people who risk everything to flee a desperate and often woefully impoverished situation for the chance of making a better life for themselves and their children. To me it is the original American Dream in its purest form. And the reality is that it's pretty much the same way most of our ancestors got here. Most Americans today cannot even fathom the sorts of troubles that people who flee to this country are facing in their home lands, and indeed, even the "better life" that many illegal immigrants find here is still far below the average American standard of living.
Illegal immigrantion does come with its share of other problems, not the least of which is the importation of drugs and the violence that goes along with them. But turning the local police, who live within that racially-mixed community, into what amounts to little better than an SS brigade, is a recipe for unrest and further conflict, most notably among people who aren't even a part of the original problem. Obviously the law legalizes racial profiling, but even worse, it builds walls between people who should be working together to solve these issues. I'm sorry Arizona, I don't have an easy solution for you, but the one you've opted for is quite possibly the worst you could've come up with.
I'd like to open up the floor for more discussion, because I know my insightful readers will have more to add on this one. Are there any Arizonians out there who have a different take on this issue? Legal immigrants who want to weigh in? People from Latin countries who are disgusted, irate, disappointed? People who have been impacted in one way or another? Let's hear it! Even if Arizona is taking a closed-minded approach, it doesn't mean we have to.
Today's (non-political) outfit:
Dress, bracelet: Betsey Johnson
Harness: Audra Jean
Tights: Foot Traffic, via Sock Dreams
Shoes: Saks 5th Avenue
Adorable dog: Georgie