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Arizona's Immigration Law: Dangerous for Children

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Dr. Wendy Walsh: While lawmakers and partisan voters argue about the constitutionality of the new Arizona immigration law, no one is talking about the biggest danger: teaching racism to kids.

Kid holding american flag

We all know that children are very impressionable. Their brains are like little sponges soaking up messages about their culture and environment. Imagine the hard beliefs young people are forming as they witness families of Hispanic heritage being openly and legally harassed by authorities. Knowing that 60 percent of the adults in their state condone this kind of racial profiling sends a message to kids that judging people by the color of their skin is OK. This hurts kids.

And what about the American children of Hispanic ethnicity? The most dangerous aspect of a racist culture isn't any overt act of discrimination. Rather, it's the personal sense of feeling "less than" that's created early in life through media messages and the like. Are we teaching some American children that they are less valuable? Will a new generation of Hispanic-American children grow up not believing that they're valuable, powerful and can reach for the stars?

Lastly, this new law is creating a fear in some children that's not unlike what Jewish children experienced in Nazi Germany. They fear that a discovery of illegal status will tear their family apart. Yesterday, a second grader surprised Mrs. Obama during a school visit with this little exchange:

Girl: "My mom says Barack Obama is trying to take away all the people who don't have papers."

Michelle:"We're trying to fix that."

Girl:"But my mom doesn't have papers."

Michelle:"We're trying to fix that."

This 8-year-old girl was expressing a terrifying fear that her mother will be "taken away." C'mon, politicians! Think before you create fear, intolerance and racism in a new generation.

next: Justin Bieber Gets a Tat! Millions of Tweens to Follow?
29 comments so far | Post a comment now
sam May 22, 2010, 8:45 PM

if a Caucasian man robs a bank, if he is 6ft.2,should the police be looking for a Hispanic 5ft2 man? do you call this racial profiling, when they should be looking for a 6ft 2 Caucasian. we have a president that refuses to enforce the law even tho he took an oath to do so. all he is worried about is the Hispanic vote. to even say this is like the Holocaust is IRRESPONSIBLE. where did you get your degree, at the dollar store? all you people who follow this person like a bunch of lemmings, maybe you should be educated in the school of life. the law is like the federal law which the president will not enforce. don’t you think Obama is playing loose with our freedom by choosing which law he will enforce? the bottom line is, this country cannot afford to pay welfare, food stamps, and all the other assistance these people receive. i will say they should streamline a process so these people that come here can join the ranks of the working poor like the rest of us, and pay their fair share like the rest of us. no, they don’t pay their fair share. you say the American people won’t take these jobs, i myself have worked these very jobs, and paid my taxes.i was not on welfare. when the president of Mexico comes here and tries to shame this country because we don’t have a president that will stand up for our rights, something is wrong here, mainly in the oval office. i as a US citizen have to carry some form of id because i will be asked for it. it is the law. now, is this racial profiling?

michelle May 23, 2010, 7:33 PM

tennmom, maybe your resentment is preventing you from actually doing any homework. Do you think white Eastern Europeans haven’t figured out how to overstay the 90-day tourist visas they get when they arrive by air? Do you think illegal Chinese immigrants don’t know how to fly to Mexico and walk over the border (as many are caught doing)? Also, with regard to your tired argument that the citizen children of illegal Mexican immigrants are all collecting welfare: no they aren’t. They are and have always been much less likely than white people to collect benefits. Their parents are here to work, they are here because there is demand for their labor, and work is what they do. Oh, and they pay taxes that will go to support YOU in your old age, not them. You’re welcome.

JadedKiller May 24, 2010, 11:18 PM

I will not pretend to know the laws by heart and to the letter, but I know when something is wrong. A lot of people seem to be focusing on the fact that the majority of the illegals are in fact Hispanic, so it makes it easy to point fingers. We kinda did this to ourselves. Once people got so comfortable with their lives, they were not as willing to be bothered with the problems that have started to surface. I myself am guilty of this laziness, but that is a flaw some people possess. It is natural to deflect when confronted, so when people call foul on this new Arizona law, I cannot really blame them. I do blame them for not being stronger than their animal instincts. Instead of logically stepping back and figuring out a new system overhaul that could rectify this situation, everyone jumps for a throat. Instead of arguing over the details about he said, she saids, perhaps someone should make a suggestion that does not drip with disdain with ever uttered word.
I am an American, through and through. My ancestors cover the globe over, some even rooted in the very soil we call home. I come from martyrs, royalty, saints and sinners, good and evil men, legals and illegals. My blood runs blue and white with the red. I have stars in my eyes when ever I pause to think of how blessed we really are. We are all human. Skin means nothing to me. It is your soul. Everyone you see is different from the next. Everyone is fighting a hard battle. Find peace before you rage war, only then can you win.

DilyaverMametov May 25, 2010, 4:21 PM

Посоветуй таким методом сайт реально в траст вогнать? Хочу раскрутить сайт но не знаю как Яндекс постояно меняет алгоритм уже и незнаю как правельно сделать.Вот ссылка на метод раскрутки

Diana May 26, 2010, 5:35 PM

I DON’T support this law. They are just being racist and think they are all criminals. If you don’ know then don’t give your opinion.

Learn May 28, 2010, 1:12 AM

This law most certainly IS about racial-profiling. I worked for language interpretation firm in AZ that was contracted by the gov to provide interpreters for illegal detainees. My first day, I was shocked to learn that people of all nationalities, including Europeans, enter the country illegally through Mexico. That’s a fact not taught in school or blasted on the news.

Many Americans assume that illegal = Mexican and that is simply not the truth. People of other nationalities reside here illegally. Having lived abroad, it’s known that impoverished peoples are enticed into purchase tickets to Mexico with the idea that they can just “walk across” the border into the US.

Due to the “war on drugs” Mexicans and other detainees of Central and South American descent were treated notably worse than the other detainees. They were physically and verbally abused and questioned like terrorist while others were simple questioned about their nationality and placed in que for a flight back to their country of origin. Obviously drugs and other threats can be smuggled from other countries and by people not of Central and South American descent. So why where these people being singled out and treated so harshly? There is a stigma that falls on our neighbors to the south that illegals of other nationalities do not suffer.

Guess what, our Israeli neighbor up the street entered this country through Mexico in the seventies. She got married three weeks later and sent for her family to come “legally.”

Mexicans shouldn’t be treated any different than any other illegal but they are seen as a larger threat or in many cases the only threat due to willful ignorance on the part of the American people.

Truth,Freedom, & Liberty June 15, 2010, 3:30 PM

Great article Dr. Walsh

I just learned today that the Arizona child abusers, have decided to deport any American children born here from illegal immigrants!

So pack the pampers and the baby food, because the hypocrites and “brood of vipers” as Jesus described them, are out to track down any and all baby criminals,even if they have papers!

I wonder just how, those people they will justify their hate filled actions against innocent children,
on the Judgment day?

m June 15, 2010, 9:14 PM

This article is trash. What people are missing is the key fact and that is an officer has to conduct a legal stop first. This has nothing to with racial profiling. any one who boycotts AZ needs to read the facts about illegal immigration.

Disgusting Comparison, Dr. Walsch July 18, 2010, 9:29 AM

Wow, does it get any more disgusting than to compare what victims of the Holocaust endured to questioning suspected illegals about the legality of their residency status? Dr Walsch, either you are unabashedly ignorant of history or you are very cruel to ake such a comparison. Either way, you should be ashamed of yourself!

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