Studying the Effects of State Immigrant Discrimination

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryThe U.S. Commision on Civil Rights has begun a study of what the effects are against immigrants in the states of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. The study hopes to find evidence and patterns of how the state immigration laws in these three states has adversely affected those immigrants and U.S. citizens living in these three places. The reason for this is simple—to show more than enough evidence to legally force these states to abandon their state immigration laws and to reverse the trend of state sanctioned discrimination against immigrants in these three states. I am sure that the study will find more than ample individual and group examples of discrimination.

These laws first of all mean that those “suspected” of being immigrants and undocumented will be forced to show paperwork to prove they are legally here. Since this is unlikely many of these “suspects” will find themselves in jail, being deported, or worse forced into hiding. I am sure that the report will find ample evidence of abuse of people whose sole “crime” is being an immigrant or looking like one (especially a “Latino immigrant”). I am sure that the study will find their families have been equally victimized, and that local businesses will have been impacted by these laws. There will be no question that the children of immigrants will have been traumatized by these laws, and that whole communities will have no trust of the local and state authorities.

My question is how long will such a study take? How will it be used to truly help those in need? I am hoping that the time frame for such a study is not too long (remember, government-funded studies can take a year or two. This is long after the events transpired and of little value to those who have suffered the most. Such studies can also be totally useless if we get a new president who will not abide by them). A study like this is fine, and will prove necessary. However, it must be timely, used as part of a legal means to deal with the problem of stopping more states from creating and passing their own state immigration laws, and help those in most need and those most victimized. Otherwise such a study is a futile exercise in government bureaucracy.

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