Multi-American | How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

From Arizona, with opinions: Readers respond to immigration bills

Photo by midwinter/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Readers' comments are usually vary in length and flavor, but yesterday I received two from Arizona natives that begin similarly and are almost mirror images, though they present two very different Grand Canyon State points of view.

Arizona, of course, has returned as ground zero in the immigration debate (not that it ever relinquished this title) after a state senate committee gave the green light to a series of bills Tuesday night that make last year's partly-implemented SB 1070 seem mild. Among other things, the bills seek to deny U.S. citizenship to children born to undocumented immigrants, bar undocumented immigrants from public services including basic ones like registering a car and getting a marriage license, and make hospitals check patients' immigration status. And now a fed-up group of Pima County residents wants to secede.

In response to yesterday's post listing the immigration bills, Azgirl0023 wrote:

I'm born and raised in AZ and I’m all for this bill.

There is so much I.D theft, kidnappings and major drug busts that are happing everyday here. The public schools are way over crowded, my daughters in third grade and has to leave the class when reading and writing time comes around becuase majority of kids are spanish speaking and writing. Wait are we still in America? I work at a grocery store and what about when they go to pay for their food and have stacks of $100.00 bills in their wallet, but then whip out their EBT cards? Times are hard! I work and am barley making ends meet and obviously it’s not hard to see where my tax dollars are going. Watch out surrounding states, you want to protests us, thats fine you can have the illegals. Then it will be your state thats in crisis when they come flooding through.

YeahBuddy wrote:
I was born and raised in AZ. I know people feel like immigrants are “taking” over. People need to put themselves in their shoes. There are some immigrants that DO pay taxes. They are looking for a better life. They are looking for the opportunities their country doesn’t offer them. Life in Mexico is difficult. Yeah we have drug busts everyday, they have drug wars. Certain cities have been on the verge of being exploded just to kill certain drug lords. It’s funny how people think ALL kidnappers and theifs are Hispanic. Well guess what there’s American people that do that too, why aren’t they a big deal? People need to get over themselves and realize most of AZ is Hispanic. Our economy will only get worse with all these bills. The legal Hispanic commmunity will leave to where their people are accepted. What will AZ do then

The divisions run deep. A group called Start Our State in Pima County, next to the U.S.-Mexico border, has declared that it has had enough of the goings-on in the state capital and wants for the county to secede from Arizona.