Immigration Lawyer Critical of Arizona Law

Houston-area immigration lawyer Annie Banerjee definitely is not a fan of Arizona’s new immigrant-related law aimed at curbing the flow of “illegals.”

Annie Banerjee believes that most immigrants coming to America are hard-working individuals, often with families in tow, who obey the laws of their new land. Newcomers who wish to come here are often ineligible for special visas (like H-1B temporary visas) and still would obey U.S. law if they only had the chance. “People are human beings first and foremost,” Banerjee says, “But many are the victims of circumstances.”

She likes the idea of open borders, at least in principle, although she is cognizant of American security and economic concerns. “Does anyone remember what Benjamin Franklin said in 1775, ‘They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty or safety.’ That Arizona law is really compromising everybody’s freedom, not just those who would be considered as being here unlawfully.”

Banerjee really detests Senate Bill 1070 made manifest. “Years ago, I read somewhere that Daniel Ellsberg and Peter Dale Scott recommended that all Americans read Defying Hitler by Sebastian Hafner. Of course, even the last Administration with Bush and Cheney weren’t really so Hitlerian except perhaps for a superficial resemblance in their policies, but as, the Tea-Party people are showing us, the madness of our crowds is increasing, and a good case can be made that this dreadful law is a symbol of that madness. It’s a slippery slope, not just the influx of so many immigrants, admittedly, some of them here in the country unlawfully, but a disregard for basic human rights and dignities. There’s a certain hypocrisy in place at the Federal level – President Obama came out against the Arizona law but he doesn’t seem to have any issues with the 287-g policy that is rife with similar abuses – but at least there’s an official outcry against racial and ethnic profiling. That gives me a little hope.”

But unfortunately, only a little hope, and it’s far from eternal. “What we really need are comprehensive immigration reforms – and they’re long overdue,” Banerjee explains, “In Arizona, this new edict is more of what used to be called a ‘sunset’ law in the Deep South – thinly disguised.”

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