Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Immigration Reform: A Change Is Gonna Come

The Mexican Consulate in Little Rock, Arkansas, has partnered with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Public Health, and the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas to set up a new health initiative at the Consulate in the state capital that will provide health services for Mexicans in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Does this initiative counter-mine the immigration debate taking place?

The initiative called “Ventanilla de Salud” or Health Windows saw its first patients in March and is now open for full service providing health information and screenings for Mexican Nationals. Little Rock became the 40th of 50 consulates to provide this service. It has been so successful that France and Brazil has set up similar service at their consulates. The first initiative program was set up in San Diego in 2002.

The Consul General Carlos Garcia stated that Mexican immigrant is 11 per cent of Mexico’s citizen, the third largest group in the world. Of that 11 per cent living outside Mexico, 98 percent lives in the United States compared to about 1.5 million American citizens living permanently in Mexico. He did not say that any of the Americans were living here illegally.

While health services are being provided for so many Mexicans within our borders, there is no telling how many of those treated are here illegally. It must be very promising to the illegals in our country to know that while so many eyes are on the immigration laws and the state of Arizona that no one is looking at how health services are being taken out of the equation pertaining to public services.

Currently, lawmakers or candidates in 18 states want laws similar to Arizona’s to be implemented in their states. Such have already been introduced in some of the states that are the farthest from the U.S.-Mexico border: Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota, and Rhode Island. They are some of the states that foresee an influx of illegals fleeing from Arizona crossing their borders in numbers that their states might not be able to handle.

Arguments about immigration reform have become common discussions at family dinner tables. Some argue that Arizona’s immigration law is racial profiling while others feel that being an illegal is not a race, but a crime against our constitution’s 14th Amendment and asking for legal documents when someone is suspected to be here illegally is nothing new to any country protecting their borders. All American citizens have to present identification when law enforcement requests such. This is mostly done by presenting your driver’s license since law enforcement mostly come in contact with motorist, and also required when they are called to any disturbances to properly identify the people involved. Most countries require individuals to have their passports in their possession at all times.

Our major immigration problem is largely Hispanic because other than Canada, Mexico is the only country bordering the United States where illegal entry is almost an inborn talent. Even though Canada is also a gateway for illegals, the problem is not as bad or noticeable because of their checkpoint procedures, and their citizens are not in a big hurry to cross over and have the life they are already living.

The concern that is being raised here is how much of the fight is going to be fought openly, and how much of the fight is being fought behind closed doors like the health initiative being put in place before the issue of public services use by illegals are brought to the forefront.

As stated in another article I wrote and published on BC, to confront immigration reform, one must also look at the children born to illegals in the United States that receive automatic citizenship, a right derived from the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Arizona State Senator Pearce realized this when he proposed S.B. 1070, and is comtemplating on challenging it giving automatic citizenship to the children of illegal Parents.

As soon as a decision is made on the constitutionality of Arizona’s Immigration law and automatic citizenship, there is going to be a major change across our nation. This stands to be true if the Arizona law is deemed unconstitutional.

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