Thursday, May 6, 2010

Arizona Law Worries Asian American Communities

From China Daily:

A controversial new immigration law in Arizona has fanned public furor over its perceived anti-Latino aspects, but increasing arrests of Chinese illegal immigrants has brought the issue to Asian communities.
"The Arizona law is an affront to all people of color and all Americans, and especially people of color who have been subjected to racial profiling," said Norman Eng, spokesperson for the New York Immigration Coalition. "Chinese people are no strangers to that."
* * *

"What is happening in Arizona is a very familiar pattern of anti-immigrant efforts on the local level to discourage immigrants from coming to the US," said Bill Ong Hing, an immigration expert and law professor at the University of San Francisco and UC Davis.

"It's analogous to what happened first against Chinese immigrants with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which banned Chinese immigration for 10 years, and later against Japanese immigrants."

* * *

"Characteristics like language fluency, accent and style of dress will be major factors in whether a police officer decides a person is worthy of suspicion," said Ronald Lee, senior attorney for the Asian American Justice Center.

According to Lee, about one-fourth of Asian Americans in Arizona are classified as limited-language proficient.
Interesting to read this in a China paper -- sure to stoke anti-American feeling and confirm China's belief that the U.S. is a hotbed of racism and discrimination against all people of color.  All Chinese school children learn about Mao's support of African-Americans' struggle for equality.  America's treatment of African-Americans, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., were powerful propaganda tools for the CCP.  This article in a Chinese paper suggests that the treatment of minorities in America is still a powerful propaganda tool.  It's all well and good to say the China's record with minorities is not unblemished, and its human rights record far worse.  That's not what the people of China hear or believe.

Arizona hasn't done us any favors in China, that's for sure.  And it isn't likely to curb illegal immigration from China.  Instead, it plays into the wide-spread belief in China that the U.S. is about to enact another Chinese Exclusion Act, halting all legal immigration to the U.S.  When there's no way to enter legally, the motivation for illegal entry grows.

Immigration isn't just an internal U.S. matter; it affects foreign nationals, so it is no surprise that it is an international issue. International dealings are vested by the Constitution in the federal government, so we can speak with one voice on the international stage.That's one of the reasons we federalize immigration law, too, so that the U.S. can speak with one voice instead of 50 voices in the international arena.  U.S. relations with China will always affect children adopted from China. Anti-American sentiment in China is an issue for China adopted children now and in the future.


Anonymous said...

I somehow can't see China happily allowing illegal immigrants to just hang out in China, work in China, suck off the federal teat in China. Hmmm, can I go to China illegally and then give birth to an anchor baby and insist that I have a right to stay there because my child is a citizen? When China says all this is ok, I'll worry about how they view US immigration reform.

Anonymous said...

Interesting - I was just reading about the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 today and thought the very same thing!