I commend President Obama for his leadership in immigration. The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, SB1070.
The President is demonstrating his commitment to comprehensive immigration reform, one of our top priorities. His challenge of SB1070 is preventing a patchwork of immigration-related state laws that could lead to rampant racial profiling throughout our country, but that does little to fix our broken immigration system.
The frustration of communities at the state and local levels shows the urgent need to fix this outdated system that keeps backlogs lengthy, families apart for years – sometimes decades, and incentivizes undocumented immigration. We must fix this system now.
I have long been opposed to utilizing state and local law enforcement resources to enforce federal immigration law. Laws like Arizona’s take away scarce resources from fighting crime. Immigrant profiling laws instill fear in our families and communities, leading to the drastic under-reporting of crime, leaving all of our communities less safe.
We must not be governed by fear. I know all too well the effects of scapegoating and racial profiling, as I was interned in a Japanese American internment camp during World War II, along with my family. I have seen how misguided attempts at law and order tear at the social fabric of our families, communities and our nation.
As national leaders, we have the responsibility to nurture a united America, and President Obama has once again stepped up to the plate.
Rep Michael Honda is the Chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
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