Arizona Rising Up In The Name of Human Rights

I have to say I’m quite proud of the way the people of Arizona have come out to oppose this terrible legislation. There are a myriad of kind hearted compassionate people willing to stand of for basic dignity and human rights. It’s quite sad to see so much of the evil sneering of those placing all blame on other human beings – especially, in this case, undocumented migrants. This ‘there’s not enough room in this town for the both of us’ mentality is crude and quite anti-American.

20 Unitarian Universalist ministers arrested in Arizona immigration protest
Newark Unitarian Universalism ExaminerMichael Dalzell

Twenty Unitarian Universalist ministers from around the country were among the 83 people arrested Thursday in Phoenix, protesting the implementation of Arizona’s immigration law. The law took effect yesterday, a day after a federal judge stripped SB 1070 of some of its most controversial provisions.
“I am standing for human rights,” Frederick-Gray told the Arizona Republic before her arrest in front of the jail. “In the face of fear that is assaulting our community, we must not be silent. We must make it clear which side we stand on. We stand on the side of love.”

In the fight over Arizona’s immigration law, everybody loses

By Roberto Suro
Sunday, August 1, 2010

Arizona’s immigration law was never going to solve the problem of illegal immigration. That is not its purpose. Instead it is an invitation to a shootout in which there will be no winners. It is more of a provocation than an attempt to enact policy, and as a protest against Washington’s failure to fix a broken immigration system, it resonates.
The frustration has been building quietly since the last big push to overhaul the immigration system ended in June 2007 with the Senate locked in a stalemate. After more than a year of political drama, including massive immigrant marches in the spring of 2006, legislation had emerged with backing from President George W. Bush, some Republican moderates and most Democrats. It would have increased enforcement, offered legalization to the current population of illegal migrants and created measures to regulate future flows, including a temporary-worker program. But conservative Republicans attacked the legalization program as an “amnesty” for law-breaking migrants, while liberal Democrats split over the terms of the temporary-worker program. Comprehensive immigration reform, as proponents dubbed it, failed to get the 60 votes necessary to move through the Senate. Since then, nothing has shifted that political accounting, not even the 2008 election, which changed so much else in Washington. (click above link to read more)


What is the Rule of Law?

What is the rule of law anyway?   Anti-immigrant groups use this term quite frequently to clarify their position on immigration.  Supposedly the “rule of law” would state that if a person is undocumented they should be removed.  However, it does not take into account human rights, personal circumstance or anything else one would consider when humbly judging another human being.

According to most attempts to define “the rule of law” the most important consideration is in fact human rights and the individual freedom.  Laws are meant to protect freedom and promote liberty.  In this way the government works for the people as a whole rather than promoting only a select few over others.  According to the UN Charter:

Today, the concept of the rule of law is embedded in the Charter of the United Nations. In its Preamble, one of the aims of the UN is “to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained”. A primary purpose of the Organization is “to maintain international peace and security… and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace.” The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, the historic international recognition that all human beings have fundamental rights and freedoms, recognizes that “… it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law…”

“Human rights should be protected by the rule of law.” This does not exclude those ‘humans’ anti-immigrant groups choose to demonize or marginalize. When we all wake up and see each other as humans treating one another with dignity and respect we will quickly see how things will change for the better. Immigration is a global issue. Somehow many feel that our fighting a war abroad is ok because it protects our local freedoms yet they don’t grasp the fact that actions abroad effect immigration through tyranny and oppression endured elsewhere.

What is the Rule of Law?