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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ASUA holds immigration forum for first meeting

    The Associated Students of the University of Arizona met Wednesday to hold a forum about Senate Bill 1070, which has recently become a new state immigration law.

    “”I want you all to re-think the idea that illegal immigrants are a problem,”” said Brennan Vincent, a mathematics freshman. “”The real focus of our government needs to be making it easier for people to come here legally.””

    Vincent said he’s against Senate Bill 1070.

    “”We have legal immigrants at this university who feel threatened by this bill,”” Vincent said. “”The easy way to fix the problem is to document these undocumented immigrants so we can make sure they’re paying taxes and that they aren’t coming in and using our services that our tax payers pay for without paying for them ourselves.””

    Vincent was the only person in the audience to immediately sign up to give a speech.

    ASUA President Emily Fritze and Executive Vice President Katherine Weingartner encouraged attendees to speak up, even if they only had a few words to say.

    “”How many times have you gone on a run and not had any identification with you?”” asked Anne Silverman, a political science junior. “”We should be as vocal as possible about condemning this law. But I commend anyone who comes up here and speaks in favor of the bill because this is a very anti-SB1070 crowd.””

    Dustin Cox, a former UA senator and 2008 UA graduate, spoke at the hearing in hopes that the senate would come to some sort of resolution.

    “”I’m a proud Arizona alumnus, but this bill makes me an embarrassed Arizona resident,”” Cox said. “”It’s understandable to want to solve immigration issues such as drug smuggling. This bill won’t fix that or stop major crimes, it will pick up people who are contributing to our economy, and that’s something we cannot afford as Arizonans.””

    Political science senior Jesus Salazar expressed a mixed view on Senate Bill 1070.

    “”I know from personal experience that our country was built from immigrants,”” Salazar said. “”You can’t have a nation without borders. This isn’t about immigration, it’s about illegal immigration. I work with many people who are illegal and those who have followed the path, and on a personal level, it sucks. But on a larger scale, the country must secure its borders before it could take on anything else. “”

    Weingartner said it was crucial that as many people as possible speak up at the forum.

    “”We want to better serve students before we can take a stance on any issue, so we would like to hear all your opinions,”” Weingartner said.

    Fritze told the audience that UA President Robert Shelton recently sent out an e-mail expressing his concern with Senate Bill 1070.

    Michael Abramowicz, a business management junior, said he supports Senate Bill 1070.

    “”I’m for the bill because illegal immigrants cost us $1.3 million, and I heard that Phoenix is one of the number one dangerous cities,”” Abramowicz said.

    Trevor Laky, a philosophy junior, discussed the importance of border safety.

    “”In all actuality, it just enforces federal law at a state level,”” Laky said. “”I understand some people have a problem with this bill, but to say we’re going to sacrifice our reputation over our morals, well, I’d much rather sacrifice our morals. We need to protect our borders.””

    Marcus Smith, a visitor from the University of Michigan, spoke at the forum.

    “”I urge the student government to have a heartfelt debate on how this bill impacts their campus,”” Smith said. “”I do feel this bill promotes ethnic profiling, so if you don’t support such a bill, think about how it affects the entire university. Be creative with this resolution. Immigration is not going to go away.””

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