A Suffering Sanctuary

The debate over immigration restrictions has always been a hot topic on the political stage. Under President Trump’s administration, the federal government has been cracking down harder on immigration and has been urging the state governments to aid them. On April 10th, 2018, Iowa’s Governor, Kim Reynolds, signed bill SF-481 into law. The bill will have a major impact on both law enforcement officers and immigrants when it goes into effect on July 1st. 2018. Alejandro Zarate, a senior at East High School, speaks out about the potential ramifications of the bill.

One major issue that Zarate has with the controversial bill, is the effect it may have on the most basic aspects of American society. “SF-481 is a bill that will deny an individual [the right] to pursue a life in a country [that is] known to be all inclusive.

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Alejandro Zárate, outspoken advocate against SF-481

 It goes against what the United States was established for; the upbringings of immigrants.”

Zarate also has issues with the bill because of the power it gives to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, officials. SF-481 requires that local police and other entities work with ICE in investigations involving immigrants, as well as preventing local governments from creating any legislation that attempts to limit the enforcement of immigration laws. “I am opposed to this bill,” says Zarate, “because it will allow the game of prey vs predator to be integrated in immigrant’s lives. No longer will this country allow peace to the people whose sole purpose was to make a better life for their family in a country made by immigrants”

However, Zarate stresses that while SF-481 is a setback in the fight for immigrant rights, the battle is still far from over. “There is not much we can do now that a law will allow racial profiling. Yet, the community can collaborate with immigrants and show that they are no danger. We as a community need to fight for peace, not compromise to be disappointed at the end. Little by little, immigrants will have justice, as youth grow, we will be the ones to influence the next generation and show others that racial profiling is wrong.”

SF-481 is a bill shrouded by questions and doubts, all of which were ignored by Governor Reynolds as she signed it into law. Whether the bill will have drastic effects on the lives of immigrants will not be seen until it goes into effect. However, in a volatile political environment, the controversial bill will add more fuel to the fire of political debates.

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