New Ordinance Could Encourage Discrimination



I am concerned that the immigration ordinance will increase racial prejudice and bring a loss of freedom to citizens of Payson. The Town Council said this ordinance would be enforced by complaint. I am in the United States legally, but do not wear a sign saying so. Neither do those here illegally have "illegal" stamped on their foreheads.

How can someone making a complaint know who is illegal and who is not? Will people just begin to report anyone who looks Hispanic or anyone who speaks English with a foreign accent? Will we be allowed to walk into a business and demand that anyone there who appears to be a foreigner show proof of legal status in the United States? Will all U.S. citizens have to carry government issued ID cards proving citizenship? Will employers get so tired of complaints being made against them that they stop hiring foreigners, even though those people are here legally? Are we going to start assuming that anyone who looks Mexican or does not speak English very well is illegal?

There was a letter in the March 30 edition of the Roundup saying that there used to be a time when one was greeted by a senior citizen or local teenager when entering a fast food restaurant, but now it is someone who barely speaks English. Is it being assumed that just because someone barely speaks English, they are illegal? Couldn't we also assume a person who barely speaks English is a legal immigrant who has not been in the United States very long?

My mother-in-law has lived in the United States for 41 years. She is a citizen, but does not speak English. She speaks only Spanish. There are others who speak only Spanish but are here legally.

I have heard complaints that the teenagers and senior citizens can no longer find jobs, but when I looked at the March 27 issue of the Payson Roundup, I found that McDonalds, KFC, Main Street Grille, Mazatzal Casino, Macky's Grill, Kohl's Ranch, The Rim Golf Club, Chaparral Pines, Rim Country's Most Famous Steakhouse, The Randall House, Subway, Strawberry Lodge, Holiday Inn Express and Wal-Mart are all hiring.

So, it appears there are jobs available.

S. Navarro, Payson

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