Letter to Meltzer regarding Arizona type legislation

MI State Representative Kim Meltzer
N-797 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48933

May 12, 2010

Dear State Rep Meltzer:

I am writing you to express the concerns of our mutual constituents regarding your proposed plan to introduce an immigration bill onto the state house floor patterned after the recent controversial law in Arizona.

We are all concerned about our broken immigration system and the need to make Michigan more secure.  Legislation patterned after Arizona’s law, however, will assist Michigan with neither.

An Arizona type bill in Michigan will have three direct negative consequences upon our state, one relating to civil rights and two relating to fiscal issues.

First, such a bill in Michigan would open up the gates to ethnic and religious profiling by local and state law enforcement.  The fundamental question is how does an undocumented person look that would prompt law enforcement to question someone about their legal status?  Obviously, people of color, people who wear ethnic/religious attire and people who speak with accents would be unfairly questioned.

Second, such a bill will tax our already overburden law enforcement agencies on the local and state levels.  With budget cuts taking place, our local and state entities simply cannot afford the burden of enforcing federal immigration law, which may not be legal to begin with.

Last, such a bill will tarnish the image of Michigan and deter investment and tourism to our great state.  Many people and organizations have publicly declared that they will cease traveling to Arizona while the current immigration law is in effect.  Michigan can hardly afford any economic boycotts considering we have one of the worse economies in America.

Please consider what I have stated, and thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully,

Dawud Walid
Executive Director
Council on American-Islamic Relations – Michigan (CAIR-MI)

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