Recently, I came across a news-post attributed to Jessica Testa, a reporter for The State Press (a student run publication at Arizona State University). The article was titled, “Sharpton says Arpaio threatens civil equality“. And, the lead sentence stated “Rev. Al Sharpton cited Sheriff Joe Arpaio as the biggest threat to civil rights in Arizona during a forum on the Downtown campus Friday.”
I have never been a fan of Al Sharpton! I view him as a self-aggrandizing publicity seeker ready to use rabble-rousing sensationalism wherever he sees fit. Since the topic/issue of Illegal Immigrants (or the more “politically correct”, undocumented immigrants) is one of my hot-buttons, I sent an email to the address at the bottom of the article as a response. Below is a copy of that email:
I read your article ( http://www.statepress.com/node/8491 ) dealing with some recent comments made by Rev. Al Sharpton. You quoted Rev. Sharpton as saying “To defy federal law … is a threat to all of us and we must fight it all together.” I can agree with that statement. However, it appears to me that Rev. Sharpton wants to obscure immigration law when he calls this a civil rights issue; CIVIL RIGHTS do not grant anyone crossing our borders the right to stay here, more or less permanently, just because they want to. And, that is not influenced by race/religion/ethnicity.
The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1996 added a provision, 287(g), which allows the Department of Homeland Security to enter into contracts with state and local law enforcement agencies. The provision provides training for local officers who will help enforce immigration law under the supervision of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. As of August 2008, there were 63 local municipalities that were part of the 287(g) program.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics, issued a report in August 2006 detailing the estimated population of unauthorized (a kinder term than illegal) immigrants living in the U.S. — 10.5 million in January 2005. Even if the recent recession has had an impact to slow-down the previously estimated annual increase of 408,000, we are likely to have more than 12 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States in January 2010. It is well passed time to deal with this out-of-control matter.
Personally, Rev. Sharpton needs to take himself to Washington, D.C., if he thinks Sheriff Arpaio’s actions are a federal violation.
Sharpton, get out of the way and stop interfering with people working to protect the lives and property of citizens! (**Large and Bold were features of this sentence as I originally sent it.)
I support all efforts to prevent illegal entry into this country. I also support efforts to deny access, to the rights and privileges granted to U.S. citizens, by those whom overstay their Visa or enter the United States of America illegally!”
My email was sent on Oct 21st, and included my full-name as well as my mailing address. To my surprise, there was a message in my in-basket the very next morning. I’ve copied the text of that email below:
My name is Indra Ekmanis, I am the Opinion Editor for The State Press. Jessica Testa forwarded me the email you sent her regarding her article on Rev. Al Sharpton. Are you interested in having it run in our letters to the editor section in the paper?
I immediately replied to Ms. Ekmanis telling her “Yes, I would be glad to have it appear in your paper.”
So far, it has been a week and nothing further has been heard. So, I’m unsure whether I’ve become NOTORIOUS in a new State or not! There are, however rumors that I have achieved that status in at least 10 States! 😎
I’m curious about your feelings. Your comments are always welcome.