Arizona: a non-Mexican zone

Arizona: where medical marijuana is legal, but Mexicans are not.

It’s true, Arizona and Latinos haven’t had the best of relationships, as Arizona sees its southern neighbors in the same way Homer Simpson looks at Ned Flanders.

Officials in Arizona have spent an awful lot of time and effort in recent years trying to make immigrants uncomfortable.

In 2010, Arizona introduced SB 1070, a law that shook up the national media and had everyone talking.

The law made it a criminal offense for undocumented immigrants to look for work, and required all immigrants to get or carry their immigration papers.

It also allowed the police to ask any suspicious or “non-white” looking persons on the street to prove their legal citizenship if there was any “reasonable suspicion” at all that the person was an illegal immigrant.

It’s still one of the strictest and largest anti-illegal immigration acts in U.S. history, and it has opened the door for widespread, non-discreet racial profiling. Now, the mustache on your face could land you in jail.

However, these anti-immigration laws are costing Arizona. According to the Huffington Post, $141 million has been lost in tourism revenue because of economic boycotts protesting the anti-immigration law.

Add that to the hundreds of thousands police agencies that are spending to train its officers to enforce these laws, and the estimated $934 million net costs that Arizona has to eat, in jailing, educating and proving health care to those here illegally, and the cost is out of hand.

Now schools are becoming an area of focus for Arizona officials.

There is recent news about another law prohibiting public schools in the Tucson district from offering courses, such as Mexican American studies, and banning certain textbooks. Such actions will only add to the animosity.

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