Immigration law and reform have been at the top of the news lately in light of the passage of Arizona’s controversial immigration law on April 23. SB 1070, boiled down to its basic essence, says this:

‘For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency … where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person…’

Passage of the law ignited protests at the state capitol in Phoenix and across the entire country. Standard street protests have not been the only form of opposition — people have been taking action with their wallets as well. Hotel bookings have declined sharply, letters of acceptance to the state’s colleges and universities have been discarded in protest by future students, and even sports teams have gotten into the action. At an NBA playoff game on Cinco de Mayo against the San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns’ players donned jerseys emblazoned with ‘Los Suns’ in a show of solidarity with the Latino community and the diversity of the league in general. Also on May 5, the Boston, Mass., City Council approved a resolution urging the city to ‘end economic ties with Arizona by pulling investments, ending city contracts, and halting purchasing agreements to protest the state’s recently passed immigration law,’ according to the Associated Press.

We wondered how people were feeling about this new law and about the topic of immigration in general, so we found some local folks at Truckee Book & Bean one recent afternoon and asked them this:

How should the state of California handle illegal immigration?

(Editorial disclaimer: We at Moonshine Ink fully understand the complexity of this issue and in no way consider this very limited sampling of opinion to be representative of our community. We will be taking an in-depth look at immigration policy in a feature story in an upcoming issue, and we welcome readers to submit comments and ideas that will help us in shaping and expanding our coverage.)

Ian Bigley: ‘Not like Arizona! That’s profiling by law. Once people are here working, I think they should be given a route to citizenship.’

Jordan Spohr: ‘I think it’s a two-sided coin. Our country is based on immigration — it’s a melting pot.
But you can have too much of a good thing.’

Claire McLean: ‘I believe that lines create problems. We’re all people; we’re all connected. Boundaries just create problems.’

Stefanie Belli: ‘We shouldn’t have any borders — open it up, man!’