Opinion: California bill would halt unfair deportations
People line up in August near the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles offices to apply for deportation reprieve.
September 28th, 2012
12:00 PM ET

Opinion: California bill would halt unfair deportations

Editor's note: Jose Antonio Vargas is the founder of Define American, a nonpartisan, nonprofit campaign that seeks to elevate the immigration conversation. An award-winning journalist, Vargas disclosed his undocumented immigration status in an essay for The New York Times Magazine in June 2011. Vargas attended California's public schools and early this year was named Alumnus of the Year by San Francisco State University.

By Jose Antonio Vargas, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Arizona's immigration law, Senate Bill 1070, has generated a lot of ink recently, especially with a court ruling last week that allowed a controversial provision that in my view will result in racial profiling to move forward.

The law's goal is chilling: ramp up deportations of undocumented people by forcing local police into the difficult role of immigration agents. And with last week's ruling, police are now required to go out of their way to investigate the immigration status of everyone they "suspect" might be undocumented whom they arrest or stop.

In practice, that will mean targeting people just for the way they look or speak, separating families, and trapping undocumented people in local jails for minor infractions to await deportation.

As an undocumented American - and I am, in my heart, an American - it is my hope that our nation doesn't follow Arizona's discriminatory example. Will Arizona become the norm, or can we work as a nation to fix dysfunctional immigration policies so that they reflect our best values as Americans?

All eyes are now on California for a key part of the answer.

Read Jose Antonio Vargas' full column

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. new orleans

    This is the same Vargas who just did Time mag cover. In the article he justified why illegals drive w/out license and insurance....Poor things have jobs & kids to get to school too, you know. AN OUTRAGE.

    A close friend, a legal immigrant btw, was bankrupted, also her ballet career, dreams ended, hit by an illegal, unlicensed / insured driver. (He too only came here to work hard,,,,he was driving a taxi when he ran a light! -driving test may have caught that he didn't seem to know what a red light meant.)

    Also, in hard times, we couldn't afford insurance, and we took the bus and the ferry, to work, with kids.
    Vargas is indicative of the 'what's in it for me mentality' that people who enter the US illegally bring with them.

    "Unfair" deportations? He's quite manipulative with his words. These deportations are LEAGL and therefor Just and Fair.

    October 3, 2012 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. Name*Gi Jon

    Woo hoo deport them all yea

    September 29, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |