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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, October 24, 2005
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Valid logic behind Arizona sexual assault laws

I am writing in response to Lucy Blaney's letter, "Not saying no not the equivalent of sexual consent." It is easy to understand her point of view as she shares this with many other people. However, I would like to offer another perspective.

There is a reason why the University of Arizona Police Department and its officers, as you say, "discourage sexually violated students to press charges against their assailants." With lack of definitive physical evidence, the case will come down to the victim's word against the assailant's. In hindsight, a female, or even a male for that matter, may lament his/her decision to have sex and claim he or she was assaulted. This can become even more prevalent when alcohol is involved.

Consider this: A male student in high school attends a party with a female student where they both drink alcohol. Both are underage, and after the party they have consensual sex. The female student, who has a boyfriend at the time, regrets what she has done and claims she was sexually assaulted. Her story is believed, and the male student is thrown out of high school and loses his job as well as his college scholarship, jeopardizing a once bright future.

This is what happened to a friend of mine, so you can see I also have strong feelings toward this issue. Do not misinterpret; I am not attempting to downplay sexual assault as it is a horrible and cowardly crime. But there are two sides to every coin. The state law to which you referred does indeed state that sexual assault occurs when no consent is given, or when the "victim" is under the influence of alcohol. However, this law was not intended to be abused or manipulated by someone's guilt or shame.

So when you say, "Men should be made aware that not saying no, especially while drunk, is not the same as saying yes," you are absolutely right. Because if they fail to realize this, they may find themselves in a situation where their life is jeopardized by a female who regrets her decision to have sex.

Andrew Cartwright
pre-physiological sciences junior

Latinos make disproportionate contributions to America

In response to Kara Karlson's column "A day without an American," I believe you should put some more thought into your method of classifying what an "American" is. After all, wasn't America founded by immigrants? Didn't our forefathers come from others countries and then have children, whose children had children and so on, till the present day, where now they are, according to you, "providing jobs to immigrants."

Are you classifying Americans by the color of their skin, not the fact that they are originally from the U.S.? Because I conjecture that neither you nor I are historically indigenous to this land that we call America. What is ironic is that many of the "illegal immigrants" are most likely to be indigenous to this land, so this leaves no basis for a geographical argument. Furthermore, people have been crossing the "border" for thousands of years; this is not a new thing.

As far as service to this country, Latinos have received more Medals of Honor, the highest honor of military service, than any other race in proportion to the number who have served. Latinos have historically suffered a disproportionate amount of casualties when America has entered wars. Many of these soldiers were either immigrants themselves, or first- or second-generation descendants of immigrants.

These brave men can show that Latinos are not crossing illegally to leech off of our government or to commit crime. The men and women who earned the $30 billion you mentioned are proof of that. They are working hard to support their families who live in a country in ruin. And that is a great crime?

I think I have a better understanding of what you deem as an "American," and in fact, I wouldn't mind a day without what you call an "American." An American should be tolerant, hard working and honest. And if that means that some people born within our borders were not considered Americans, and some not born within them were, that wouldn't be a bad thing.

Matt Martinez
sophomore majoring in business economics and management information systems

Trade system responsible for immigration problem

Kara Karlson's column ("A day without an American") about Rep. Hayworth's proposals for harsh new immigration laws is based on an incomplete vision of some of the root causes of our current crisis on the border and the need to accommodate what seem like large numbers of people from a culture and country that is all too easy to dump on out of ignorance.

Something that rarely gets mentioned is any responsibility we all have as participants in a trade system that only aggravates the illegal immigration problem. The American Friends Service Committee documented in April that some 1.5 million Mexican subsistence farmers have been displaced since 1994's implementation of NAFTA. This has only served to create a slow burning refugee crisis that ends up on our side of the border.

The cause? The U.S. is able to unecologically produce massive amounts of corn subsidized with your tax dollars, which gets dumped into a less "efficient" Mexican farm economy. Another side effect of this unfair trade activity is the destruction of rural communities and small farms in our own country.

When you decide you want the best buys on nonorganic fruits and veggies at the supermarket (and of course I realize that many of us have no choice) or look for tortilla chips and salsa, you can be sure you're playing a role in driving Mexicans from a tough but reliable way of life and into the harsh, uncertain reality and human suffering of illegal immigration.

Mark Aquilano
Spanish literature graduate student

Better research needed about immigration analysis

I never thought I would have to write this, but I was baffled when I read Kara Karlson's column, "A day without an American." First I would like to point out that no "teenage, pimply American kid" would mow her lawn for, let's say $4 an hour, which sounds about right for what an illegal worker would get paid. Or tell me, would you pick tomatoes in the fields for 7 cents a bucket of tomatoes that you pick?

The article also mentions Mexico and Latin America, but I never read about countries like Ghana, Bosnia or Indonesia. It is true that most of the immigrants who come either legally or illegally come from Mexico and Latin America, but there are also people, not one or two but even thousands who come other countries illegally, too. It is not fair that you write only about Latinos.

Ms. Karlson should have done a little bit more research on immigration and naturalization laws before writing the article. It is a little less difficult for a parent to become a U.S. citizen if his or her child "claims" or applies for the parent to become a citizen once the child is 18 years old.

However, this only happens in special cases, and the process takes a long time. Another thing she mentioned is that the "new citizen" can then bring people over from his or her country of origin and they would then become citizens too, which is true but rarely happens because it is difficult. It takes up to 10 years for a person to become a citizen under those circumstances.

I honestly believe that the possible outcome mentioned in the article would be absolutely the same as if Mexicans were missing. Sadly enough, immigrants need jobs and employers as much as the employers need all the cheap labor that will bring money to the economy for the U.S. to go around doing "good deeds."

J. A. Suastez
Pima Community College

Changing political parties still seen today

People who are interested in the evolution of American political parties should mark Tuesday as an important date in the life of the GOP. On that day, Kara Karlson urged the readers of the Arizona Daily Wildcat to petition their congressmen to repeal the opening sentence of the 14th Amendment, which reads "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States."

The amendment's repudiation by a Republican polemicist is especially significant because it was Republicans, after all, who fought for its ratification in 1868 in their efforts to reconstruct the South and achieve racial justice. Not even former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott went so far as to claim that America's most urgent problems originated in the enfranchisement of the freed slaves. He merely blamed desegregation.

Although I find no reference to a constitutional amendment on Hayworth's Web site, its drafters could find language ideally suited to their purposes in the Southern slave codes, which the 14th Amendment abrogated. These laws dictated that a child's status, whether slave or free, should invariably "follow the condition of the mother." I'm certain that Karlson would immediately recognize the crucial role such phrasing could play in realizing her modest proposal for stripping these criminally dangerous newborns of their constitutionally guaranteed rights.

About a year ago or so, I recall reading an editorial written by one of the Wildcat's previous conservative columnists. In the piece, the author celebrated the virtues of Dixie and America's sturdy NASCAR volk. I believe he concluded the column by asking why the Democratic Party had betrayed its Jacksonian roots for the filthy lucre of trial attorneys. We may likewise ask why the onetime party of Lincoln is now fighting on behalf of Jefferson Davis.

Michael Parker
graduate student in English

Tucson voters better served by conservative tendencies

About halfway through David Martinez's "Voters, take a left," I thought for sure I was reading a satirical essay. To my dismay, I actually think Martinez believes what he has penned. I have not seen rhetoric like this since Sideshow Bob's mayoral campaign. However, being an open-minded conservative, I decided to follow his advice before condemning it.

I decided to "take a look" at the issue of crime in Tucson. Statistics, readily available at the Tucson Police Department's Web site, indicate a slight decrease in property crime from last year. Because, by Martinez's logic, the "elephants at City Hall" are responsible for everything, let us thank them for decreasing crime rates in Tucson.

I took a look at development issues in Tucson. Developers are entitled to develop land they own. They are solely responsible for the finance and construction of storm systems, roads and utilities within their development. The citizens that move into these new subdivisions provide the tax base that pays for fire and police coverage, long-time Tucsonans are wholly unaffected. The City Council is in no way at liberty to deny a land owner's right to develop their property, provided the proposed development meets with existing codes and ordinances.

Tucson is better represented by a government with conservative tendencies. Liberals are in the minority for a reason; they do not represent the will of the people. We do want freeways. People aren't swayed by baseless propaganda ("bold leadership," "strong and caring individuals," "passion for this city") they are swayed by substance. Since the "substance" of this piece was completely false, we can only infer that the propaganda is also false, and that the voter would be better served by taking a right.

Patrick Muñoz
UA alumnus

Officials must tackle enforcement of immigration laws

Kara Karlson makes a series of excellent points in her column "A day without an American." Enforcement of laws regarding illegal immigration needs to be tackled. Few countries in the world allow their borders to be so flagrantly violated as America's southern border. For the sake of basic national security, America must secure its borders and enforce existing policy in regards to illegal immigration.

There is mostly definitely a need for foreign workers in this country - hence there is the demand for illegal immigrants. However, there should be a migrant worker or visa system setup that allows those who did not violate our laws to come and work here in an honest fashion. In other words, "amnesty" is not an acceptable answer. Amnesty would only encourage more foreigners to illegally enter our country and break American laws, as it did in the past. The rule of law must be enforced, or laws themselves become devoid of purpose.

It is true that since the founding of our country those born in the U.S., regardless of if their parents were citizens, have been made citizens by default. However, this idea has become obsolete. In the old days, the child was born to parents who were here legally, just not citizens yet. The parents had likely traveled from abroad to come and live here permanently, and they had gone through our legal immigration process.

This is no longer the case today. If parents are lucky enough to have their child in America while they are illegally here, then they, as Kara says, "get to stay in this country and collect state and federal benefits." The bottom line is this hurts America's economy. I commend Rep. JD. Hayworth, R-Ariz., for taking decisive action on this issue.

Blake Rebling
political science and economics sophomore

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