I have been in an argument with a good friend who is politically liberal. It stemmed from a George Will article regarding the Arizona immigration article but snowballed into something larger. Being so politically opposite, it is hard for us to discuss these things and generally we choose not to but I suppose the subject would not go away. I responded to her latest today, with a thoughtful email. Because it reflects what I believe about this immigration issue and combats what liberals often define me as, I am repasting it here:

[Liberals] really have my line of thinking all wrong. You seem to think that conservatives hate people who are different or something, which is absolutely ridiculous. Here is what I believe: America is a beloved country for a reason and millions of people from around the world come here for a chance to make it better for themselves.That is an amazing thing. We are so lucky to live in a place that thrives on freedom and opportunity.

You and I were talking specifically about the immigration law in Arizona. If you actually read about the law, what it does and allows, you would see it has nothing to do with classifying people as better or worse or “other.” It has everything to do with following the law, preventing chaos and –specifically in Arizona — crime. This law would perhaps not be good for EVERY state but that is why I believe wholly in federalism. There have have so many lies spread about what this law does when in fact, it specifically outlaws racial profiling. The President himself has not read the law and was telling BLATANT lies about what the law would do. I was actually shocked to hear what he said about it. As for racial profiling, I think people of all political beliefs abhor that method and no, I don’t think it is a good thing in general. There are some conservatives/Republicans against this law too so…everyone can have their own opinion.

Legal immigrant Americans are what makes this country what it is. They are a huge part of keep us going and add everything to this country. I’m exceptionally grateful to the MANY groups of people that make us up and add the diverse, beautiful people we are as America. Looking at the larger picture of life — in the context of history and the coming decades — demands balancing empathy with hard decisions that preserve freedom and justice for all. I see your viewpoint and I understand why you believe what you believe. I respect that. I will not apologize, however, for thinking that this is the greatest country on earth — not because I’m blindly patriotic due to some political line towing — but because it’s true. And because I want that to continue, I will support policies and people that elevate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness above all.

Now — I did not want to write all that. I really want this argument to end. I already see the disgust you may have towards things I have written but I will not apologize for my beliefs and I WILL take offense when you dare to say I am being racist when that is most certainly not the case. You often make me feel like my opinions on matters like this are almost invalid because I’m a middle class white girl from a good family. Yes, that’s what I am (sorry!), but it doesn’t mean I can’t see things for what they are, that I haven’t read material, studied, listened, believed in my heart what is good and best for individuals and for our country. I am not a heartless, uncompassionate person but I am a realist and I love people regardless of race, status, class, sexual orientation or WHATEVER. I will continue to donate my money to charity, to my church (which does amazing work for the homeless in DC), and to support at BETTER system of legal immigration in our country. There needs to be a better system, perhaps some kind of compromise. It has nothing to do with “tearing groups of people down in order to make a point” by the way.

Anyway — we are so completely opposite in how we see things. And I am fine with that. But you have classified me and my beliefs incorrectly and I felt I had to respond.

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