Yes, I am taking a controversial stance but, I am taking it and standing by it. My reason for boycotting St. Paul? Because I think it is crazy that Chris Coleman even got involved in the first place and asked us to boycott Arizona because of their new immigration policies.
Listen, I am NOT anti-immigration, hardly! For goodness sake, my daughter goes to a Spanish Immersion school that is 50/50 Native English/Native Spanish speaking students! I live in Richfield where many of my neighbors from Spanish speaking countries! I am NOT against immigration! My own family immigrated here from Germany and Sweden and we came here for the same reason people are coming here now, to start a better life in a country that is free!
However, this is where some of my issues start...we came over on boats and when my family members got here, there were no interpreters, there were no signs in 7 different languages, they didn't know English and they learned it quickly, just to survive! We were forced to change our last name to be more 'American'. My family then went on to become American citizens legally and we have been American's ever since. We don't call our selves German or Swedish, we speak English and have for multiple generations now. Yes unfortunately through out the years we have lost much of our heritage and our native languages however, we aren't upset or think we were oppressed by it all. We are grateful for the opportunities we have been given here. And for those of you who think it was different because we were 'white', I also had relatives come over from Ireland in the 1800's and they were some of the more hated immigrant groups at that time. Our family lived on to tell about it.
I believe our country is a country based on immigrants, no matter what language they speak, no matter where they come from, or who they are. What is different about our country now is we are often protecting and housing people that are in our country illegally. I understand it is VERY difficult to become a citizen, I don't even know if I could pass the test and classes needed to become a citizen! But, I think what Arizona is trying to do is to stop the bleeding a bit. Is to stop some of the illegal border crossings, the human trafficking that is happening in and around our border towns. For someone from Minnesota to say what Arizona is doing is wrong, we just can't. We aren't there living it daily! We aren't watching on the news or hearing from neighbors about the crime in those towns on a daily basis, on the deaths, the drugs, the gangs and the abductions happening in the middle of the night!
We aren't seeing the huge rises and falls in our schools from year to year, even month to month with immigrant families and children moving around to avoid being caught or trying to find jobs or whatever!
I have no idea what is the right way to go about dealing with illegal immigrants however, I believe and commend Arizona from trying to do SOMETHING about it. They are trying to save their state, they may not be doing it the 'right way' or the way you would like it but, I bet if northern Minnesota cities had even 1/2 of the same issues that southern Arizona is having, we would be doing something about it too.
So for now, I am taking my business elsewhere from St. Paul. Our Children's Museum membership that just ran out, is not being renewed, we will not be visiting restaurants in St. Paul anymore and we will just stay on our side of the river for a while. I feel for the local business owners that have nothing to do with or can control anything that Chris Coleman does or says. Again, is boycotting St. Paul even a right answer, who knows! But, it is an easy way for me to say, I don't agree with what was said and is being done to Arizona.
I have read the Arizona law, some parts, yes it could become a bit hairy by over-zealous police officers but, can't any law? Frankly I think what Arizona is doing is just ENFORCING laws that are already on the books and doing what should have been done a long time ago to help curb crime and chaos that has been escalating in our border cities for a long time now.
If you have a better way for Arizona to try and stop some of the chaos, why don't you take the time, energy and your information and write to the congressmen/women of Arizona, write to the Governor, whomever and let them know your ideas and your solutions instead of what is in their new law. Take matters into your own hands, by grabbing a pen and paper and writing them out.
Here are some addresses for you:
Jan Brewer Governor of Arizona
The Honorable Jan Brewer
Governor of Arizona
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Mayor of Nogales Arizona
Congressman Ed Pastor
2465 Rayburn HOB
Washington DC 20515
Bob Walkup Mayor of Tucson
255 West Alameda Street
Tucson, Arizona 85701