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article imageYuma employer says immigration bill protects legal immigrants Special

By Carol Forsloff     May 7, 2010 in Politics
Yuma - Walk through the offices of Hunter Employment, a company owned by Tom and Jane Kiley, and you see a diversified group working there. The Kileys are proud of their legal Mexican-American workers and are in favor of Arizona's immigration bill.
On the surface, that would seem incongruous; but it isn't when you see the bigger picture of what is happening on the border of Mexico in Yuma, Arizona, according to Tom and Jane Kiley.
The Kileys moved to Arizona in the mid-90's, opening up a counseling company serving veterans and an employment company, that eventually was expanded to parts of California.
The company grew, and both Tom and Jane became active in civic affairs. As is customary with the Kileys, they often had parties for their employees, many of whom are Mexican American. They also take pride in their support of the town of Yuma.
The Kileys presented this bench to the Yuma  Arizona memorial for veterans  a special tourist site i...
The Kileys presented this bench to the Yuma, Arizona memorial for veterans, a special tourist site in the town of Yuma.
These Mexican-American citizens, as the Kileys are quick to describe them, work in the offices, helping to find jobs for a cross-section of people needing work in a variety of areas. Some of these are temporary positions or jobs that can't be filled easily, whereas others may involve sophisticated technological abilities
When asked about Arizona's tough immigration bill, about which television has shown so many images of anger and demonstrations across the country, Jane Kiley said, "You would find many of the Mexicans who came here legally to actually support tough laws. They are indignant that so many people come across that border and take advantage of American benefits, when those who came here legally had to work hard for those same benefits and wait for legal status to enter the country. "
"How do you feel personally about the new law?" she was asked.
The question brought a quick and clear response from someone who emphasizes the value of treating people equally.
Jane Kiley is the owner of Hunter Employment Company that hires legal Mexican American immigrants.
Jane Kiley is the owner of Hunter Employment Company that hires legal Mexican American immigrants.
"You know I hate racial profiling and anything like that. We pride ourselves in hiring people of all races, just like we did in Hawaii. But we can see why the Governor responded the way she did. There were so many people coming across the border with the wrong intentions. People have to be careful and watch their property. We ourselves have heard strange noises around our house at times, and there are wide expanses of open areas where people can run and hide. There have been few protections offered by the federal government, relative to the need around here. People were getting fed up."
"Don't you think some authorities will abuse this law?"
Again Kiley asserted that whereas some may try to do that, there are safeguards as well and very clear statements about not picking up and questioning folks randomly but having a clearly-defined reason for doing so. She declared, "Some of the wording has been tightened up, and that has been explained in our papers. The Mexican Americans and gringos live together well here, and we don't like our citizens mistreated. Some of those citizens are our legal Mexican immigrants. They want to be protected themselves from people who aren't entering the country legally, some of those with bad intentions."
"What about those demonstrations shown on television? Aren't there a lot of them in Arizona?"
Kiley explained what she believes is happening. "You know demonstrations sometime look like bigger numbers on television than when you actually see them. Around here you see few or none. Again that's because people of all nationalities are looking at this law as a wake-up call for the federal government to act. We have been simply tired of having to watch our backs. Our own local authorities have been taxed and have been doing a good job, but they need the extra resources to back them up."
"And prejudice? Are you kidding?" Kiley continued. "That's something I abhor, but I also don't like people twisting all the facts without looking at what is going on around the border. We who live here have a better acquaintance with that and to show us as bigots isn't fair."
In the meantime the Huffington Post continues to chronicle the debates and protest against Arizona's immigration bill that allows people to be questioned if they look suspicious as a form of racial profiling. Those who have come out strongly against the law include prominent California officials and President Obama himself as well as students from Arizona universities, said to be withdrawing from the schools over objections to the new law.
The Kileys, however, have a different story; and although theirs might not be the total one, it is a story that tells of how people feel on the border, just a few miles from Mexico and how some in support of the law express cogent reasons for it without rancor to give that point of view that allows people to find perspective
More about Arizonas immigration bill, Demonstrations against arizona immigration, Huffington Post
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