From Mr William Hamilton.

Sir, In response to Richard McGregor’s article “Arizona immigration law divides Republicans” (April 10): I wonder if former state senator Russell Pearce would have the “cojones” to explain his new law to Chief Falling Cloud Ira Hayes, one of the six marines pictured raising the flag in Iwo Jima, who lived in Arizona, and who would certainly be subject to showing proof of citizenship.

If Chief Falling Cloud were alive, Mr Pearce probably wouldn’t even look at him. Falling Cloud returned to the reservation and, like many Native Americans, fell victim to the destitution of reservation life. Mr Pearce, meanwhile, lives in Mesa, which has some of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Arizona.

Arizona was at one time Native American land, and Arizona is now developed by Mexican-American labour. A University of Arizona report shows that Mexican immigrants contributed $31.6bn to Arizona through revenue and work in 2004, yet cost the state just $1.1bn.

Arizona has a wilful class distinction, with the true founders of the land and the workers at the bottom. Arizonans prove their citizenship by being in Arizona. The legislators should prove their citizenship to us by caring for the people who rightly own the land and for those who work it.

William Hamilton, Phoenix, AZ, US

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