I’m dumbfounded–flabbergasted even–by the latest legislation passed by Arizona. The new law, which makes illegal immigration a state crime, gives police officers the authority to ask any non-white looking person for documentation of their legal status, all in the name of “reasonable doubt.” In order to prove legal immigration status, legal immigrants must carry their documentation with them at all times or they, too, will be in violation of the law. So in essence, any law enforcement official has the right to approach a “suspicious looking person” and ask for their papers. Sounds a lot like Nazi Germany to me.
How could this kind of legislation become law?! We are a nation of immigrants, for crying out loud! Does this mean that anytime a cop hears someone speaking in Spanish that they will ask to see documentation? What happens to legal immigrants who are “caught” without identification? Wow, Arizona, you’ve legalized racial profiling. Great message for the kids.
The only good thing that can be taken from this outrageous new law is that it will motivate Congress to pass much-needed immigration laws similar to the way the racial attacks in Birmingham, AL in 1963 motivated the country to pass anti-segregation legislation. In the mean time, the rest of the country has called for a boycott of Arizona . I guess I can forget about planning that trip to the Grand Canyon I’ve always wanted to take.
Given that I’ve been followed down the street in Los Angeles by someone screaming “are you white?!” I think it’s no longer safe for me to visit Arizona. Glad I went to the Grand Canyon when I was in college…
Well if the federal government would get off their dead asses and deal with this issue, the people of AZ (70%) wouldn’t have wanted or needed a law like this passed and the AZ government wouldn’t have had to take matters into their own hands. When American ranchers are getting shot down at the border and people in Phoenix are being kidnapped, something has to be done. True, not ALL illegals are criminals or are dangerous. But how do we stop the criminals from coming across the border to harm innocent Americans? Maybe this isn’t the best idea, but I don’t see anyone else coming up with anything better so far. How long are the people of AZ suppose to wait? Until no one wants to live there, do business there or vacation there? I travel to AZ twice a year, near Phoenix and I have to admit, it can be scary at times. (I try to avoid driving into Phoenix at all times.) So I can only imagine how the people who live there must feel. And for the record, my father and my grandparents came to this country from Italy and went through the legal immigration process. Back in those days, to get here one had to have a “sponser” who would vouch for the immgrant, that he or she would have a job and work. To become a citizen, they had to learn the English language and pass a test (I think the constitution test) before they became a legal citizen. It’s not fair that immigrants who came here and did things legally to become American citizens had to go through all they did to get to that status and now, people can just come across our borders, have free reign to do whatever the hell they want and the cops are supposed to look the other way?! YOU can’t be serious!
Wow. I must admit that things seem a bit wacky in Arizona lately… and this is just one more example.
While I do believe that something needs to be done about the immigration issues we’re having here in the States, I also don’t believe that we should be legalizing racial profiling to do so. Seems a bit like overkill to me!
I agree that something needs to be done about the immigration issues that the U.S. is facing. I also agree that it isn’t fair that there are people who have gone through the legal process to get status and rights that are also enjoyed by people who entered the country illegally. However, having worked with and taught students who came into the U.S. illegally, I don’t think it’s fair to view all illegal immigrants as criminals. Not all people entering the U.S. are harming legal citizens. Many of these people have literally fled for their lives and the U.S. was their last–and in some cases only–hope. As residents of the U.S., they are not exactly enjoying anywhere close to ideal living conditions, but at least it was a step up from their past home lives.
The immigration issue seems to be a tricky and very emotional issue so at least Arizona’s latest legislation will force Congress to act sooner rather than later.
This is what aggravates me about the legislation: http://www.azfamily.com/video/featured-videos/Man-says-he-was-racially-targeted-forced-to-provide-birth-certificate-91769419.html
This is what aggrivates me about not having our borders secured. http://www.redcounty.com/arizona-rancher-murdered-illegal-immigrant-who-flees-mexico/38211
True, not all illegals are criminals, but even THEY (the innocent ones) are being killed by the borders not being properly secured. And this “new” law in AZ in not new. It is already a federal law. The gov. of AZ only signed a bill for the state to be able to enforce the already existing law. It’s so bad at the AZ border that again today the state is requesting the National guard to be sent out there to help with the out of control violence. Something needs to be done and it needs to be done NOW. I feel bad for people who fled for their lives, but we can’t help the whole world. We need to get our own country in shape before we can help others. And we can’t turn a blind eye to the severe criminal element that goes along with the ever increasing illegal population.
So Silvana, I must ask this then: you say that your family is from Italy and came here legally, and you also said that you travel to Phoenix for work. Are you going to be bringing along all your paperwork (including a birth certificate and/or passport) when you travel to Phoenix next? If it’s not racial profiling, then you should be prepared to have all your paperwork too. I’m Italian and after a week in the sun in Mexico this past fall, I got asked by some of the staff at our resort if I was Hispanic because I was so tan. My sister’s Hispanic and is very much legal in the USA, should she be making sure to bring her passport and/or birth certificate if she travels DOMESTICALLY to AZ? That’s pretty ridiculous.
I think that’s the irritating thing about the law. I don’t deny that there is a border issue that needs to be addressed immediately. However, I don’t like the idea that people can be asked to prove their legal status just because they don’t “look” like Americans.
The thing is, currently in many countries such laws exist and what I see as the biggest problem with this situation is the wording and/or the reasoning behind their inception of it as being very poor in judgment and understanding. But stepping away from Arizona for a second, even in Chicago, I can be apprehended if I do not provide a law enforcement officer with an ID following something small like jay walking.