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.