Sunday, April 25, 2010

Questions about Arizona’s Immigration Law

I am so hurt and outraged by this law that I don’t even know where to begin. I just really hope that all freedom loving Americans, and, in particular, all minorities whose rights and mere humanity are being infringed by this hateful law will jump to the side of Hispanics and immigrants in general and oppose this law. Blacks, gays and lesbians, Jews, Cubans – yes, I’m one of them and I know we are very privileged when it comes to immigration laws in this country – and any other minority, if you think this has nothing to do with you, just wait until you are the one made into a scapegoat and you’ll then see.
Please, do read the Arizona Senate Bill 1070. You can also find it here: http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070s.pdf.
My questions are simple:
1. How exactly can the police “reasonably suspect” I’m an undocumented alien? What would be the hint? My accent, maybe? My Afrolatina swagger?
2. Actually, how can they “reasonably suspect” I’m an alien and not an American citizen?
3. Even if we go into racial profiling without dying of shame, what does an undocumented alien looks like? This creates another problem: open racism. Yes, there are European undocumented aliens. Also, the repeated verse of “Hispanics can be of any race” is actually true, so, you may be missing out on some “undocumented aliens” who look just too white (or too black and maybe confused with African Americans) for your racist taste.
4. Are naturalized citizens considered “immigrants” under Arizona’s law? Would they now need to carry ID? How about US born Latinos?
5. Then, even if you are a citizen – that is, if you actually came legally or became “legal” – you are never fully American.
6. How about just asking everyone to carry ID at all times, and allowing the police to ask for it at any time they “reasonably suspect” someone? That would have the benefit of not racially profiling Latinos, and the small inconvenience of forcing everyone to forgo that nonsense of privacy and its component of remaining anonymous. Would we be ok with that? Would we be ok with demanding white Americans to produce documentation and sending them to jail until they can produce it to demonstrate they are actually here legally…for five generations?
7. I guess I can get used to carry my ID with me at all times. I had to do it in Cuba! Where did I get that idea about privacy in America anyway?

Read this paragraph from the Senate Bill 1070:
B. FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY
21 OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS
22 STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS
23 UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE,
24 WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON. THE
25 PERSON'S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
26 PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).
“Any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision.”
I’m assuming this only refers to law enforcement and not to every state and local agency, right? Otherwise, when undocumented individuals are trying to register their children in school – mind you, those children may very well be American citizens by birth – the school district officials will be forced to try to determine the immigration status of the parents. Also, make sure you let everyone know about those distinctions between agencies and agencies, to ensure that kids are not kept from being enrolled in school.
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