The fundamental problems with the Arizona immigration law
Is it my imagination or was Chuck D. not exaggerating when he said the whole state was racist? Twenty odd years after the state of Arizona rejected the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, with the help of the Arizona State Senate, have decided to target a new color. I believe it will be quite hard for a regular hard working legal Latino immigrant to live in peace from now on, even if he or she is already an American citizen.
Governor Jan Brewer, who signed the Arizona immigration bill into law last Friday said “Arizona must act because Washington has failed to stop the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs from Mexico.”
For one, I don’t think the majority of those Latino immigrants are hopping over the fences with drugs in their pockets, either way the drug statement is a mute point.
There are far worse implications and consequences in this bill, the likes of which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before, excluding the Soviet Union.
This immigration law is about race, you would be hard pressed to find facts supporting the contrary. This law gives police the power to detain people that they “suspect” of being undocumented aliens. Any immigrant unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the United States could be arrested, jailed for six months and get fined $2,500 on top of that.
If that wasn’t enough, the law actually allows its citizens to take legal action against the police if the cops aren’t doing a good enough job (at discriminating I would guess). The ironic (or moronic) thing about this new police power is that it is perfectly legal for an American citizen to refuse to show documentation if he or she feels it’s not warranted.
In a nutshell though, if you look or sound foreign, you are going to be the focus of infinite requests from the police to confirm your identity or to confirm your citizenship. Somehow I doubt the family arriving from Sweden is going to be the center of attention.
Most sources say there are between four and five hundred thousand immigrants living in Arizona illegally, most of which are Latinos from Mexico. However, instead of trying to fix the real cause of the influx like the American government’s continuation of a subsidies program for farmers that makes it impossible for Mexican farmers to compete, Brewer, Joe Arpaio, Russell Pearce and the Arizona State Senate would rather round up as many Latinos as possible, lock them up and throw away the key (I predict a boom for the soon to be private prison industry in Arizona!). Even Senator John McCain said it would be “a good tool”.
The only comparison I can make from all this is that ordinary Latinos are going to be racially profiled then treated for missing papers the same way an African American is treated in much of the United States for getting caught with a small amount of drugs; prison and more prison. Both of which are very wrong.
I’m glad to see this bill getting all the negative media coverage it so rightfully deserves along with all the protests as well. The refried bean swastika smeared on the Arizona capitol building was my favorite so far, but that alone, of course, is not enough for this law to die before it’s too late.