Dear Arizona Lawmakers,
I didn't plan on writing another politic rant so soon. But then you, dear Arizona Lawmakers, decided to pass SB1070.
Oh America, land that I love! You do keep it interesting with the politics. I think that's part of the reason I <3 you.
One of the major provisions of the above mentioned bill allows the police to check the immigration status of and detain anyone they suspect of being an illegal alien. But what could possibly lead a police officer to suspect that someone is in the country illegally? I’m going to go ahead and guess that folks with brown skin who “don’t speak American” with “funny sounding” names are the main target of this bill. Anyone who would like to argue otherwise is more than welcome to. This is just my opinion after all. However, I seriously doubt if the three white Europeans I personally knew who lived in the US illegally (before I met them) would be stopped if they happened to wander into Arizona.
My first thought on reading the law (and yes, I actually read the whole thing) is that its constitutionality is highly debatable for a number of reason, but in particular because it’s the federal government that deals with things like immigration, not the states. And I'm not even going to touch on the "searches" part of the "unreasonable searches and seizures" bit of the Fourth Amendment (applied to the States via the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment if I'm not mistaken). But let's be honest, it’s been a few years since that Constitutional Law class I voluntarily took in college, so please anyone with a deeper understand of the issue (i.e. a lawyer), feel free to jump in on this point.
Now Arizona lawmakers, I have just a few more minor questions for you (*rolling up my sleeves and taking off the kid gloves*): What were you thinking? Or perhaps to really address the incredible stupidity of this bill, what the F*CK were you thinking? No really, I’m curious as to the thought process that went into this. Please enlighten me. How exactly do you plan on enforcing this law? As in, what criteria need to be met to satisfy the “reasonable suspicion” part of someone being in the country illegally? And how exactly are folks who are stopped supposed to prove either their legal immigration status or their American citizenship? Hell, I’m an American citizen but the only piece of ID I walk around with in any country is my driver’s license, not my birth certificate or my passport (for obvious reasons, both are kept under lock and key pretty much at all times). And if I’m not mistaken, you don’t actually have to be an American citizen (or in some states be in the US legally) to get a driver’s license. So I ask again, how exactly is one supposed to prove their immigration and/or citizenship status?
I’m well aware of the fact that there are folks in the US illegally (like I said, I’ve personally known three) and that countries along the Southern US border seem to be especially effected. I completely understand that Arizona wants to do something to deal with this issue. I understand that and sympathize with that dilemma. I’m not against that. I’m not necessarily against tougher enforcement of current immigration law or a reform of immigration law. I am, however, against legislation like this which is essentially racial profiling rolled up in a nice pretty Birther bullsh*t package.
Sigh…I’m not saying immigration laws shouldn’t be enforced. But maybe, just maybe, this isn’t the best way to go about it Arizona Lawmakers. I can only hope that you come to your senses soon...or barring that a federal court overturns this puppy and sends y'all back to the drawing board. I'm fine with either.
American Black Chick in Europe
Cross-posted from American Black Chick in Europe.