Realities Created, Maintained and Destroyed, WHILE-U-WAIT!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Arizona Immigration Law and The Six Hundred Pound Gorilla in the Room

Papers Please?

One thing that I have not heard mentioned about Arizona's new Anti-Latino immigration law is the fact that anyone stopped by the police can be required to prove that they are in this country legally, and if they can't produce proof, they can be detained for several days.

Now I would like you to take a moment to reflect on this and ask yourself

"If I were required at this moment to prove that I was in this country legally, could I?"

As I understand it, a drivers license is not proof, nor is a social security card. That means anyone could be picked up and detained for weeks just because you don't have papers. The law reads in such a way that it could end up being used to detain anyone on the pretext of lack of proof of "immigration" status.

Of course it will be first used against people of darker skin tone, who have Latino surnames, and perhaps accents that are not the "American standard".

Now I know that there are people dumb enough to to think that just because you have a Latino surname you wet-backed across the border last week, but that just isn't the case. Do you think that all the Latino families who live in the States west of the Rockys were born in Mexico ?

Well I grew up with people with Latino surnames and who spoke Spanish at home who's families had lived in New Mexico since before America was a country. Should they have to prove their citizenship just because some bigots in Arizona don't like Latinos?

And of course there will come a time when Sheriff Joe Arpaio, his Spiritual Brothers, and the thugs that work for them decide that they don't like your politics, or religion, or looks, there will come a time when you get asked for your papers, and if you can't prove you're in this country legally, well I just hope you enjoy jail food.

Now the use of this law against American citizens who aren't carrying proof of citizenship on the day they're stopped by the police is a  separate issue from dealing with people who are in this country illegally.

The problem of illegal aliens in the States is so easy to solve I'm surprised that no one has thought of it yet.

All you have to do is remove the reason for them to come here.

So all you unemployed Tea Baggers can get off the public dole and do something good for the country by heading out to California and getting the grape and Strawberry, lettuce and asparagus, garlic, brussels sprout and artichoke crops in this year. You can also start you own landscaping services, child care and maid services and a hundred other jobs that are done mostly by Latinos. I'd love to see all those jobs done by American citizens (the image of tea baggers getting in the strawberry crop would be priceless) So if you want to drastically reduce the illegal population without resorting to draconian legal measures, just go do the jobs that they are presently doing, they will all go away to find work elsewhere.

The Tea Baggers will be happy to know that they have an ally in their quest to get rid of all those pesky  illegals, The United Farm Workers say "Take Our Jobs"


Jason said...

Salaams Mushtaq,

My first reaction when I heard about this law was the same point you made. How many Americans can prove they are citizens if they get pulled over? Not to mention all the people whose family lived in that area before America existed.

Mendur said...

I'm trying to remember the exact wording and the name of the author who wrote: when a country starts requiring identity papers from its own people, it's time to get the hell out.

This Arizona business also reminds me of the so-called "Free Speech Zones" which were out of sight and beyond hearing distance of the political party conventions in 2008.

Freedoms which used to be assumed and guaranteed are being blocked off and limited. Something is very wrong in this country and it *has* been for a long time, but I don't know how to fix it. All I can do is figure out how to escape when it reaches a tipping point for me.

Jason said...

Now it looks like some leading Republicans are considering repealing the 14th amendment.

It sure helps convince me they are bigots.

V said...

I can't recall the specific SCOTUS case but I do recall the upshot being that you can be arrested for not being able to produce ID if asked by the police. IIRC, the decision is 10-20 years old.

I have yet to have an interaction with the police where they haven't wanted to see my ID.

Y'all are a little late to the party as far as being outraged about needing "papers".


Mushtaq Ali said...

Hi Vince,

good to see you here.

You have been misinformed about this.

The Supreme Court has affirmed that there is no absolute requirement for producing identification. In most cases, there must be an investigation under way and the person being asked to ID themselves must be reasonably suspected of being involved in the crime in question.

the salient SCOTUS rulings are
Brown v. Texas
Papachristou v. Jacksonville
Kolender v. Lawson

The ruling for Hiibel V Sixth Judicial Dist. Court of Nevada goes into some depth as to when it is legal for ID to be required.

What often trips people up is forgetting that operating a motor vehicle is a privilege and that a State may require an operator to be licensed. So if you are behind the wheel of a car, you can be required to produce your license, which also happens to be your ID in most cases.

But the police can't just stop you while you are walking down the street and demand your papers just because they feel like it.

John said...

Interestingly Mexico has just started enforcing punitive tariffs against the US for not allowing mexican trucks on American highways. Apparently this was agreed to as part of NAFTA.

One of the imports being taxed by the Mexicans is corn. I hear the tariff may be up to 30%. It will be interesting to see if this results in less illegal immigration.