Friday, April 23, 2010

arizona, once again

The lovely Grand Canyon State, Arizona, is once again in the news for being perhaps the most racist state in the Union (remember when the MLK holiday was rescinded there?).

Arizona's governor signed what's being called the nation's toughest immigration law today.

This means that if you are in Arizona and you are Hispanic -- or not even Hispanic but simply from outside of the U.S. -- and your skin is not white, and you speak English with a heavy accent because it isn't your first language, and you don't dress the way "normal" white Americans dress, then you'd better carry your social security card or something else proving that you're a U.S. citizen, because according to state law the police can now stop you at any time and arrest you if you can't prove that you're here legally.

This law has all kinds of potential for abuse written into it. Just wait until some legal resident has to spend a night in jail, then hires a lawyer. We'll see how this law stands up then.

I hope that happens soon. Let's test this law's constitutionality, and soon.

Why do people come across the border illegally? Because the United States government can't or won't control its borders. Because a Border Patrol agent can make tons more money by looking the other way every now and then instead of simply doing his or her job. Because the United States has such an insatiable demand for drugs (and cheap labor) that it's impossible to keep the Southwest border sealed off. Because people on the other side are suffering and need to find a better life for themselves and their children. Because employers here offer illegal immigrants low-paying jobs. Because illegal immigrants are willing to take jobs that U.S. citizens wouldn't even consider taking.

This law takes aim at people who are doing what they have to do to survive. It does nothing to solve the problem of illegal immigration, or much less, to solve the problems that create illegal immigration.

But, let's look at the bright side: The law will make a lot of money for people who can forge immigration papers! And it'll make a lot of money for lawyers and law firms! Opportunity knocks, people!

Disgusting, Arizona. Here's another time when I'm embarrassed to have ever lived in that otherwise beautiful state.

No comments: