Arizona

Arizon’s new immigration law was a brunch discussion topic. So I told this story about coming home from Arizona:

A border guard stopped us on I-10 just east of El Paso, Texas back in 1993. Mom, my brother, and myself were in the car. Several days prior, the three of us and Dad all crossed the border to check out Mexico. It was surprisingly easy to cross. They just asked us Mom and Dad “declare their nationality” and were happy with their answers. My brother and I were not even asked.

This border guard asked Mom to declare her nationality. She did. He bends over to look in the car, takes on the expression I can only describe as suspicious and tells her, “They have to declare theirs as well.” That’s when I got scared. Our answers were in our best Southern accents so there would be no question on which side of the border we belonged. The surprised looked meant he bought it. We have laughed about this story for years.

This was pointed out to me by Sarah.

Mike Keefe, 04/25/2010
Mike Keefe, 04/25/2010

The caricature shown in the media is that my brother and I would have to have provided documentation we are United States citizens. Can’t say for certain they are wrong.

🙁

6 comments

  1. As far as I can tell, the Arizona law doesn’t actually add anything to what is already required if you really are an immigrant: you have to carry your green card on you all the time and produce it when asked. I’m neither defending it nor opposing it (it’s not my place to do so!), but it’s been interesting to see the reaction from Americans to what is already the federal law for non-citizens. (I appreciate that the manner of enforcement is also an issue.)

    Anecdotal evidence also suggests that an accent test is employed as well as a colour test….

  2. I don’t think the issue is that immigrants have to provide ID, as you said, that’s already the case. The law does one of two things: 1) Require all citizens to have ID on at all times or 2) require law enforcement to profile immigrants.

    Both are against previous law, and are reminiscent of dark times of the past.

  3. I keep missing in the bill where it requires all citizens to have ID at all times. I have only read where it requires law enforcement to determine the immigration status of anyone they suspect to be an immigrant by contacting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement who by Federal law must be available to answer. Perhaps people are using the logic of similar situations, like people should carry car insurance in the glove box because law enforcement might take a really long time to look up the information, to say this law puts everyone on the defensive and must carry ID at all times.

    Arizona is so paranoid about brown skinned people, the perfect place for an English/Irish alien to hide might be there.
    🙂

  4. It doesn’t require citizens to carry ID directly, but the fact that you can be arrested on suspicion of immigration status means that if you don’t have ID, you can be arrested. I mean, it’s a soft requirement, but it’s basically a requirement. I suppose that people who don’t look Hispanic probably shouldn’t worry much, but that’s just racial profiling.

    The part of the bill I have the biggest problem with is that citizens are allowed to sue if they think law enforcement isn’t pushing the issue hard enough. That’s just stupid. Encouraging frivolous lawsuits in order to push police to profile stronger isn’t helping anything.

    I understand that police need a method to actually address the issue, and if citizens dont have to have ID, immigrants can simply claim to be citizens and get away. I just don’t think it’s enough of an issue to impinge on citizens’ rights to stop it. How interesting would it be if we started going after people who look and/or sound German, French, Chinese, or English too? I know of plenty of Canadians who aren’t really in the country legally. Immigration should troll Blizzard’s WoW logs for Canadians to pick up.

    I have no interest in being concerned about getting picked up every time I go running.

  5. The version I posted apparently was the Senate version and not what the governor signed. This conference version probably is more like the real one. So what I thought this law was about was very much wrong.

    According to this version, first, law enforcement are only going to ask to see the identification of people they have stopped, detained, or arrested in enforcing existing local, state, or federal law. Prior to this law, they would ask to see identification, so that doesn’t change anything. This means not having it could mean ending up in a federal detention center should ICE not confirm one is not an alien.

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