New immigration law turns Arizona into police state
Guilty until proven innocent. Or more to the point: illegal until proven innocent.
That's what the racist immigration law signed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer last Friday does to the people of that state. Now, anyone can be stopped by the police at any time and for no reason other than the color of their skin. They can be questioned about their immigration status and forced to carry papers 24 hours a day.
Ironically, it was Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, not exactly an immigrant advocate, who best defined the already infamous SB1070 as the "breathing while Latino law."
It "sounds a lot like the old 'driving while black' law," Smith correctly pointed out, referring to a time when African-American drivers were allegedly stopped by New Jersey State Police in inordinate numbers.
It seems that in Arizona - rapidly making a name for itself as the Alabama of the West - brown is the new black.
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Harlem) asked the relevant questions: "Tell me, how does an undocumented person look? What does an illegal look like? And how far will one go to prove it?"
Obviously, in Arizona some are willing to go as far as ignoring the Constitution, trampling human rights and becoming a police state.
The new law forces the local police to question people about their immigration status if they suspect they are in the U.S. illegally. That's the same as saying if you "look foreign," you can be asked for "your papers, please."
You don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize that SB1070 makes racial profiling and discrimination the law of the land in the state of the former maverick, John McCain.
While speaking about undocumented immigrants, the old senator once said, "We need to sit down as Americans and recognize these are God's children as well." It now appears McCain has joined the sorry conga line of immigrant bashers and become a big supporter of SB1070.
But let's not be too harsh on McCain's flip-flopping. He is after all fighting for his political life in a GOP primary against J.D. Hayworth, a conservative with extreme anti-immigrant views. And if in order to get Arizona Republicans to vote for him, the good senator has to betray God's children, so be it. Sad.
Yet, much to the chagrin of the menagerie of assorted proto-fascists, spineless politicians, white supremacists and professional hate-mongers that are salivating at the prospect of legal racial-profiling and discrimination against Latinos, SB1070 could be a blessing in disguise for immigrants.
For one, it has made clearer than ever that the foot-dragging on immigration reform by Congress and President Obama has to stop. Also,anger among immigrants and their supporters has injected a new militancy into the movement for immigrant rights.
Since Brewer signed the law, organizers have seen a huge rise in the numbers planning to join the nationwide demonstrations on July 29th -a designated day of activism for immigrant rights.Arizona has yet to realize that they don't have the full support of their own state much less the rest of the nation, there are politicians,police chiefs,and police officers among others who oppose SB1070 and find it detrimental to the work they're trying to do in catching violent criminals and drug dealers.It will be interesting to see how this plays out on July 29th,since without 100% backup from the people of Arizona the chances of passing SB1070 are slim to none.Other states are waiting to see what's going to happen and I'm sure after all is said and done those states will quietly go back to living their their lives the way they always did.If everybody just stops pushing this issue it will get resolved to everybody's satisfaction ,otherwise look what happened in Utah the mistake made there has now slowed the progress of any kind of reform.Oh and having NAZIS patrolling our borders won't help anyone or anything.