Let’s be honest: The new illegal alien bill just signed by Arizona’s governor means that law officers in that state are now supposed to detain Mexicans (or Hispanics) — probably most identifiable by brown skin — they suspect might be illegal aliens.
I doubt they would spend much time detaining suspected aliens from Canada or Eastern Europe — if for no other reason, how would they readily identify them?
Of course Hispanics who are U.S. citizens have no need to worry — they can just pull their birth certificates out of their pockets. All of us U.S. citizens carry around our birth certificates (well maybe Barack Obama doesn’t — I could not resist that one), don’t we?
Kind of sounds like an old Nazi movie:
“Your papers please”.
Having written these first few paragraphs, I have to admit that I have no problem with police checking immigration status as a matter of course when a crime is committed, but to have a law in the United States of America that seems to allow and in fact command local police officers to single individuals out just on their suspicion that they might be here illegally seems to me to run counter to our ideals of freedom of movement, especially since legal citizens are sure to be affected. And since the only likely people to feel the effects are one ethnic group, it seems to me the law is discriminatory.
And already the new law — not really in effect yet — has drawn criticism from the President of the United States of America, and legal experts say it is probably unconstitutional because, among other things, states do not have jurisdiction in immigration matters.
Ironically, this comes at a time when as I understand it illegal immigration from Mexico had decreased due to the Great Recession.
But the flood of illegal immigrants has not been completely halted. And the millions of illegal immigrants, the vast majority of them crossing over from Mexico, costs U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars in social welfare expenditures (even though illegals often do pay taxes) and results in unfair competition for jobs and a downward pressure on wages for American workers.
The federal government needs to enforce existing immigration laws, and it should assist local law enforcement agencies in detaining illegal aliens when as a matter of course they come though their systems.
But local police should not become immigration cops. Even before the new Arizona bill was signed some local Arizona cops were concerned as to how they were to carry out the demands of the new law and that it would increase their workload and take them away from duties and investigations they were already performing.
A rancher on the Arizona-Mexican border was recently killed by an illegal alien and that is what gave impetus to passage of the law. But it is farmers and other employers who lure illegals across the border with offers of employment.
Still more irony. Some Mexican-American truckers who haul from Nogales (on the border) to LA reportedly planned to conduct a work stoppage in protest. But having worked as a truck driver myself on that route and elsewhere I can tell you the average truck driver (especially non-Hispanics, I suppose) would say: “it’s about time they went after illegal aliens“.
I agree. But stopping people on the street because their skin is of a darker shade seems to me to be unfair, if only because U.S. citizens would likely end up being hassled and deprived of their right of free movement and freedom from being harassed by police.
Nothing is stopping U.S. immigration authorities from continuing their usual patrols and investigations in the usual and legal manner.
(I do think those immigration check points at various points north of the border on the interstates do not seem to be terribly efficient — although they may be effective. I mean why is it necessary to have so many officers — a half dozen or more at each checkpoint — standing around to simply wave through about 99 percent of the vehicles and only stopping a few? The dark skin folks wearing sombreros on their heads and serapes over their shoulders, I presume.)