Arizona: ‘Show Me Your Papers!’

Arizona: 'Show Me Your Papers!'

Welcome to Arizona. Papers, please.

Arizona’s new “Support Law Enforcement & Safe Neighborhoods for Paranoid White People” law was originally based on a simple-minded concept of “trespassing.” Now it preempts federal law under a dubious claim of “concurrent enforcement.” In practice it means local police can stop people who speak with accents or have tan complexions without cause and demand documents proving their legal right to tread on Arizona soil. You can buy a gun in the state without a permit, but carry your passport in Arizona if your skin is tawny.

Actually, in the name of fairness, everyone  in The Grand Canyon State may be asked to show their papers. Arizona could pitch this as a tourist attraction:

 “So Near and Yet So Totalitarian.”

Now that Governor Jan Brewer has signed this racist absurdity into law, four things are sure to happen:

1. Arizona will lose millions in tourism, business travelconvention, and pro baseball business and lawful international trade. No one wants law-abiding family members and colleagues harassed by humiliating and capricious police checks.

2. Arizona will spend millions of dollars in legal expenses defending this patently unconstitutional measure.

3. Years of litigation will fine-tune the fuzzy legal concept of “reasonable suspicion.”

4. Right-wing political candidates will fall all over themselves proposing  even more extreme measures. An Iowa Republican wants to embed microchips under the skin of aliens.

More:

“Calls to boycott Arizona multiply on social media,” Betty Beard and Dawn Gilbertson, Arizona Republic.

“MLB All-Star Game should emigrate from Arizona over immigration,” Mike Freeman, CBS Sports.

“Arizona Leads the Way Backward on Immigration,” William Finnegan, The New Yorker.

Best headline:

“East Germany, Only Warmer,” Peter J. Orvietti, The Moderate Voice.

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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4 Responses to “Arizona: ‘Show Me Your Papers!’”

  1. Mike Licht Says:

    Update:

    “More City Councils Move Toward Arizona Boycotts Over Immigration Law,” Stephanie Condon, CBS News.

    “Major Religious Groups Condemn Inhumane Anti-Immigrant Law in Arizona,” Faith in Public Life (press release).

    “Arizona’s immigration law twists the Constitution in the pursuit of illegal immigrants,” Washington Post editorial.

    “UA President: S.B. 1070 causing students to withdraw from university,” KVOA-TV.

  2. D. Campbell Says:

    Federal law is very clear. If you are here on a visa you must have your papers on you at all times. That is the law.
    In Arizona all you need to show you are a legal citizen is a driver license, MVD identification card, Native American Card, or a Military ID.
    This is what you need to vote, get a hunting license, etc.. So nothing new has been added to this law. No one is going to be stopped walking down the street.

  3. Mike Licht Says:

    D. Campbell wrote:

    Federal law is very clear. If you are here on a visa you must have your papers on you at all times. That is the law.

    Federal authorities are well trained and do not stop someone who kinda-sorta looks like someone who has a visa. Local Arizona police already do this, and need no more encouragement to violate Constitutional rights

    In Arizona all you need to show you are a legal citizen is a driver license, MVD identification card, Native American Card, or a Military ID.

    With the exception of the Tribal ID, none of these items is proof of citizenship.

  4. Roger Uriarte Says:

    I saw this online and thought of this thread.

    http://www.cafepress.com/gooseflats/7159981/

    I for one am ashamed to be an Arizonan.

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