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.
“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 travel, convention, and pro baseball business and lawful international trade. No one wants law-abiding family members and colleagues harassed by humiliating and capricious police checks.
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.
“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.
Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
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