This afternoon, Arizona’s discriminatory anti-immigration law was made official by Republican Governor Jan Brewer. This, even though President Obama condemned the bill, directing the Justice Department to investigate the legality of the legislation. Arizona’s odious new law, of course, allows police to stop and to question anyone if there is reasonable suspicion that the person is an illegal immigrant.
Shameful, discriminatory, odious.
It’s reported that Republican Governor Brewer has a tough election race this year, and with polls revealing 70% of the state supports the discriminatory law, her signature was expected. Let’s hope that Arizona citizens don’t find themselves indiscriminately pulled over for “driving while brown.”
Yesterday, Anderson Cooper asked Rep. Kavanaugh–one of the bill’s sponsors: “Can you tell if someone is an illegal immgrant by looking at them?”
Kavanaugh’s response: “Absolutely not.”Vodpod videos no longer available.
Interesting to hear Kavanaugh skirt the question of racial profiling. Even Governor Brewer went to great lengths after signing the bill to assure her constituents that racial profiling would not happen. In both Kavanaugh’s and Brewer’s language, there seem to be preemptive arguments against the racial bias that is implicitly, if not explicitly, written into the law.
As a person of color–and one who is often mistaken as Latino instead of Filipino (and I do not think of Latinos as less than; I’m simply acknowledging the fact that Americans of Hispanic origin face extreme, unjust discrimination in border states), I’m thinking twice before visiting the great state of Arizona.
Say I’m in Phoenix. What’s to prevent a police officer from asking me for identification at a sidewalk cafe? What would be our exchange if I forgot my driver’s license (or does the law necessitate I always carry my U.S. passport)? What legal protections would I have in this situation? As a person of color, are my civil liberties–to move freely in this country without fear of harassment, or worse, imprisonment–the same as Americans of any race?