Arizona lawmakers, on this day of April 20th as your teenagers sit at home or at their friend’s houses smoking the very plant that is responsible for a big chunk of the problems that are causing the very people you choose to persecute to flee over the border in droves, I hope you cough from the smoke of your hypocrisy.
Growing up in the Southwest and hearing crazy stories of involvement with law enforcement, there have always been jokes of people being pulled over for the offense of “driving while brown”.
In the last few years, these jokes have gotten less funny and much more serious as Arizona has morphed into a police state under our feet. There have been many anti-immigrant bills that have been introduced and passed that have ripped this city’s proud bicultural society apart.
On a visible level, this is what I have seen first hand:
The wonderful family that sold us tortillas on weekdays and tamales on the weekend is gone, and I’m almost afraid to admit that I bought tortillas from someone who might have been *gasp* without paperwork. Late-night taco stands that were always filled with families on weekends and exhausted day-laborers on weekdays now have two flies and three drunken hipsters to keep them company.
The level that is invisible to most of our society, except the few media reports out there and that which is brought to light by local activists:
Refugees being deported into violent situations
Homosexual members of society not being able to be with loved ones
Now that we sit here on the eve of this hate filled bill, I want to share my personal fears. I am an immigrant too, and although I am a naturalized citizen, I too have been afraid.
What if I get pulled over and I’ve forgotten my purse at home? Will I have to spend a few hours in jail until I can get in touch with someone that can bring me my paperwork proving that I am human? Proving that I jumped through all the correct flaming hoops?
I spent my rebellious and carefree youth as a legal alien because my mother’s paperwork got lost and I had to apply for naturalization on my own. What if I had done something stupid that landed me in jail? Under SB1070, someone in that situation could get deported. Something stupid that many of my friends that were born here got slaps on the wrist for.
Gandhi said: “You can judge a society by how they treat their weakest members.”
If this passes, Arizona, what will the world say about you?
Here is my summary of the bill, this is not exhaustive, just an overview. Read it yourself: AzSB1070.pdf
Here’s a more plain English translation:
If a member of law enforcement makes lawful contact, they are required to make a reasonable attempt at inquiring into a person’s immigration status.
This can include people who are victims or witnesses.
If I don’t have an ID, how will an officer psychically determine my immigration status? What gives the officer the right to interpret the law and define whether it is a “public offense that makes a person removable from the US?”
The end of section four pretty much states that you should be asking people you let into your car their immigration status.
Then section six K. pretty much says that if you’re an employer, you have to prove your innocence. But what if you hired someone that has falsified documents without knowing it? Well, then tough luck, you have to prove your innocence instead of them having to prove your guilt.
Then an attempt in section L. to redefine the word “Entrapment”:
“AN EMPLOYER DOES NOT ESTABLISH ENTRAPMENT IF THE EMPLOYER WAS PREDISPOSED TO VIOLATE SUBSECTION A OF THIS SECTION AND THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS OR THEIR AGENTS MERELY PROVIDED THE EMPLOYER WITH AN OPPORTUNITY TO COMMIT THE VIOLATION. IT IS NOT ENTRAPMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS OR THEIR AGENTS MERELY TO USE A RUSE OR TO CONCEAL THEIR IDENTITY.”
Read the Wikipedia article about Genocide, and let me know which stage you think we are in:
Stages of Genocide