Roiling With Sin In Arizona, Part 2 (Even Angrier Than I Was The Day Before)

Well, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has cast her lot with the bigots, the haters, the anti-Constitutionalism and anti-intellectualism in this country — all in the name of compassion, law and order, states’ rights, and reason — by signing the bill requiring law enforcement to examine the immigration and residence documents of any person who could be here without those papers.

Enforcement is obviously predicated on race- and ethnicity-based “probable cause.” The bill is a civil-rights, human dignity horror of which every American ought to be ashamed. And that’s the thing we all ought to agree on.

Regardless of what people would propose to solve the issues presented by illegal immigration, I’d like to believe that every one of us would recognize bad law when we see it, and would condemn it as such immediately. After all, if there were a bill that required that all gay people be rounded up and deported — that is, all people presumed to be gay by whatever criteria the cops are told to consider as “probable cause” — it would be wrong to respond by discussing, say, domestic partnerships or other issues involving the GLBT community. We would, I hope, vehemently condemn a despicable law, regardless of our views on other issues involving the targets of it. Let’s discuss the issue of undocumented border crossers, but let’s remember that the topic immediately at hand is a markedly un-American and un-Christian bill that ought to provoke our fiercest response. This isn’t one of many reasonable solutions to immigration problems. Let’s not discuss it as though it were.

Before we discuss the “problem” of illegal immigration, shouldn’t we take a huge step back and look clearly at what this law does? Does it concern any of you that under the guise of addressing a legitimate issue, the State has determined that physical, linguistic, cultural and other ethnically-based criteria can be used to make people produce certain documents, regardless of whether or not the subject has done anything to attract the attention of law enforcement? Can you reasonably suggest that there is somehow a non-racial/ethnic aspect to this law? Is this really what you want law enforcement to occupy itself with?

And does it bother you at all that if you’re an Anglo person in the U.S., you’re not going to be asked to produce your I.D. and birth certificate or other residency/naturalization/citizenship papers just because a cop tells you to, using immigration as the reason for his/her demand? Are you at all concerned that my sister-in-law’s family, or my dear friend Hilda, could be forced to produce documentation that shows their legal residency, just because their skin color, last names, or accents appear “Mexican” — even though they’re American citizens? This is a hateful and unconstitutional law that every single American — and particularly our libertarian freedom advocates — ought to greet with horror.

If it continues unchallenged, we won’t be able to blame “illegals” for sullying the values and laws of the land. We’ll have Arizona’s and other state legislatures to thank for that instead.

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