24 April 2010

By the time I get to Arizona

Something tells me that the Arizona Office of Tourism website isn't exactly overloaded right now.

Remember back in 1993 when Arizona became the last state to officially observe the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday? (And that it was only after the NFL yanked the Super Bowl away from them before they did it?) I think we can all agree that the locals aren't bringing that up as one of the reasons for visiting their lovely state.

One thing they should say is that if you do visit you better be able to prove your immigration status at all times. That's because SB1070 now allows requires police to make you prove you're here legally if they suspect that you're not.

It's not that I think that the borders shouldn't have any controls over them, and for Arizona and its neighboring states there are valid concerns that have to be attended to, but at the same time it's not like there are big 'Legal' and 'Illegal' neon signs over everyone out there. Based on the text of the bill, I don't know how anyone could determine "where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States" other than the obvious "you don't look like you're from around these parts" kind of profiling that is frowned upon elsewhere.

Maybe their left eye twitches in some Morse Code pattern. Or maybe it's that Canadian Mountie uniform when we're nowhere close to Halloween. If the Space Shuttle lands within the Arizona border you better check everyone coming off that ship. ("Please take that helmet off, sir. Is that a Japanese flag on your uniform, sir?")

I hope that someone over there comes to their senses. TV media mentions that there may be similar bills prepping to roll through other border states. Until this whole thing settles down though, my vacation money is going elsewhere.

I wonder if the police will be required to take time and investigate whenever someone points at someone else and yells "I think they're illegal, officer!".

The official text of SB1070 can be found here.

(And just incase you were wondering MLK is still in the books in AZ. I looked.)

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