Arizona's GOP has made a huge mistake with their recent panicky blunder into immigration law. There are pressing problems with that state's border, but the new statute is a Jim Crow throwback targeting legal Hispanic American citizens.
It is racial profiling writ Godzilla.
And yes, Sarah, I know that the law forbids racial profiling. Obviously, it never happens, then, right?
If comparing skin color, hair color, eye color, clothing, and accent is not acceptable for identifying potential Mexican illegals, then exactly how are they to be spotted?
According to Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), it's all in the shoes. Seriously.
I don't think most reasonable people have a problem with stopping illegal immigration. It's the collateral damage that we on the left are decrying. Let me give you a scenario designed specifically for boosters who have never been harassed:
You run to town to get some groceries. On the way, you're pulled over. The cop noticed you have blonde hair. On the grounds you may be an illegal Dane, he demands identification.
You find you have left your wallet at home. Because you're from New York, and haven't updated your license to AZ yet, the officer can't verify your citizenship.
The cop calls for back-up and has you sit on the curb, while he and two more officers go through your car. When you object, you are told to shut up, or be arrested. You protest, and are arrested.
You are handcuffed and driven to jail. Your car is impounded. You are allowed a call, but your lawyer is gone for the weekend.
After you have been held for 48 hours, your attorney finally springs you, pending trial. To get your car, you pay the $500 impound fee. You missed your Saturday flight for a Monday meeting, and so lose your job. In two months, you appear in court, and are sentenced to a week in jail, plus a thousand dollar fine for resisting arrest. On top of being unemployed, you now have a criminal record.
So there's that. And there's this:
Besides the moral hazards SB 1070 creates, it's also dead unconstitutional. States have no power to pass immigration laws because such laws are the sole province of the Feds. Just as states can't have their own foreign policies or enter into treaties, they can't have their own immigration statues either.
The bill also violates the 4th and 14th Amendments, as it is an unreasonable search. Additionally, the law is applied unequally, as only those of Hispanic race will be stopped and questioned. In other words, racial profiling is illegal.
Either you are in compliance with Constitutional law, or you are not. There is no grey area here. The bottom line is that if most Mexicans were white, blue-eyed, and blonde haired, this law would never have passed.
White people don't like a target on their back any more than brown people do.
(A shout out to HuffPost posters appleblossom and matthewmslc for their contributions to this discussion, which I shamelessly stole and am trying to pass off as mine. Thanks, guys!)