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"Hey, Jose, You Look Mexican! Pull Over!"

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2010-04-26-lowrider.jpg

Arizona can't really think its new criminal law allowing the police to stop "suspected undocumented" Mexicans is Constitutional! There's something else going on here -- this is Arizona's message to President Obama: "If you don't fix the problem, we will create our own solution."

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution says:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Essentially, the police cannot detain someone without "reasonable suspicion" and "articulable facts" that a crime has occurred. Without going into a bunch of legal jargon, the Fourth Amendment definitely means the police cannot stop you and ask you for identification for no reason whatsoever.

There is only one way the police can determine if any person is here legally: stop and ask for proof
. Obviously the police cannot stop everybody and ask them for proof of legal residency. Or can they? No, instead the police will stop a person based on the color of his skin, the style of his car or the way he is dressed, and ask for proof of legal residency.

Every American should be afraid of this law.
Here's why: You are driving down the street and the police think you look Mexican. They pull you over then put their flashlight in your face. Maybe you've had a few beers. Now, what went from an "investigative stop" immediately turns into "suspicion of DUI." And the police can defend the stop by saying, "I thought he was an illegal Mexican."

This law allows for racial profiling. Do the police now have the right to stop every Muslim because he looks like a terrorist? Or every African American because he looks like a drug dealer? Oh wait, this already happens to African Americans. Ask them what they think of the new Arizona law. Many will tell you, "We have dealt with racial profiling for our entire lives."

There is a bigger issue here: this is a signal to President Obama to do something. Governor Brewer knows this law is unconstitutional; however, she had no choice but to pass something so shocking in order to get Obama to wake up and deal with the border/immigration issues.

According to Miriam Jordan and Leslie Eaton of the Wall Street Journal:

Record turnout among Hispanic voters helped push Barack Obama over the top in an election that signals the emerging political clout of the nation's fastest-growing demographic group.

About 10 million Hispanics cast a ballot, up from 7.8 million in the 2004 presidential contest, accounting for 8% of the national voting public, exit polls show. Latinos voted for Sen. Obama over Sen. John McCain nationally by 66% to 32%, marking a dramatic shift toward Democrats from 2004, when more than 50% supported Sen. John Kerry and 40% voted for President Bush.

Obama better come up with a solution quickly if he wants to keep his Hispanic voters in 2012.