May 17, 2010
As we all know, a couple of weeks ago Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed an “anti-immigrant State law” that will inevitably lead to racial profiling by local police officers.
This law requires police officers to inquire about immigration status when they have “reasonable suspicion” that someone may be in the country illegally, being criminalized for the color of their skin and the way they dress. To avoid arrest, citizens and immigrants will effectively have to carry their “papers” at all times.
This new law clearly allows racial profiling to occur and this is not the American way, at least this is not what I learned at school. America is about being a home for all different types of people, and now they are infringing on personal freedom.
Now guys, this is not an emotional issue at all. It is clear that a reasonable national dialogue must happen. It really freaks the hell out of me that despite the President’s statements, his administration has not taken strong action against this State and local anti-immigrant law
Since early last year the United States has seen rapid growth in many sectors of the radical right, which is really scary. There has been unprecedented expansion of anti-government militia groups, increased anti-immigrant rhetoricin the tea party movement, and deeply troublingproofof the relationship between anti-immigrant groups and white nationalists.
With all this rage in the backyard, my question is: Is it illegal to be Hispanic? Isn’t the Union supposed to be a nation where all nationalities converge ?
I have family in Texas, Arizona, New York and Minnesota. One of my uncles in Texas wears a cowboy hat and has an heavy accent when he speaks English. But he was born there and has lived in the US for almost 50 years.
Say he drives from his home in Texas to Arizona and is stopped by the police. Are they going to ask him for a green card? Well, he doesn’t have one. He has a U.S. Passport.
But will people like him or me or you be expected to carry around a passport or a birth certificate?
Understand that this law gives police the authority to violate ALL civil rights, and I personally believe that this is something that should disturb you whether you are white, black or brown, immigrant or U.S. Citizen.
How can we make legal this type of gross racial profiling?
What Brewer did last month was give fire to a growing Latino civil rights movement and it’s going to spark protests across the country.
I invite all reasonable people in the United States to raise their voices against Arizona’s recent law.