Okay, I’m going to stick my foot in my mouth and go deep right wing for a post here. Arizona just passed an immigration law that essentially legalizes racial profiling. Cops in the state are legally required to check the papers of anyone that “looks illegal.” Rachel Maddow and others on the Left have been going ape-shit over this. People on the Right, starting with those passing the law, say this isn’t racial profiling. Well, let me be blunt, it is racial profiling and I’m ok with that.
Let me back up though and give you a bit of background. I believe our current immigration laws are woefully out of date. I think we should give amnesty to most of the illegal immigrants and I’m okay giving them drivers licenses sooner rather than later. I am 100% pro-immigration and really loved the original John McCain for his immigration reform bill. Part of the reason I am so pro-immigration is I have worked in three restaurants and personally know illegal immigrants from Mexico, Afghanistan, Poland, Hungry, Guatemala and several other nations from multiple continents. Most of them are good people and want to work here legally (not all want to be citizens). Here’s a link from a February 18 post about the tea party where I express this view (in only one sentence, but I was pretty clear too.)
So, that’s the background. I think the anti-Mexican racism behind this law is wrong and I would gladly vote to give them all amnesty (though John McCain’s idea of fining them $5,000 would be awesome too.) However, the law is there. The law exists. And until the law changes, we need a way to enforce it.
How else are we supposed to enforce our immigration laws if we can’t ask people for their papers? Trust me, as someone who works will illegal immigrants, I can spot one pretty quick. Here’s a clue, South-of-the-border decent, working in a restaurant. Maybe not 100%, but close to 99%. Here’s another one, someone (of any national origin) who is caught driving without a license or insurance and can’t speak English.
So that there is my thought for the day. First, we should pass immigration reform as fast as possible and get as many of these people legal as fast as possible so we can get them involved with the communities they live in, paying taxes and buying car insurance and better able to contribute to the nation. Second, until we do change the laws, they are the laws of the land. Those illegal immigrants right now really are hurting the Arizona government. That government, not having the power to decriminalize them, has the right and duty to fix the problem and enforce the laws. I can’t think of any way to enforce immigration laws that don’t take into affect what someone looks like. The crime these people are braking is being in the wrong nation, so not allowing cops to use national-origin to determine probably cause is ridiculous.