Thursday, April 29, 2010

Papers, Comrade

Unless you've been living under a rock(or not an American, I guess) you've probably heard about Arizona's new law that targets illegal immigration. It's worded in such a way that the cop can walk up to anyone who is "acting suspiciously" and demand proof of citizenship. Defenders claim that (1)It doesn't encourage racial profiling and (2)Doesn't give cops sweeping powers.

Those are bullshit claims.

Everytime I've gotten pulled over, without fail, I've had a exchange that went like this:

Officer: Where are you from?
Officer: Where are you from Originally?
Me:San Diego.
Officer: I mean, where were you born?
Me: San Diego!(thinking: You Fucker!)

All because of a speech impediment. Now, as pasty as I am, it's going to be a million times worse for someone a few shades darker. And if I may indulge in a little stereotyping for a moment, nothing is preventing the cops in Arizona going to Home Depot and harassing Day laborers...or the people who are hiring them. I imagine this is giving the Border Patrol a huge woody. While most Border Patrol officers are, I'm sure, hardworking and honest, my direct interactions with them have been uniformly negative. While local and state cops tend to take into consideration that they are serving the public, and maybe they shouldn't be assholes to everyone they come across, as far as the BP is concerned you are guilty until proven innocent.

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