Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ihr Reisepass bitte

Arizona has passed a law, now awaiting the signature of the governor, that requires everyone to carry proof of citizenship.

The bill would strongly encourage police officers to engage in racial profiling by ordering them to check the status of people they merely suspect of being in the U.S. illegally. Even legal immigrants, in a move that harks back to fascist Europe, would be required to carry their papers at all times or risk arrest.

In the first place, it’s obvious who the targets of this are: brown people. If you look Hispanic, the cops could question you. Ironically, there were Hispanic people on the land that is now the Southwestern United States a long, long time before the Anglos showed up in the 19th century; in New Mexico, they’ve been there since before the Pilgrims hit Plymouth Rock. So by rights, the people being told to produce proof of citizenship should be the white folks. By the way, how many people carry proof of citizenship every day? How many people have a passport — or can put their hands on it?

Second, listen to all the Tea Party people screaming about the intrusion of “big government” into their lives.

[crickets]

Oh, right; it only matters if the government intrudes into the lives of rich white guys.