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Papers, please

So if you were to be pulled over by the police today, say for speeding or something, would you be able to prove that you’re a citizen, as the state of Arizona will now require? I don’t know about you, but I’m not in the habit of carrying my passport or birth certificate with me when I go about my daily business. I suppose I could show them my voters registration card, but the Republican Party has spent the past few years trying to convince us that isn’t sufficient identification for voting purposes, so I don’t see how it could be good enough to prove that I belong here. No, I’m thinking it’s going to have to be passports and birth certificates for everyone, unless Arizona decides to issue its own government-issued “Please Don’t Deport Me” ID cards. I’m old enough to remember when conservatives thought that was a Very Bad Idea, but I suppose things are different now.

Of course, I’d never get asked by a cop for my papers because I don’t look like an immigrant. Only folks who arouse valid reasons for suspicion of their legal status, for reasons other than looking or sounding like an immigrant because that would be racial profiling, which the state of Arizona promises us will totally never happen just as it’s never happened anyplace else, will be asked to produce their docs. So in the unlikely event I need to travel to Arizona – I do not intend to choose to visit there any time soon; seriously, have they learned nothing from the Evan Mecham experience? – I shouldn’t need to bring my passport with me.

Anyway. I join with religious leaders, President Obama, State Rep. Garnet Coleman, and many local activists in condemning this racist and retrograde legislation. Hell, even the country’s most notorious xenophobe thinks Arizona went too far. The sooner it is overturned, and the sooner we quit doing stupid things like this, the better.

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2 Comments

  1. blank says:

    I don’t know about you, but I’m not in the habit of carrying my passport or birth certificate with me when I go about my daily business. I suppose I could show them my voters registration card, but the Republican Party has spent the past few years trying to convince us that isn’t sufficient identification for voting purposes, so I don’t see how it could be good enough to prove that I belong here.

    Kuff, while I too am against the legislation, my understanding is that the legistlation requires proof of residency, which include an Arizona Driver’s License. I have no idea what that means about people from other states though. I’m personally not planning to travel there anytime soon.

  2. br allen says:

    doesn’t there seem to be a lack of balance either way, it seems like either LEOs can’t even ask anything at all about if someone has legal status, but then the other extreme is something like this bill. I wouldn’t get offended it an officer asked if I had any drugs or weapons in the car if I get pulled over, same if he asked me if I am legally in the country. I don’t think there should be a hinder on them being able to ask without making it so far off the other end that people need to carry birth certificates with them everywhere. It can’t be all or nothing.