by Moses Apsan, esq.
New York - April 27, 2010. What’s going on in Arizona? Over 70 % of its population are happy with a patently unconstitutional law that mandates, under color of law, racial profiling. The courts have spoken on this subject and it is clearly unconditional to arrest a person merely because of the way he or she looks. Yet, there are people in this country that believe the law is just fine. Take Glenn Beck. This morning on his a.m. talk show he commented on this point. He said something like, 70% of the people in Arizona agree with the law and no one could possibly believe that all of them are racist. He went on to say, that he is descendant of immigrants and that all he would have to do is show his papers. Implying that it is not much that is being asked. Hah Ha Ha. Is he kidding or does he think his audience is stupid? Of course not every one of the 70% are racist, but you can be assured that a majority of them are. These people have nothing to lose. The law would not affect them even if they were illegal because they are white. There are many living illegally in the U.S from countries like England and Ireland, who Arizonian police would never suspect they are illegal. They are white and if they took a trip to Arizona, you can be sure they would not be stopped.
But let’s talk about a high-ranking official from Bangladesh. If he and his family took a vacation to beautiful Arizona, as soon as a state trooper would see their faces they would be stopped. He would of course have “papers,” so they would not be detained. On the other hand I can imagine my wife and I vacationing in Arizona with the kids, and as my wife is Dominican, we would surely be stopped. Knowing her, she probably left her wallet in the hotel room and then the nightmare begins. “Officer please, my wife is an American citizen, can I show you the identification for myself and kids? She left her wallet in the hotel and it would take us a good part of the hour to get there and back.” Ok, says the trooper, “You go to the hotel and she can come with me to the station.” Is this a far-fetched story? I submit not. This is exactly what would be happening , should this law take effect.
In the meantime, I most certainly would not travel to Arizona for any reason. This sentiment is being felt throughout the country. The Board of Governors of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), moments after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law the severest anti-immigration bill passed in the U.S. in over ten years, will boycott Arizona by moving the Association’s fall 2010 conference, which had been scheduled for Arizona, to another state.
AILA President Bernie Wolfsdorf explained, “We cannot in good conscience spend association dollars in a state that dehumanizes the people we represent and fight for. What Governor Brewer has done by signing this bill into law is to validate all of the irrational fears by people who are not willing to acknowledge the economic and cultural benefits of immigration to our country.”
“If Arizonans are serious about ending illegal immigration, they should be the first in line at the United States Capitol to urge Congress to the do the right thing and pass comprehensive immigration reform,” Wolfsdorf concluded.
San Francisco's supervisors called for a far-reaching boycott of Arizona following that state's unforgiving new law aimed at illegal immigrants, The resolution being submitted calls for San Francisco to terminate any and all contracts with Arizona-based companies and to stop doing business with the state.
"We want to send a message," Supervisor David Campos told a rally on the steps of City Hall Monday morning. "There are consequences when you target a whole people."
Immigration should be seen as "not as a police enforcement issue, but as a human rights issue, as a social issue," Supervisor John Avalos added. "We want to make sure the voice of San Francisco is well heard."
San Francisco’s Mayor Newsom condemned Arizona’s new immigration law as "inexcusable" and "unacceptable." "What happened in Arizona is ... un-American," the mayor said. "The idea that people, based on their race or ethnicity, can be pulled over or stopped and someone asks for their papers reminds me of something I read ... happening overseas."
Even Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) said Tuesday he believes Arizona’s new immigration law is unconstitutional and that "it doesn't represent the best way forward" when it comes to addressing illegal immigration. He further commented that the law shows "what good people will do" when they have no other options.
At the same meeting DHS Secretary, Janet Napolitano, said that that she would bet everything she owned that if Congress does not act then more states will enact laws like Arizona’s, which would complicate the issue even more.
Without Comprehensive immigration reform there soon will be a patchwork of states creating their own immigration laws. Their argument: If the federal government does not do something about the immigration problem they are in essence relegating the responsibility to the individual states as permitted by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution.