Today’s L.A. Times had a good article about the enforcement issues regarding the Arizona “Papers Please” law. Shorter version: The law is horrible, controversial, and enforcement will still be called racial profiling, and for good reason:
Police officers enforcing a controversial new Arizona immigration law cannot use race to form a suspicion that someone is in the country illegally, but can rely on people’s ability to speak English, their dress and whether they are in an area where illegal immigrants congregate, according to state guidelines released Thursday.
In other words, don’t call it racial profiling as you judge a person by their accent, what they wear, and where they hang out.
The guidelines warn officers that activists may try to lure them into stopping people solely based on their race.
Oh, so now the racial profilers can blame the “activists”. It’s the fault of those who value equality, diversity, and civil rights, not those who want to kick the Breathing While Brown out of the country.
Lydia Guzman, an immigrant rights activist who monitors potential racial profiling in Arizona, said the video is shorter than the training required to certify someone to apply acrylic nails.
Of course it is. How long does it take to say, “Stop anyone who doesn’t look like you”?
The law’s various requirements have baffled many lawyers, and the training materials show that even the state government is not certain what some provisions require.
Good work, Brewer. Passing an ambiguous law should do wonders to encourage treating everyone with respect.
For example, the law requires that all people arrested be held until the federal government verifies their immigration status. But the video says it’s unclear whether this applies to arrests for any offense or just those involving possible illegal immigrants.
Additionally, the law allows any legal resident of Arizona to sue if a local agency has a “policy” against enforcing federal immigration laws, but the video warns that no one knows what that means.
Are we reassured yet?
[T]he video stresses that the law does not require legal residents to carry papers in Arizona, even though it makes it a misdemeanor for illegal immigrants to lack those documents. [...]
“No officer should ever say, ‘Show me your papers,’ ” [Lyle Mann, head of the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board] says. “That’s just rude.”
And by rude he surely meant offensive, uncivil, racist, unconstitutional, and just plain wrong.