I don't think I can begin to adequately express my disgust about this, but I'm going to try.
Do we have an immigration problem? Absolutely. Do we need to address it? Of course. But this draconian law is not the way to go about it. I am appalled that any of my fellow citizens would think that this is in any way acceptable in a civilized society. Giving the right to the police to stop anyone for anything, merely because they think they fit the profile of an illegal alien, is completely unconstitutional and is shortsighted, ignorant, and intolerant. This is yet another instance of white, religious conservatives feeling threatened by someone "other" than them. Feeling that "their" country is being taken away from them. Beginning to feel that their dominance is coming to an end, as more and more people around them don't speak English as a first language, as they see more brown faces than white in their stores and neighborhoods.
They're probably feeling a little like the Native Americans felt when their country was taken away from them by the whites who came here, claimed it as their own, and systematically eliminated all Native American claims to the land. Good. Just simmer in that for a while, why don't you?
I don't have an easy answer. I don't necessarily believe that complete amnesty is the way to go. Our President (and like it or not, he is YOUR President, too) has proposed that we secure our borders, that any illegals will be held accountable for back taxes, need to learn English, and will be penalized by having to wait in line for citizenship behind those who are here legally. That makes sense to me; I want these folks to become law-abiding citizens who pay taxes, but if they have come here illegally, there need to be some consequences to that.
Stopping anyone who looks a little more brown than others is not the way to go about this. I cannot even believe that this is happening, and as someone who has studied quite a bit about Nazi Germany, I can tell you that this smacks of the Geheime Staatspolizei a lot more than I'm comfortable with. I hate to Godwin myself, but since the teabaggers have been bleating for a while now about how Obama is a Nazi, I feel perfectly justified in comparing them to the Nazis. As others have stated, it's way too reminiscent of those black and white post-WWII movies in which a coal-helmeted soldier angrily and coldly demands to "see your papers."
What is next? Are you going to applaud if a Hispanic person is stopped, runs from the police, and is gunned down like a dog in the street? Would that make you happy? Would you applaud our fine police officers for upholding the law?
Some of those who disagree with what I'm saying may think that I don't know what I'm talking about because I don't have to deal with immigrants. Not to the extent that border states do, no. But for at least a couple of decades now, there has been a large influx in my area because of good manufacturing jobs, and in Michigan because of jobs associated with fruit crops. There are the usual problems when those from another country try to assimilate, but it hasn't been anything horrible. The vast majority are hardworking people who just want to have a better life than they did in their home country. The extreme violence in border states needs to be dealt with, and I hope that our federal government starts working on this problem soon, so that other states don't fuck it up royally like Arizona did.
Honestly, people...this is America. We are a nation of immigrants. Each and every one of us, unless you're full-blooded Native American. Have we all forgotten that? Anyone who thinks this is a capital idea needs to think about how their ancestors felt when they came over from Ireland or Germany or Italy or Eastern Europe and were looked down upon as poor white trash by the ruling class at the time...who in turn had immigrated here several decades before.
Well, I can take some consolation in that the Department of Justice is going to look into the constitutionality of Arizona's law. From everything I've read, the law will not stand. Something about that search and seizure thing...something about the Fourth Amendment...something about that pesky Constitution. Again, for all the teabaggers' clamoring about how the Constitution is being perverted, I'd say that this law pretty much bends the Constitution over and fucks it right up the ass. If I sound pissed off, believe me...I AM.
What is wrong with people? I am astounded that anyone would think this is a good idea. Astounded and appalled. If you're in apoplectic joy about this, if you're grinning like a happy asshole, I think you'd best stop and think about what it is about YOU that might be the next target. Your ethnicity? Your heritage? Your religion? Your political affiliation? Your hair or eye color? Speaking of happy assholes, Glenn Beck seems to get off on talking about the concentration camps that President Obama is secretly building. You have the nerve to believe that and bitch about that and then support this bill that allows the police to stop anyone who looks a certain way, without provocation, and demand their papers?! Do you not see the lunacy of that, the complete disconnect from reality?
Gaaaahhhhh! This is insanity! Canada is looking better all the time, but I can assure you that I will keep my American citizenship so that I can continue to VOTE.
This would be an appropriate time for Martin Niemöller's quote, as translated from the original German. Hard to believe that it is pertinent to the United States of America in 2010, but it sure as hell is.
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.