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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Minoritize

It is said that the states are laboratories of democracy. So I am very interested to see how the new Arizona immigration law plays out.

If the world (or even just this country) is a place where justice exists, then the situation in which the Latino community in Arizona now finds itself in will eventually come full circle.

The current estimate for the percentage of white, non-Latino Arizonians stands at 58.4%. With the percentage of Latinos around 30%, and the rate at which it has been growing, it will not be very long before whites are the minority (a reality that will come much quicker if and when an inevitable amnesty is granted as part of a Federal immigration policy). The mistake that the majority made in Arizona is that it has not targeted criminals; it has targeted the minority.

The law will at best harass legal Latino citizens and at worse create a new Jim Crow culture. Don't think it's that big a deal? How angry are you if you get pulled over by the cops? Now imagine you did not do anything and the cop was just curious if you were a legal citizen. This will certainly motivate the Latino community. But to do what?

Once Latinos make up the majority, it would be within their ability to create the same law and target whites. What if a white person is an Irish immigrant with an expired student visa? Got to make sure, right? If you're a citizen, don't worry. Just be sure to have your papers and enjoy getting stopped constantly due to a newly elected and overzealous chief of police who is, at this point, a third generation Mexican immigrant.

4 comments:

  1. BTW, visited Tucson last December. What a hole. Don't plan on ever getting back to that state.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You may be interested to know that he Arizona law is actually more permissive than the corresponding federal law.

    Also, your example is fallacious. According to the Arizona law, a cop is not allowed to pull someone over to ask for their immigration status. He needs a reasonable cause.

    Finally, the Arizona law will apply to all immigrants, including Irish.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've heard this rebuke. In a perfect world you may very well be correct (especially since they've since passed amendments to the original bill to make it much less egregious). However, if a cop is suspicious, he has a right to question someone. The truth is that neither of us know for sure how the law will play out. My guess is that there will be violations but we'll have to see.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The law will play out as it was written and if a few cops are found guilty of violating peoples rights, they will be punished; just like all other laws.

    The "we don't really know what will happen" retort is an appeal to ignorance. Others have appealed to ignorance by misrepresenting the law and arguing that immigrant families buying ice cream are going to be stopped for their papers by the police. Neither response provides a valid argument.

    I would agree that there may be real reason's why this law shouldn't be passed but, I haven't heard anyone articulate them.

    ReplyDelete

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