If I said to a police officer, I’ll show you my papers if you show me yours, I would likely get thrown in the clink for being sass-mouthed. But the truth is, this would likely never happen to me because of the way I look. Any great-great-great-great African, india, Jewish grannies are hidden wwaaayyyy back in my geneaology. I’m so fair skinned that in the winter, you need to wear sunglasses around me I’m that pale. My eyes are hazel green and the only hints of the mixing characteristic of every person of Latin American descent can be discerned in the kinky roots that start growing in after a Brazilian keratin hair relaxer has tried to beat my hair into submission.
The only part of Arizona‘s controversial SB1070 immigration law the Supreme Court upheld is what’s being called the “show me your papers, please” provision, that allows local law enforcement to ask someone arrested for a presumably justifiable reason like running a stoplight or beating his girlfriend (yeesh, but this happens) to prove his immigration status.
Let’s just hope I’m never in this kind of trouble. But even if I did have a run in with the law, would an Arizona police officer ask to see my passport or birth certificate that proves I was born in the U.S. (and after being mugged at gunpoint in DC and having had my passport stolen, I no longer carry it with me. Getting a replacement was THAT much trouble)?
Given what I just established–that I don’t “look” like an illegal immigrant or sound foreign due to years of private education, will law enforcement avoid racial profiling (and the ensuing lawsuits) by asking EVERYONE to “show his papers”?
To prove how slippery this slope can be, Democrat Luis Gutierrez plays the “Pick Out the Immigrant” game on the floor of the House of Representatives beginning at @ 0:32:
It’s important to note that Representative Gutierrez is misleading when he fails to mention that police won’t just randomly pick someone out at the mall who looks “foreign” or Latino and ask her to prove her citizenship or residency. The Supreme Court made clear that police need to have arrested someone first. That’s a crucial difference. He also incorrectly places the burden on police who are tasked with enforcing the law and not the elected leaders who introduced and support it.
The Supreme Court’s ruling, plus the other news on immigration such as the Obama Administration pressing the pause button on deportations of DREAMers and the President and his likely challenger Mitt Romney addressing the NALEO annual convention prompted us to ask at Tell Me More while I guest hosted, if the Latino vote is going to mobilize and show up to the polls? Here’s a cute Tout video, filmed and edited by TMM senior producer Davar Arsalan, right before I walked into the studio:
To help us understand what are the issues of importance to the growing Latino voting bloc and and what’s at stake if they do or don’t show up, we invited Kristian Ramos, a Policy Director at the Democratically-leaning think tank NDN and Mario Loyola, a director at the center-right research institute Texas Public Policy Foundation to explain and debate.Is this the last we’ve heard of Arizona’s controversial immigration law?