Arizona legislature passes anti-immigrant bill allowing racial profiling

Via Colorlines:

The Arizona legislature yesterday voted 21 to 35 along party lines to make it a criminal offense simply to be an undocumented immigrant on Arizona soil and to require local cops to determine a person’s immigration status if there is any “reasonable suspicion” the person is undocumented. The law would essentially require police to racially profile Latinos and threatens to terrorize immigrant communities already trying to survive in what is arguably the country’s most anti-immigrant state.

This is pretty much the most blatant legalization of racial profiling that I’ve ever seen. Arizona is already an extremely anti-immigrant state, dealing with the likes of Sherrif Joe Arpaio, who is notorious for his anti-immigrant (and anti-choice) policies.
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, has come out against the bill.
More at Democracy Now and New America Media.

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  • Tracey T

    Hmmmm, usually when laws like this are passed one result is that police just happen to show up in places where day laborers look for work,and just happen to pull over brown people for the slightest infraction,etc.
    I have met someone who came here illegally but was a non-latino POC. They said that while they had been caught before the raids on day labor lines didn’t worry them because the cops only “suspected” the latinos. I’m sure that is just a coincidence though.

  • Thomas

    I expect this will be found unconstitutional, or basically rewritten so as to forbid profiling so that it’s constitutional. I also expect that it will be a focus of the hearings on the next Supreme Court nominee. I think that net helps, because the conservatives will make it clear that racism is at the core of their agenda as a movement.
    Conservatism as it exists today as a political movement is demographically fastened to a dying animal (to borrow a phrase from WB Yeats), the angry white male. As a matter of population, the conservatives must appeal to some demographic other than white people, or to single women, to remain the political force that they have been. But at every turn, they run into the problem that their existing base demands positions that are antithetical to any outreach to any people of color, or to single women.
    This is ugly. My prediction is that it will fail, and that it will backfire in the medium term against conservatives.

  • Mike Crichton

    “Papers, please”.

  • Opheelia

    This legislation is an omnibus of bills that Sen. Russell Pearce (who is buddies with Sheriff Joe) has been attempting to pass for years. Napolitano vetoed them, along with a lot of other exreme right wing bills, but when she left the Republican party
    There was a long list of organizations who were against the bill, which included most law enforcement agencies in the state as well as a considerable number of towns, cities, and counties.
    It is certainly unconstitutional, and they know that. One of the many hypocritical things about this particular legislature is that they’re passing laws they know will be challenged while simultaneously bemoaning the state’s fiscal condition. They just plan for lawsuits instead of giving up some of the extremism, beacuse they finally have a supportive governor and they don’t want miss the chance.