Arizona’s New Immigration Bill is Racist
by PURUSHOTTAM SHAH
The controversial new immigration laws passed in Arizona give police officers authority to question and detain anyone suspected of residing illegally in the United States. As a fellow immigrant, albeit legal, this is an effort to reach out to Nepali people who constitute a fairly large immigrant population in the US.
It is understandable that state authorities need to act if federal government fails to take adequate measures to secure its borders. But the pretext on which this bill is based is flawed. Arizona has a large immigrant population but it alone does not account for the introduction of this bill. New York has a much larger immigrant population and probably has more immigration related problems than any other state in the US. Yet, it is Arizona that rises up to say enough is enough. Why?
The people of Arizona can't deal with immigrants. They argue that the immigrants have been the cause of increased criminal activities yet available statistics hardly support their dubious claim. The controversial bill is a flagrant demonstration of xenophobia and Obama has been quick enough to label it a misguided effort.
The bill runs counter to the basic founding principles of America in terms of equal liberty and civil rights. Supporters of the bill deny that this bill will lead to racial profiling while one of the local residents remarked, "If you are an alien, you will look different and cops will know." Police officers could ask an individual to produce legal documents based on their appearances alone. Imagine going shopping to a grocery store and suddenly being confronted with demands to produce legal documents. Who carries a passport, visa or other documents while going to a grocery store?
It is one thing to enforce tighter border regulations but completely different to conduct random suspicious checks on individuals already present inside its borders based merely on their looks. I am confident that if I were in Arizona, I would be asked to produce my documents since I look alien. And since I never carry my passport with me, I would be detained before my school authorities intervened on my behalf (hopefully).
This bill, intended to discourage future immigrants from illegally crossing its borders, will potentially affect many legal Americans who do not look American enough (white). It may be acceptable to ask a person about his heritage if he does not look white, despite his impeccable English, but it is absolutely racist to ask for his legal documents.
America proudly asserts itself as the land of immigrants, and rightly so. Law-makers of Arizona cannot forget that their heritage, too, lies somewhere outside the U.S. They are immigrants too, only a century or two apart. I will not argue about the artificial border control imposed once the state was formed in 1776 but I cannot stand a racist immigration bill in the name of 'immigration reform' either.
1. Bissey, Arizona
The bill is not racist itself. It could bring racial profiling and that might cause problem. your title is misleading. You do not need to carry passport to grocery store, you can carry your drivers license which indicates you are legally admitted. If you were in Europe or any other countries you would have to carry passport all the time. Also, the Federal law requires the internationals to carry passport all the time. You have not mentioned anything about 'suspicious behavior'. The law enforcement could only ask for status if they see any suspicious behavior. The problem is to define what a suspicious behavior is. The author needs some more research because this article is misleading.
Posted on: 10 MAY 2010 | 8:52 PM NST | Report Abuse
2. Runil, Nepal
@Bissey: No you bugger, the bill IS very racist. Purushottam dai is very correct in saying that Arizona is full of nutter wingnuts who have been unable to get over the emancipation of slaves let alone accept a black president. Yes, I did do a lot of 'research' at the Gawker website before I realized you Arizona people were racists.
Posted on: 05 JUNE 2010 | 4:20 PM NST | Report Abuse
3. Bissey, Arizona
Runil sir!, Gawker — Gossip from Manhattan and the Beltway to Hollywood and ..., that was the title of the website when I searched it in Google. LOL. that explains brother!!!You realized that ARizonans were racist after doing research from one freaking gossip website. haha that explains everything brother. And I do not know where you got the notion of Arizonans not accepting a black president. maybe the some freak in Gawker wrote about it to spice up the story a bit. u gotta read some thing else. they are gossips. haha
Posted on: 10 JUNE 2010 | 2:42 PM NST | Report Abuse