Blogs Apr 26, 2010 at 1:24 pm


In reality this is an attempt by Arizona to force citizens of the state of New Mexico (adjacent) to "show papers" when they lived in America before it was more than 13 colonies.

Demand the long form birth certificates of any elected official in Arizona - if they don't have them on them, perform a citizen's arrest and call the cops - shoot em if they try to flee.
Ironically Arizona's largest export market (by far) is Mexico.
WHY DOES ARIZONA HAVE TO BE BETWEEN ME AND NEW MEXICO? I can't make it through that state on one tank of gas. SHIT.
Writing the tourism board to say that you won't be visiting might not be a bad idea.
Boycott away. I remember when everybody boycotted Colorado when Amendment 2 passed. It didn't make a lick of difference.
As an Arizonan, I echo the sentiments above and ask you all not to spend any money in my home state. They need to feel the sting of this law. Also, don't go there for your own protection if you feel you may be targeted by cops for your appearance; your skin or accent could be probable cause in that ass-backwards state.

It's too bad, because Arizona is beautiful. And the people who aren't prejudiced dicks are so friendly and warm.
@7: Do you carry around a receipt for every item on your person?
@7: I'd say mostly the right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure stipulated in the Fourth Amendment. By redefining "probable cause" so broadly as to render it meaningless, this law is and end-run around the intent of that amendment that effectively mandates racial profiling.

It will undoubtedly result in the detainment of large numbers of law-abiding citizens who happen to fit whatever profile the enforcement bodies come up with. So even if the intended targets of this bill are not citizens and therefore not considered entitled to the rights enumerated in our Constitution, a great many citizens are bound to be caught up in this net, making it a legitimate constitutional concern.
@10: How are we sure you haven't stolen any of the items you are carrying?

Theft is wrong, as you yourself admitted, and theft is the largest crime in Arizona. In the interest of public safety, would you willingly allow your person to be checked that you haven't stolen any of the items on your person by providing verifiable proof upon demand that the items in question are owned by you?
@10, I think you look kind of suspicious. You know, just the way you look (I can't quite put my finger on it, maybe it's your shoes?) gives me reasonable suspicion to doubt that your property doesn't actually belong do you. You've got the receipt for that, right? You don't? Well then you're gonna come down to the station with me.

That other guy though, I took him at his word because he looks like my bro.
I just booked a vacation to Arizona for September, after the law takes effect. Should be lovely that time of year.
OK, I'll stop drinking their iced tea. As soon as I'm done with this can.
I understand that Utah has crumbled completely thanks to a boycott.
If you enter a country illegally, why should you have civil rights? Human right, absolutely -- but why civil?
@16 - but how did the Hispanic native-born Americans who were there when this was a part of Mexico before the Spanish-American war deserve to be treated as second-class citizens?

Demand the long-form birth certificates any time you see any business owner or elected official in Arizona. If they don't have them, arrest them on the spot and turn them into the cops. If they resist, shoot them.
The new law in AZ is an excellent example of what can happen when congress is too craven to act. The law in AZ is draconian and likely unconstitutional, but AZ has real issues with illegal immigration and the problems that come with it. This wouldn't have happened if the federal government would grasp the nettle and deal with immigration.
@16: That's a red herring. It's not the rights of illegals that are being infringed upon, here.
Baconcat is right. This law makes it a reasonable assumption for every brown or red (the distinction is dubious) person in Arizona that they will be questioned and forced to show papers. Some of those people are illegal immigrants, but many of them are LEGAL -- in fact, many of them have been living in the US for generations, and in what is now Arizona for perhaps a hundred generations or more.

Should people with legitimate visas have civil rights? And if yes, why? They aren't citizens. If you commit a crime, do you have civil rights? Why? You're a criminal. If a non-citizen commits a crime in this country, like, for example, entering this country illegally, does he/she have civil rights?

As far as the United States government is concerned, there is no enforceable concept called "human rights." It's civil rights or nothing.
@22: Yeah, except this isn't about illegals, it's about the rights of citizens. I shouldn't have to carry around papers. Your mom, does she carry around papers? If she left her purse at home and had no ID on her, would you go to the police station to bring her papers for her release? Would you also bring papers to ensure you are not detained as well?

Or is your mom illegal? Are you even here legally?
Also be sure to sign up as many legal brown-skinned voters in the state as you can. These lawmakers will be shitting their pants come election day when the average color of an Arizona voter is closer to Burnt Umber than Peach.

Doesn't the law also impose a fine if you're not carrying them, even if you later provide them?

for those that break one American law the threshold to break another law goes down.

That is fucking nonsense. By the way, "illegals" are LESS likely than citizens to commit crimes, because they know they'll be sent home if they step out of line.
Hey, I haven't heard anybody talk about this, but isn't this going to be really bad news for victims of domestic violence and other crimes like human trafficking? I know in Washington we have protections for crime victims and even witnesses who are undocumented. I hate to think of how this law will make it unsafe for women who are victims of domestic violence to seek legal protection.
If only there were some historical parallel of police thugs screaming to see people's papers that Arizona's racist, nutcase oldsters could relate to.
Next thing you know, Arizona will pass a law allowing "militia" troops to be quartered in Hispanic people's houses.

That's how much they hate our Freedoms.
@ 26 - It's considerations like that which have resulted in the LAPD basically turning a blind eye to immigration status when reporting crimes. And the fact is, when an illegal immigrant does commit a crime, it's fairly likely that other illegal immigrants are going to have the most relevant information, because of geographical concentration. Ultimately, a policy decision had to be made, and LA decided that it wasn't worth deterring the report of violent crimes.

The law is a violation of basic civil rights. It also wrongfully asserts that states can set their own immigration policy when that is the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government.

Unfortunately, the law isn't actually quite that simple. That would be the case if all immigration control was enacted by federal agents, but its not. If federal law were to preempt all state immigration law, then the federal government would no longer be able to use state law enforcement officials to do it without running afoul of the "anti-commandeering" principle. (See New York v. United States, 1992, and Printz v. United States, 1997, among other cases.)

And @ 22 - In addition to what Baconcat has already said, your receipt-at-the-door analogy falls apart pretty quickly. This isn't analogous to being required to show proof of purchase as you're leaving the store (which would be most readily comparable to, say, showing proof of legal residency when applying for federal government services, which we all have to do). This is like having to carry your receipt on your person any time you step outside wearing that fancy new watch.

Except you can take off a watch. You can't peel off your skin.
@29, not just your watch. Your everything. Where'd you get that belt? Prove that those are your shoes. This money -- prove it's yours. Open your wallet: are those your photos? Is that coffee card yours? Are ALL of the stamps on it yours?
@23, I carry my ID (or "papers") at all times. You know, to buy booze, to get into bars, to drive my car, to cash checks at the bank, or just in case I'm out walking around and some douchebag runs me over in the crosswalk, so that the police can readily identify me and notify the appropriate relatives.

If my mom was arrested (even though she's actually dead, but just to play along), yes, I would bring her "papers" to the police station, along with my "papers", which consists of a plastic card in my wallet that I carry with me at all times. Not that much of a burden. I have a few friends who are legal immigrants, and they have "papers", also consisting of a plastic card that they carry in their wallets. But perhaps you have special "papers" that you're required to carry for some bizarre reason. Reams and reams of "papers". And imagine that I say the world "papers" in a German accent. Just imagine it.

"Paypehs, plees." (Hands over plastic ID card).
@22: You may feel that that being subject to at-will searches or living under a constant presumption of guilt are reasonable expectations for people living in this country, but the Constitution disagrees with you.

And you're right, we do live in a nation of laws; the highest of which is the Constitution.
@32: How about the Mexican families that have lived in Arizona since it was still Mexico? They're going to be under suspicion of being illegals too, and probably going to be harassed under this law.

PEOPLE, WRAP YOUR HEADS AROUND THIS: It's not about the illegal immigrants, it's about the Latino citizens and legal immigrants who will be imposed on and racially profiled by this law.
And because people are not hearing, I'm going to repeat what 34 just said: This law means that U.S. citizens have to carry proof that they are U.S. citizens on their persons at all times. Thing is, it's not ALL U.S. citizens, just the U.S. citizens who look like most AZ undocumented immigrants, i.e. U.S. citizens who appear Latino or Native American. It's a violation of civil rights that U.S. citizens will have to carry documents proving their citizenship if and only if they have dark skin. And yet, that's what AZ has just enacted into law.

The sad part is, I know, having written this, that a lot of you still won't get it. None so blind, etc.
Also, some undocumented immigrants come from Europe, so if AZ is going to enact this illegal law, they should stop EVERYONE and ask to see proof of citizenship. What do you bet that they don't?
Not to Godwinize, but . . .
I just finished reaidng a thriller set in Berlin in 1936, when the Gestapo, SS, whatever agency could set up roadblocks and demand to see "papers" whenever and wherever they pleased.

I'm Anglo and from SoCal, and my next trip to AZ will be in the Grand Canyon (NPS turf) so this new law undubtedly won't affect me.

But I'm still fuckin' appalled and sickened by it, and the direction that this country seems to be moving toward.
I carry my ID (or "papers") at all times. You know, to buy booze, to get into bars, to drive my car, to cash checks at the bank,

Your driver's license is not proof of citizenship. Do you carry your passport or birth certificate on you at all times? No? Then shut the fuck up.
Don't know why I should expect Slog commentary to pan out any differently from any other popular blog, but these posts against the AZ law are pretty knee-jerk and for the most part, misinformed. I live in AZ and readily admit this is one bone-headed law, but I'd compare your misconceptions and leaps of logic to those in the Tea Party videos that New Left Media puts out.

I'd hate to put anybody through the torture of reading the 19 pages of SB1070, but if you'd like to see how dumb your comments sound, it's readily available at

Section 1 of the bill is an intent clause which states that the purpose is to enforce federal immigration laws. These federal laws are already in the U.S. Code. Before an officer can act on a "reasonable suspicion" of unlawfu alien status, there must first be a "lawful contact" made, such as a traffic violation. When finding "reasonable suspicion," the law enforcement officer may not solely consider "race, color, or national origin." If the officer does have reasonable suspicion, the law suggests a "reasonable attempt" be made "when practicable," to determine immigration status. A valid driver's license or state nonoperating license or tribal ID will satisfy the question. No one has to carry their birth certificate around, and as before, no legal resident is now required to carry ID, nor will they be fined for not doing so. In the unlikely event this law survives both the courts and political pressure, do you really think officers are going to go out of their way to implement it? Do you know how many hispanic police officers there are in AZ? And this law specifically states that enforcement of it shall not "hinder or obstruct an investigation," which means it won't have an adverse affect on domestic violence cases or the like. Did you really think the 4th Amendment was still standing tall before this law was enacted? Do you really think a boycott will hurt anyone besides those who are lowest on the economic ladder in AZ... hispanics.

Geee, looks like Washington specifically defines marriage as between a man and a woman by statute. Damn if that isn't mean-spirited. Guess I'll have to boycott.

I'm sure my post is too late in the thread to be read by anybody, but not like it would make any difference anyway.

@40: Think about it. The police are supposed to bring in people who look like they might be illegal immigrants. Who will they be looking for? Sure, the bill may say that the police aren't supposed to practice racial profiling, but is that going to be enforced?
And you lack basic reading comprehension skills. My attitude is more like someone who reads an article about the arrest of someone who happens to be black, and complains of racism within the police force.
Read what I said in the bold and underlined, and you'll see what I mean. Also, your response to #38 falls apart then too; there's plenty of people who don't have immigration papers because they're citizens, but still look enough like the stereotypical illegal immigrant to attract undeserved police attention.
I think this law is atrociously stupid too, and likely to be declared unconstitutional, but I have to acknowledge that @39 is right. This isn't a defense, by any means, of an utterly misguided and thinly-veiled attempt to legalize racism, but I think it does a disservice to the discussion to oversimply the law's provisions.
Under this law, anyone SUSPECTED of being an "illegal alien" can be stopped and asked for papers. So if the police simply think I'm an illegal alien, they can stop and ask me for papers. And what if I have no papers? While I do have a driver's license, I don't carry my birth certificate on me. So will I get hauled off to jail and then what? What about my children? Will they be incarcerated with me? For how long? Until my husband finds my birth certificate and my children's birth certificates? This is too Big Brother for me. I don't understand how anyone can support this. Even if you are as white as the snow and don't think the police will stop you, guess again. They can use this at will (they can say you did something to make them think you were an illegal alien from Europe if they want to). Your personal freedoms are gone in Arizona. I don't want to live in a police state, in country that has the right to demand "Where are your papers?" at any moment. It's creepy. I won't be going to Arizona ever until they repeal this law, and I want the Seattle Mariners to move spring training from Arizona, too. (Heck, they will be asking to see the papers of half the team if this law holds up)!
That is being done in Battle Ground,Washington now. The cops can stop you walking down the street and ask what god you worship to how you volt.
I just arrested this guy who said he was a US Senator, going by the name of John McCain, but whose birth certificate said Panama.

Obvious illegal immigrant.
So we boycott AZ and that hurts WHO?????? Look you left thinking nut cases, these folks are ILLEGALS, not undocumented. Our government is sworn to "protect" our borders so DO IT
Take the time to read the AZ it just do not react in your typical way...who knows you may find that it might just make sense....I assume you can read or did you come out of the Seattle schools system...?
I'm not surprised. Saddened, but unfortunately, not surprised. Arizona is the home of Bush-wack GOP Senator waaaahhh-I-was-supposed-to-be-President poor loser John McCain, and a lot of other red-blooded gun nuts shooting innocent animals for cruel sport (anyone read or see Bless the Beasts and Children? Author Glendon Swarthout must be rolling in his grave).

What is the Arizona state legislature THINKING with all its Hispanic heritage?!? Not going there.

I support Arizona not illegals I'm going to make a trip to Arizona just to spend some $$ in support AAAAA++++ to AZ
Boycott Arizona...send a message do not fly to or on stops to Arizona. Do not buy from Arizona businesses, even from online businesses based in AZ. Boycott ebay vendors based in AZ. Say no to racism.
Why do so many just resort to knee jerk financial bullying when they disagree?

We are blessed with a decent Constitution and the rule of law, so let the courts work it out like they are intended to do!. Send your money to the AZ chapter of the ACLU or whatever legal defense fund is appropriate!

I support individuals who debate and moralizing on this law BUT NOT the Seattle City Council - they were elected to govern Seattle and not be the moral arbitrator for AZ.

Please wait...

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