A proposed law pending in the Arizona legislature, S.B. 1070, would oppress foreign nationals and U.S. citizens alike – especially if they don’t seem to some folks like “real Americans.”
Some are characterizing Senate Bill 1070 as “hate legislation.” Hitler would have liked it while his National Socialists were revving up their engines circa 1935. If it becomes law, Arizona will suddenly be transformed into an unfriendly place for foreign nationals and U.S. citizens alike. Provisions in the proposed bill would criminalize noncitizens and dehumanize anyone who might not look, act, speak, or smell like an American.
For instance, the law requires that it would be up to state officials to determine a person’s immigration status. If someone they encounter in the course of their work is “reasonably suspected” to be unlawfully present in the United States, their suspicions would suddenly become lawful vigilantism. All people in Arizona would be vulnerable to racial profiling, including U.S. citizens. But what exactly is “reasonable suspicion” of alienage? If a person speaks with too pronounced of a foreign accent, or has a skin color that appears to be beige, or possesses facial features suggestive of an Asian or Latino, or smells funny, should they be investigated with future intentions of deportation? If a school crossing guard notices a student who doesn’t speak English and has the look of a Laotian, who might have moved to Mesa from Bellevue, Washington, is the crossing guard now obligated to check the child’s papers or call his parents and ask about immigration status?
Senate Bill 1070 will also permit a law enforcement officer, without a warrant, to arrest a person if, according to the officer’s judgment, probable cause exists to believe that the person has committed any public offense that makes the individual removable from the U.S. Under such a scenario, what offenses might somehow emerge as deportation offenses? Under this Brave New World, “crimes” such as public urination, jaywalking, spitting on the sidewalk while glaring maliciously at the officer, or partial nudity might all become an unfortunate person’s last act prior to a slow boat to Yemen? Apparently, some ethically-challenged Arizona legislators are still unfamiliar with the U.S. Supreme Court’s March 31, 2010, decision in Padilla v. Kentucky which delineates how immigration law is so complex that trained consultants on immigration matters have difficulty deciding which offenses rise to the gravity of deportable.
A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at http://www.visatous.com.