Arizona: ‘Driving With Melanin’

Arizona police in action

Let me explain why Arizona’s new immigration law is unjust.

Though proponents of the recent bill signed by Arizona’s Republican governor are convinced that this measure isn’t bigoted and will assist in stemming the tide of illegal immigration, this is far from reality.

The bill gives wide discretion upon law enforcement to stop and question people to question them to prove legal residence status with paperwork.  The question then becomes, how does an undocumented person appear?  Arizona being a state bordering Mexico, obviously people who appear to look Mexican will be the prime targets of being stopped and questioned.  There has already been a case in this state where an American citizen, who family background is Mexican, was detained and questioned by authorities in Arizona.

Not only Latinos, who are here legally will be asked to provide documentation, American citizens will be asked primarily because of their ethnicity.

And what about road blocks checking cars at strategic locations?  Under the current guidelines, can’t the police set up a road block near a mosque on Fridays or a Catholic church on Sundays to check people that appear to look “illegal?”

How many White people will be randomly stopped by Arizona State Police?  Probably next to none though I’m sure there are immigrants from Eastern Europe such as Serbia who reside in Arizona that are undocumented just like any other nationality.

Also since Arizona was formerly part of Mexico and became a state in 1912, how many Americans from Mexican ancestry may get questioned by authorities about their legal status who have family ties stretching back longer than most of the state legislature and the governor, who was born in California?!

This is a receipt for police forces in Arizona to have wide discretion to racially profile.  Instead of Driving While Black, Arizona will now have Driving With Melanin.

On the practical side, limited local and state law enforcement resources will be diverted from tackling other community issues to enforcing immigration law.  This law will further strain police departments and may cause overcrowding of jails by treating undocumented immigrants like bank robbers and pedophiles.

Moreover, stemming the flow of undocumented workers across the border will not be slowed down by this law.  Until people in Mexico have more parity and the opportunity to have a decent standard living at home, people will continue to cross the border on their own.  This is reality.

Simply put, the Arizona law is stupid.  I’m sure that they will get the message with their eventual lose of revenue after people stop traveling there out of fear or due to boycott plus the legal fees they will spend once law suits come their way.


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