Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Arizona SB1070 Immigration bill: "Show us your Dom Pas!"

posted by Kevin Myles and Donna Pearson

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For most of the 20th Century, South Africa employed a system of Apartheid; a grotesque and brutal system that rightfully earned the contempt of the world. Black people in South Africa were required to carry a "Pass Book" or Dom Pas at all times while traveling in "White" South Africa to prove that they were there legitimately. If they were not able to produce their documents on demand, then they would be arrested and banished to an undeveloped rural area.

Incredibly, the Arizona State Legislature has hearkened back to that shameful period with it's own Dom Pas policy. Persons suspected of being an illegal immigrant may now be asked, without a warrant, to produce documents to prove that they are here legally. If they are not able to produce these documents, they are subject to arrest and will be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

This essentially means that all persons of Hispanic origin, or who speak with a Spanish accent, must carry their "documents" at all times while traveling so as to satisfy the suspicions of others, or risk arrest and detention. This bill is a gross over-reaction to the issue of illegal immigration and it imbrues our national character. It must not stand...

But we actually don’t have to look overseas to find references for carrying pieces of paper to prove ones legal status. First consider the African American slave. Even if you were “born free” or had been made so through other means, you still had to be able to prove your freedom whenever called upon. In Illinois if you couldn’t produce a “Certificate of Freedom” you could be beaten and thrown out of the state. Even if you could produce it, you were denied the right to vote or sit on juries. Sounds eerily like Arizona.

Just like Mexican Americans and Latinos, you could work here and die for this country, but you were denied civil and political freedoms. I say this because they too were brought here by “circumstances”. From 1942 to 1967 we wanted every unskilled Mexican American we could convince to cross the border. Bracero brought over 1 MILLION Mexicans to work in the agricultural fields and railroads of this country after being forced OUT of their country hundreds of years earlier. Remember César Chávez? Only when they began to organize and fight for their rights did America decide they needed to return home. The similarities of slavery and our current immigration situation are striking.

What is the best way to deny someone the ability to fully participate?
  1. Deny them an education – Check
  2. Deny them the ability to participate in the decision making process – Check
  3. Deny them the ability to get an economic foothold by keeping them in low paying jobs – Check
How many times DOES history have to repeat itself?

ARTICLE 8. ENFORCEMENT OF IMMIGRATION LAWS
11-1051. Cooperation and assistance in enforcement of immigration laws; indemnification

A. NO OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE MAY ADOPT A POLICY THAT LIMITS OR RESTRICTS THE ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAWS TO LESS THAN THE FULL EXTENT PERMITTED BY FEDERAL LAW.

B. FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON. THE PERSON'S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).

C. IF AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IS CONVICTED OF A VIOLATION OF STATE OR LOCAL LAW, ON DISCHARGE FROM IMPRISONMENT OR ASSESSMENT OF ANY FINE THAT IS IMPOSED, THE ALIEN SHALL BE TRANSFERRED IMMEDIATELY TO THE CUSTODY OF THE UNITED STATES IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT OR THE UNITED STATES CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION.

D. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER LAW, A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY MAY SECURELY TRANSPORT AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES AND WHO IS IN THE AGENCY'S CUSTODY TO A FEDERAL FACILITY IN THIS STATE OR TO ANY OTHER POINT OF TRANSFER INTO FEDERAL CUSTODY THAT IS OUTSIDE THE JURISDICTION OF THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.

E. A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, WITHOUT A WARRANT, MAY ARREST A PERSON IF THE OFFICER HAS PROBABLE CAUSE TO BELIEVE THAT THE PERSON HAS COMMITTED ANY PUBLIC OFFENSE THAT MAKES THE PERSON REMOVABLE FROM THE UNITED STATES.

F. EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN FEDERAL LAW, OFFICIALS OR AGENCIES OF THIS STATE AND COUNTIES, CITIES, TOWNS AND OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS OF THIS STATE MAY NOT BE PROHIBITED OR IN ANY WAY BE RESTRICTED FROM SENDING, RECEIVING OR MAINTAINING INFORMATION RELATING TO THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF ANY INDIVIDUAL OR EXCHANGING THAT INFORMATION WITH ANY OTHER FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY FOR THE FOLLOWING OFFICIAL PURPOSES:

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