New illegal immigrant bill promotes 'police state' and 'racial profiling,' dissenters say

Many Arizonans – and Americans – would agree that illegal immigration is a tad problematic.

File photo from tractor trailer bust last July

File photo from tractor trailer bust last July

We’d get into some examples of its detriments, but we’re trying to keep write-ups somewhere under 500 pages.

Senate Bill 1070, which passed the House of Representatives by a 35 to 21 vote last week, aims to help correct this mild concern.

The summary says the bill “Requires officials and agencies of the state and political subdivisions to fully comply with and assist in the enforcement of federal immigration laws and gives county attorneys subpoena power in certain investigations of employers.”

That doesn’t sound too unreasonable. It also:

“Establishes crimes involving trespassing by illegal aliens, stopping to hire or soliciting work under specified circumstances, and transporting, harboring or concealing unlawful aliens, and their respective penalties.”

The bottom line is the bill requires local law enforcement to be obligated to do something other than ignore illegal immigrants if it encounters them. Violators would be slapped with a misdemeanor unless they are in the midst of other criminal activity, in which case the violation would be upped to a felony. Punishment could include jail time and fines.

Those who oppose the bill are already flinging phrases like “police state” and “racial profiling.”

“It’s beyond the pale,” the L.A. Times quoted Chris Newman, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. “It appears to mandate racial profiling.”

“That is an unprecedented expansion of police power,” the Detroit Free Press quoted Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona. “It’s giving police officers a green light to harass anyone who looks or sounds foreign.”

A letter to Gov. Jan Brewer from Hispanic News says the bill’s passage into law will all but kill tourism and economic development:

“(The Governor signing the bill perpetrates) a movement to spread the message across America that anyone who visits or considers Arizona to expand or start a new business, condones Arizona becoming a police state.”

One more voice of dissent, this one from a Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc., news release:

File photo

File photo

“If signed into law, this bill would make it a misdemeanor to lack proper immigration paperwork in Arizona. It would also allow police to check a person’s immigration status based on only a ‘reasonable suspicion’ that they are undocumented.

“This bill opens the door for racial profiling and blatant discrimination by authorizing police to stop anyone they perceive to appear ‘illegal’ and subject him or her to an immigration status check without the individual having violated any law.”

Sounds like a full-fledged panic attack. But is the panic warranted?

Anyone in the country legally would have the proper documents. Even U.S. citizens should be carrying identification at all times. Folks who have been pulled over without having their driver’s license knows this one all too well. Besides, it also helps identify the body if we happen to be murdered and thrown in a ditch.

As far as “stop(ping) anyone they perceived to appear ‘illegal,’” the bill’s summary says enforcement of the bill:

“Requires a reasonable attempt to be made to determine the immigration status of a person during any legitimate contact made by an official or agency of the state or a county, city, town or political subdivision (political subdivision) if reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S.” (Bold emphasis mine.)

Is randomly pulling people over considered legitimate contact?

The Center for Immigration Studies’ Mark Krikorian told the L.A. Times that he does not think such a law would be used extensively. “Obviously, their prosecutors aren’t going to go out and prosecute every illegal alien,” he is quoted as saying. “It gives police and prosecutors another tool should they need it.”

Not sure where I stand on this one. But I do know America’s glorious melting pot is a bubbling cauldron far beyond a full boil.



What do you think?

Is this bill ridiculous or warranted?

Do you agree the bill perpetuates “racial profiling” and a “police state”?

Do you usually carry identification, regardless of your immigration status?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
This entry was posted in Crime, danger, immigrants, life, Police/fire/law, politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to New illegal immigrant bill promotes 'police state' and 'racial profiling,' dissenters say

  1. tiponeill says:

    Even U.S. citizens should be carrying identification at all times
    Ahhm – no. Only in a police state – next the legislature will want all citizens to have chips implanted ?
    We need to show a license to drive on a highway, show ID to vote etc. but my kid does not need to carry a passport to walk down the street, unlike some countries.
    The law is just another attempt at racial profiling and will be found to be unconstitutional, wasting more taxpayer dollars throwing red meat to the voters.

    • Rynski says:

      hahahhah! on the microchips…but not hahah – aren’t proposals for such already kicking around?
      on the id – i was always taught to carry it – new york city you have to. didn’t seem much of problem to have some id on you. didn’t think about it from kid’s POV. kids would prob. lose the thing anyway.
      ok, change my sentence to “even adult u.s. citizens…”
      like i said, i’m on the fence with this one – definitely see your points and hear your arguments.

      • jim kelley says:

        Enforcing the law does not make us a police state. I’ve lived in police states, Arizona isn’t one of them.

      • leftfield says:

        Enforcing the law does not make us a police state.

        I can imagine the SS following the same logic.  What if the law itself is immoral?  That morality stuff is such a messy thing. 

        clan chicopee 

      • jim kelley says:

        The immorality is; by not enforcing the law , the state enables human smuggling and the degredation of humanity. The state by not enforcing the law becomes complicit in drug dealing, rape, tortue and murder. This is one area where the efnorcement of the law is liberating. The organizations above that want to continue their racist propaganda and enable illegal activities should be investigated and prosecuted under the RICO statues.

      • Max Load says:

        The immorality is…
        Individuals, companies, small businesses and corporations unable to engage American job seekers, expecting the work to be done anyway, and taking the “easy out” to do so.
        The immorality is…
        Continuing business and government practices and policies that foster depreciation of buying power,  encourage inflation, and devalue labor as something “lowly”.
        The immorality is…
        A rabid sense of entitlement and unreality that Americans engage in that *work* is somehow beneath them.  We have become a nation of non-producers, finagling other peoples money, time, and resources as industries and paying those that do the finagling the best wages.
        That said, for the last 200 years America did something right, such that the underpriveleged of countries close by still want to come here for a a piece of the action…and I for one can’t blame them, not when they’re harder working, more motivated, and definitely more driven than many born within our borders.

      • Pablo says:

        The problem is that a standard driver’s license does not prove your citizenship or  immigration status. So carrying such an id is useless if you look hispanic or speak with an accent. Only a passport with a proper visa and immigration documents (e.g., I-94), a US birth certificate, or the recent enhanced driver’s licenses (that not everybody has) carry information showing your status. So, is every hispanic-looking or accented lawful immigrant expected to have one of these with him all the time?

      • Pablo says:

        Jim, you said: “The state by not enforcing the law becomes complicit in drug dealing, rape, tortue [sic] and murder”.
        I can actually argue the opposite, as well. Namely, the state by enforcing this law will become participant in covering up such crimes, since it will stop weak and innocent illegal immigrants who are the object of abuse, crime, torture, violence, rape, etc, to approach the police to report such crimes…

      • Stephanie says:

        Well said, Pablo.  I couldn’t agree more.

      • Jim Kelley says:

        How do you argue the opposite? If you take  away the incentive to enter illegally,  they won’t be taken advantage of here in the states and they won’t have a need to “Not” report the crimes against them. Your logic is circular and socipathic. ” If he hadn’t left the keys in the car, I wouldn’t have stolen it.” Please, stop enabling socipathy.

    • AnaNymous says:

      good points!  Such a divide in the voting on this article!

  2. leftfield says:

    Good morning, Ryn.  Outside of the context of bourgeois democracy, nation-states are not an important consideration and the welfare of the proletariat is primary.  This law would be just another tool of the ruling class intended to maintain antagonism amongst the working class with the intent of preventing effective organizing to fight the real enemy.  Within the context of bourgeois nation-states and reactionary politics, it is simply pandering and scapegoating.  Will it lead to ethnic profiling?  Likely so.  Will it motivate Latinos and progressives of all stripes to fight back?  One can only hope.

    BTW – I spent some time at Solar Culture on Saturday night.  You have some nice work there.  I especially liked the old hand saw, now a lizard.
    festival awnings

    • Rynski says:

      hiya festival awnings (aka leftfield),
      so should i guess you’re against this bill? hahahhaha.
      very clear, concise and intelligent arguments and yes, this seems a clear cut nod towards racial profiling. it could be somewhat interesting to see any uprisings and such that could result from this and other similar measures, however, as long as i’ve moved to france by then.
      THANK YOU! for compliments on solar culture art. glad you enjoyed it! hope you caught a cool show there. old hand saws make great art material, as do ice picks and sledgehammers. the sledgehammer i art-i-fied is now bright pink.

  3. leftfield says:

     Even U.S. citizens should be carrying identification at all times.

    You are not required to carry identification as a pedestrian.  The ACLU has a nice pamphlet and even a video tape concerning your rights in interactions with the police.  Often, the conversations you have with officers are directed in such a way as to give you the opportunity to give up your rights unwittingly. 

  4. citizentoo says:

    If you’re not here legally, you should be deported, cut and dry.

    • Rynski says:

      hi citizentoo –
      i hear ya! but is this bill the best way to go about that?

    • Stephanie says:

      Wow, do I disagree.  Sorry, Ryn, but I do.  The way I look at it, if someone is contributing, he or she can stay.  Do you know the story of Harold Fernandez, a cardiac surgeon and graduate of Princeton and Harvard?  He was an illegal alien who was “found out” when he was in his freshman year at Princeton.  Fortunately, he got citizenship.  You can google his harrowing story.  Anyway, I have had SO MANY illegal kids as students who were just wonderful — WONDERFUL!  I could never say something as cold and heartless as citizentoo did.  These are human beings who are trying to better their lives and I feel honor bound as a human being to help them do so.   I WANT them here — our country NEEDS these people.  Yep — if you are a contributing member of society, please stay.

      • Rynski says:

        hiya stephanie –
        no need to apologize – everyone’s entitled to opinion. would also say you give some very valid arguments backing up your point.
        i don’t get press releases about the wonderful contributions to society – my inbox is instead inundated with tales of woe, drugs, human smuggling and murders. would the wonderful folks who contribute to society be less wonderful if they did the right thing and applied for and obtained us citizenship?
        also must say it irks me that i’d have to jump through hoops if i wanted to move to a foreign country – only seems fair folks who want to live here should do the same.

  5. azmouse says:

    My middle son Wesley, who is 22 today, by the way(!!) used to always get stopped and searched by police whenever he was out riding his bike. It doesn’t happen as often nowadays, maybe because he’s older?
    I’ve always figured it was profiling because of  the way he looked. But he never did anything or had anything on him that he shouldn’t so, except for the time and annoyance factor, it didn’t bother him.
    The point being, this kind of thing has been going on already.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya azmouse,
      maybe that’s why i’ve learned to always carry ID? i have had my own run ins with police, etc., based on the way i looked…this was years ago….but i hear what you’re saying.
      yes, such activity goes on all the time.
      HAPPY BDAY! to wesley – and tell him to celebrate by NOT carrying ID today….hahahah

      • azmouse says:

        Maybe that’s why it seems like it isn’t that big of a deal to me is because most of us has dealt with it in some form or another anyway, so why not?

        I told Wesley, and he said thanks!

      • AnaNymous says:

        My brother has gotten caught in 2 “bicycle stings” going to the U.  Hefty fines for frivolous infractions.  Does student ID count as proof of citizenship?  Should we be worried if we are riding our bikes to the University, of being deported?

      • Rynski says:

        good questions…….

      • azmouse says:

        So it seems like young men on bikes are a normal police target.My son has never gotten a ticket for anything, though. Many illegal searches….
        but again, he didn’t mind that much because he was clean.

  6. tiponeill says:

    Enforcing the law does not make us a police state. I’ve lived in police states, Arizona isn’t one of them.
    You also are white. The law doesn’t affect you. Others might experience it differently.

  7. tiponeill says:

    guess i’m stuck in old habits from nyc where it WAS required.
    Sorry Ryn – you may have THOUGHT it was required in NYC but you are wrong – it isn’t required anywhere in the US – that is unconstitutional.

    • Rynski says:

      egads – i’ve been duped!
      i fell into the fear/folklore trap.
      just for that i’m walking around ID free from now on! (but there’s still that thrown in the ditch concern…)

      • tiponeill says:

        Don’t worry about it – obviously our Legislature doesn’t know anything about the Constitution either.
        The ACLU will educate them, and the fees they collect will help fund other good works and I won’t have to contribute as much 🙂

      • Rynski says:

        hhahaah! thanks, tip. hey! if you have any funds left over from the donations you save, you can always feel free to contribute to the sawyer says foundation (hahahah)….

      • Jim Kelley says:

        Aren’t you the one that wants us to be more like Europe? Hmmm.

  8. andrew says:

    Annex Mexico to solve this problem. I don’t know why Americans don’t cross the border and have a nice beachfront home near Rocky Point. Why cross into the U.S.? Can’t make it at home, Grow a garden and feed your family. Or the ocean has an abundant source of food. Go fish. My Gawd, If I was homeless, I sure and hell wouldn’t be living under a freeway begging for spare change or crossing a desert to risk my life to chop weeds in a lettuce field.  I don’t see the draw. Stay where you’re at and do what you can do. If you’re Mexican and live in Mexico, do just that. Make your own Country into what you want it to be. The MoonDance has spoken with all of these travelers and we try to convince them of that. Take pride in your own Country and don’t run away from a problem, fix it. Mexico is just as good as any other place, make do where you are. Don’t you bash me Lefty, Your words are to big for me. “appreciation conceded”

    • Rynski says:

      thanks so much for input, appreciation conceded.
      i agree that running from problems does not work. there comes a time when there is nowhere left to run.
      also agree that mexico has things going for it, from beachfront to tulum-ian yoga retreats.

    • Pablo says:

      andrew, it’s easy to say what you say when you were born in one of the richest countries of the world and you basically didnt have to do anything to turn your country into what it is today.
      Notice that rarely an illegal immigrant becomes a homeless or begger. They are actually looking for whatever job is available for them to do. And, if they dont stay in their countries to “plant a garden” or “fish”, it is because such jobs or self-employment opportunities, if available, simply do not work out in the end to support their families. On the other hand, doing works such as cleaning manure in a pig farm, collecting eggs in a chicken coup, chopping weeds in a lettuce garden, etc,  when done in the US, they provide them with enough monies to feed their families.

    • leftfield says:

      It’s not as complicated as it appears.  The reason it sounds like a foreign language is that we are taught in school that no alternative to the status quo is possible.  Even to mention the name of the American system of economics or to suggest that their might be social classes in America is considered bad form. 

      As to Mexico, the Zapatistas are creating their own alternative in Chiapas. 

  9. Barker says:

    This whole new law just reminds me of those WWII movies where the German SS dressed in those black raincoats would stop random citizens on the streets: “Your papers please”. I guess we’ll have police officers doing the same thing across AZ when this passes.
    Certainly doesn’t make us a tourist-friendly state, and part of my income relies on tourists, as much of the state’s economy does.

    • Rynski says:

      well, tourists are already being discouraged, thanks to the closure of 13 of the 18 DOT rest stops….

    • Susan says:

      No papers for the concealed weapon someone may have, but citizenship papers are required……how ironic.

    • Ferraribubba says:

      Hey Barker: As recently as 1996, when der Frau and I were on a Eurorail ICE train giong from Munich to Rome, I had a plainclothed member of the German Grenzpolizei enter our compartment and ask me, “Your papers please.”
      Thinking back to all those old WW2 movies, I started to chuckle, but thought better of it when I noticed that neither he nor his big German Shephard dog, which he had at his side were laughing.
      I handed him my passport, he glanced at it, then handed it back with a curt “Danke,” and I answered, “Bitte, mein Oberst.” He clicked his heels, and then left the compartment. End of story,
      Yer pal, Ferrari Bubba

  10. steev says:

    Hi Ryn,
    In case you don’t know already, you should be aware that despite their neutral-sounding name The Center for Immigration Studies is not an impartial or trustworth group to get quotes from. They’re rabidly anti-immigrant and connected to some really hateful racist groups and individuals.

    • Rynski says:

      Hi steev,
      thanks for input and yes, i did not think the center was neutral. the quote i used from the group was a quote that appeared in an l.a. times article. thanks.

  11. Hoosier Woman says:

    I like the bill. If you are legal then you dont have anything to worry about. If your doing something illegal such being an illegal alien, or a U.S. Citizen who has comitted a crime and are on the run…whatever the case is you should be VERY concerned about having to be stopped and then showing your I.D. HOWEVER if you are doing something illegal or are hiding because you did something illegal in your past then of course your going to be against the bill. My youngest son is Hispanic and I talked to him about this bill because we are going to be moving back to Tucson in about a year and he said that he has no problem with showing his I.D. to prove that he is here legally. What I like about the bill is it hits the coyotes that bring them here, and the employers who hire them to work for next to nothing like they are slaves.
    Police state is defined as “a state in which the government excercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic and political life of the population”. I dont see how giving police the right to ask someone for I.D. or proof of citizenship is “rigid and repressive” to anyone unless of course your in the U.S. illegally!

  12. ado1 says:

    This is a very good bill and way overdue!

    Only subversives and bleeding heart liberals would be inclined to oppose it or worry it’s provisions might somehow adversely affect their cause or their agenda.

  13. Del says:

    I really don’t care what others, outside of the State of Arizona think about the situation … they don’t live here and experience the problem on a day to day basis! It should be signed into law. The Feds need to get off their butts and get the job done as well; however, we’ll have to throw a couple of the bums out of office to see it through. Let’s deal with Rep. Giffords and Rep. Grijalva first and foremost. I say throw these bums out! I encourage you all to consider Brian Miller in Arizona’s Congressional District #8 ( and Ruth McClung in Arizona’s Congressional District #7 ( … both would be preferable to what we have in office now!

  14. elturkito says:

    I was born in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico to a Mexican father and an American mother from Brooklyn, NY, I grew-up in ambos Nogales at a time that peace, harmony, friendliness dominated both border towns, however fast forwarding to 2010 I do not see another alternative to protect the law abiding, hardworking non-dope dealing citizens of the USA. One of the saddest moments in my life was when the Twin Towers were  hit by those radical muslims but what agravated my sadness and pain were the Mexican residents of Nogales, Sonora & Arizona who were openly celebrating the death and devastation vcaused by those lunatics. I’m a Naturalized American Citizen, Veteran from The US Army with an Honorable Discharge and I love my Country and I’m sick and tired of listening to these activists (A vast majority of them are here illegally) make demands on our Goevernment, I say \Go back to your countries of origin and apply the same anger, enthusiasm to changing the economy etc. instead of living off the hard earned taxes we law abiding citizens contribute to the Treasury Dept.

  15. Andrew Ulanowski says:

    Hi Ryn, I could write and write and write about this but instead I;ll just say this:
    What really worries me about this bill is who it benefits. After having seen the tactics of a certain Sherrif here in AZ, I am very concerned that those who claim that this is a way to bring about ‘police state’ and ‘racial profiling’ are correct. I think people who are here illegally, shouldn’t be but I am also concerned about the well-being of us all.

    • Rynski says:

      hi andrew,
      i have to agree with your concern, esp. since i just watched most of the movie RENDITION last night (fell asleep at last half hour SO DON’T TELL ME HOW IT ENDS) – anyway,
      the movie tells the story of anti-terrorism laws gone awry from power and abuse. authorities think one man is connect to bomb plot, even though his wife, family, friends and the audience thinks he’s innocent. the man is shipped off to a dank cell in north africa and tortured beyond belief (although the U.S. doesn’t torture, the CIA woman says in the movie).
      def. made me think of this bill…

  16. Carolyn Classen says:

    Derechos Humanos has scheduled a protest & candlelight vigil against of this legislation today:
    Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 4:00 – 6:00pm, State Building (on Congress and Granada intersection), 400 W. Congress St.

    • Jim Kelley says:

      Oh good , they’ll be next to the Feds so when they are arrested under the RICO statutes the transportation costs will be nil.

      • tiponeill says:

        Oh good , they’ll be next to the Feds so when they are arrested under the RICO statutes the transportation costs will be nil.
        Thats what I always think when the teabaggers gather, but it never happens 😦
        I suppose the Feds take the Constitution a little more seriously than the locals 😦

  17. Facts says:

    If we were to look at the historical facts as they really are, we need to remember that Arizona (together with other states I won’t mention not to go off tangent) was first won by USA when they fought against Mexico in 1846 (approx.). Thus, originally it was part of Mexico and not made by the, alas, oh so great, American forefathers.

    Oh, and that was only part of Arizona, it was in 1853 that Arizona got the remaining 30% (approx) of what it is right now from Mexico.

    The above are only facts that you can find in any history book without much effort.

    The other part, the hard one to find, because it was victim of “erasure” (aka historical amnesia), is the part about the abuse Mexican people, who decided to stay behind, suffered.

    The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo promised the Mexican people (now American due to the border being moved) that all their rights and properties would be respected. Only “promised” because most of the poor families, I am not talking about Hacendados who actually had some financial or political power, were evicted from the land that they had worked on for generations and, also, denied a lot of rights that normal citizens had back then.

    If USA is so concerned in making repairs in what they have done wrong throughout their history, i.e.: Native Americans genocide, African slavery, Sino-Japanese concentration camps, etc. Why isn’t the great nation of USA, the country who is proud of being the brave and just, making any kind of effort to repair the damage they have inflicted throughout the years to Mexico?

    • ado1 says:

      Ummm,  maybe because some of us also recall reading in history class about what one pompous Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón did to those Texans at the Alamo?   Dunno, just a guess, but I don’t believe Mexico or it’s Mexicans are owed anything after that.

  18. Frank Tellez says:

    I would like to put a law on the books that allows police officers to pull over white people at random and ask them if they are here illegally from Canada. Would this be okay with you folks? Canadians steal American jobs, sell illegal prescription drugs, and bring down the general quality of life here in the United States. Thanks

    • EaglesVoice says:

      Here in Northwest U.S. (Especially Idaho and Washington) they do randomly pull over white folks to see if smuggling is going on.  I’ve been pulled over in Idaho.  I might also note that the border patrol is very active up here along the border and it is much harsher territtry to patrol than the Southern Border.

      Libby, MT

  19. PamHUDSON29 says:

    Buildings are not very cheap and not every person is able to buy it. Nevertheless, loan are created to support different people in such kind of cases.

  20. eaglesvoice says:

    Honorable Governor Jan Brewer, I commend your actions regarding illegal immigration! You have taken bold action that will, if not reversed, help to save the state of Arizona. I was born in Nevada, spent most of my life in Las Vegas, and then moved to Southern California. This allows me to understand the problems that Arizona faces. These problems are one of the reasons I’ve moved to Montana. Sadly, these problems exist here also – although on a much smaller scale. Your actions will help Arizona economically, your actions will help to prevent crime, drug trafficking, the potential spread of disease, the socio/economic burden born by Arizona Citizens to pay (through taxes) the cost of medical care and other social services that illegal’s have no right to. I hope that Governors Office and Arizona will continue to fight the objections and resistance to your efforts, and encourage the rest of our country to follow your lead. I hope the people of Arizona, that may see temporary economic setbacks as a result of boycotts, will see that in the long term the people will be better off financially Arizona will be a much stronger state.

    Libby, MT

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