Friday, April 30, 2010

Stop the madness!

New Arizona anti-immigration law will impact MLB.
Take, for example, this scenario: An 18-year-old from Venezuela playing in the rookie league jumps in a friend’s car to head to the grocery store. The friend rolls through a stop sign. A police officer witnesses the infraction. The law, signed last week by Gov. Jan Brewer, requires that “where reasonable suspicion exists … a reasonable attempt shall be made … to determine the immigration status of the person.” The Venezuelan player, accordingly, is asked to furnish paperwork proving his legal residence, a new burden of proof under SB 1070. If he happens to have forgotten his passport and work visa at home, his friend would get a traffic ticket and the player would get significantly more.

“Under that scenario,” said Mike Philipsen, the communications advisor for the Arizona Senate Republicans, who drew up the bill, “he could be detained.”

In other words, hauled off to jail, even though he is in the United States legally.

“I’ve never seen anything like that in the United States, and Arizona is part of the United States,” Kansas City Royals designated hitter Jose Guillen said. “I hope police aren’t going to stop every dark-skinned person. It’s kind of like, wow, what’s going on.

“I was 17, 18. I’d forget things. Kids do.”
Here is my question, under pre-SB 1070 laws, at what point could there be an inquiry into the legal status of someone? Was it only after they committed (or were suspected of committing) a crime? Seems that would have been sufficient, no? This new law seems to go a bit over the top.

Just imagine, you're a tourist in some country and you leave your passport in your hotel room. You get stopped on the street for no apparent reason and get hauled off to jail because you're suspected of being in the country illegally. That would suck, no? Same difference with SB 1070 if you ask me. When I've traveled out of the country, I didn't always carry my passport with me. If it got stolen or was lost, I'd be screwed, so I kept it locked up back in my room.

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