The governor of Arizona legislated the nation’s most aggressive assault on undocumented immigration. Immigrants in the state must now carry legal documents at all times or risk detainment, arrest, and deportation.
The letter of the law “requires” police officers to question those individuals suspected of being illegal immigrants. No word on how those decisions will be made transparently and without reference to physical appearance. When pressured, Governor Jan Brewer shrugged it off – “I don’t know [what an illegal immigrant looks like].” Aw shucks, governor, maybe we should make them wear a badge or something.
The governor is confident, of course, that officers will be properly trained to ascertain whether someone is an illegal immigrant without resorting to racial profiling. In the end, I’d love to know the number of white people that start carrying their passports to the grocery store.
The common sentiment is that Latino Americans are the group most at risk of racial targeting, but Asian Americans are obviously implicated in the bill as well. Though that angle has been underreported in mainstream media outlets, at least one Asian American advocacy group has condemned the bill for what it is – xenophobic, draconian, and racist. Because the answer to the question of what illegal immigrants look like? It’s us. They look like us.