Show Me Your Papers. 4/29/10

Critics of the new Arizona law allowing immigration status to be one of the factors that can be considered during an encounter with local police are likening Arizona to a police state. They claim the state has become a Nazi Germany or a Communist East Germany where citizens were routinely required to “show their papers” to the authorities.

This business of showing your papers seems to be particularly objectionable.

We all know, however, that if we are pulled over by a traffic cop, we are expected to produce a driver’s license, a vehicle registration, and usually proof of auto insurance coverage. In other words, show our papers. If there’s a mass uprising against this practice, I haven’t seen it. Where I live, to get a drivers license (or even renew one) one must provide documents worth “6 points” selected from an array of possibilities including a birth certificate, U.S. Passport, civil marriage certificate, ATM card, utility bill, recent credit card bill, military records (DD214), et cetera. If those aren’t “papers,” I don’t know what is. Yet I don’t consider it part of an oppressive police state.

I’m sure that Arizona’s law will occupy lawyers and judges for some time to come. As a new precedent, it will be challenged and eventually, perhaps, set aside. Meanwhile, what it does is to put pressure on the Federal Government to do more than it has been doing to protect our borders. That pressure is long overdue and will likely increase as illegal immigrants flee Arizona for other states who will soon begin to complain about the added strain on their state services.

©2010 Dwight Boud

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Mary M. Boud (Mickey) on May 7, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    With reference to “Show Me Your Papers,” another tidbit is that there is already a federal law that states a non-citizen must carry their ‘papers,’ a green card. Also, I have a client, an American, who has been married to an illegal for nine years. They have two school-age children. He was deported when he was picked up for a DUI. This was in Colorado not Arizona. I think this sort of thing often happens except in those absurd ‘santuary cities.’
    Another thought — I wonder what all the folks complaining about Arizona’s law will do when the Democrats get around to creating nationwide biotechnology (DNA) ID cards that we will all have to carry?

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