My immigrant husband and I lived in Tucson, Arizona for four months when we returned to the U.S.
We relocated to the Bay Area, Ca about two months ago, after finding the desert to be less than appealing during the summer months, and because there were better work opportunities here.

Recently a controversial 'Immigration" bill was passed that allows police officers to ask for immigration status during routine stops.
I honestly don't know the full details of the bill, but it seems strange to me that such a law would even cause a stir. In every other country of the world, you have to carry your paperwork and proof of status with you.
We did so in Thailand.
We did so in Vietnam.
I did so in the U.K. (To an extent. I only had to provide a picture I.D unless I was on the clock working somewhere, in which case then I had to have my passport and work permit on me at all times.)
If that is the full impact of the law, and there isn't some small print that changes the game, I have to say that I'm not finding a whole lot of reason not to support it.

But then... but then...
There was an incident.

Before the law was enacted, my husband and I were traveling between Tombstone and Tucson and came upon an immigration check point.
He wasn't carrying his passport, only his British Driver's License.
Uh oh.
The border patrol glanced in our car, saw us both with our blond hair and light eyes, and asked if we were both citizens. We answered truthfully.
This man was stunned. Seriously. The look on his face was hysterical.
We admitted that he was from the U.K, and the officer asked if he had his passport and visa with us.
We did not. All we could do is show proof of Colin's legality to drive in the U.S (It's an international license) We couldn't provide proof of him actually being here legally.
The border patrol officer looked at us.
He looked at his co workers.
He looked at us again.
He waved us on.

My husband was not here legally at the time.
We've been working on his green card, but it is expensive. During the date of that stop, he was undocumented. (Unknowingly.)
We didn't find this out until later. Basically the stamp on his passport expired two days before INS received our paperwork package. Once they did, his status changed from overstay to pending, but for those 48 hours, we could have gotten into a bit of trouble.
Legally, he could have been deported, but in reality, it's an unspoken rule that spouses don't get shipped off. They probably would have fined us (again, helpful since we are struggling to afford the filing fees that are now in excess of $1800) and gave him a warning.
But still, it bothers me.
Had he been dark haired and dark eyed and spoke with a Latino accent instead of a Scottish lilt, the outcome would have been different. I know it. That's the reality of the situation. This was even before the law passed. I'm curious what it's like now.

Recently another bill has been proposed in Arizona.
This one makes my stomach turn.
Professional douchebag and Republican senator Russell Pearce has introduced the prospect of a new bill, one that would revoke or simply no longer grant citizenship to babies born on U.S soil but to illegal parents.
Funny, but this was discussed in another thread about a year ago. At the time, I'm pretty sure I supported something like it. Now I'm a little afraid. (I think that my 'support' was that so-called anchor babies should not be allowed to sponsor their parents, under the logic that if their parents were here illegally, they were breaking U.S law, and no one should be able to be sponsored if they have broken U.S law. Also, I think I said that their parents should still be subject to deportation on a case by case basis. I still believe this, really.) But this... This is not the law I was looking for, Arizona.
I just wanted you to enforce already existing immigration policy, not start writing new ones.
Any time a legislator starts talking about reforming any amendment in the Constitution, especially those written  before the last one  hundred years, I fear for my personal liberties.

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As I was reading your piece, I was itching to respond until you hit the nail on the head with the anecdote of being stopped at an immigration checkpoint. And that is the crux of the problem I have had with Arizona's immigration laws.

But the granting of U.S. citizenship to babies born of illegal immigrants in this counrty? I am still searching for a valid and compelling reason as to why this is not a good idea. In fact, I was on the verge of picking the brains of the T|A collective. As of now, I think it is an idea worth serious consideration. So, please disabuse me of that notion and forgive my ardent portrayal of Devil's advocate.

The wife has a more legal and practical perspective. She believes that immigration laws and granting of citizenship is and should remain under Federal jurisdiction. For example, what will Arizona do when the child of illegal immigrants is born in New Mexico and then later travels to Arizona? Are they now not a citizen of the United States merely by crossing one of those state lines? Of course not.

Serious consideration should be given to immigration issues, but Arizona seems to be pandering to their constituents xenophobia.

And to quickly note, I have not had a chance to review the current law being proposed.
a businessperson who’s spent too long in France has become too froglike

That is funny because that very argument was made by political oppnents of some Founding Fathers running for office, siting their extensive time abroad in Britain and France. "Monoarchist" was a slur often used against the likes of John Adams.
"Monarchist", is what I meant to type. Oops.
That gave me a chuckle. :-)
The links to the PDF (within the link above) seem to be dead links. Do they work for you, Doone?
No. This link which is on the page you linked to (first link). I wanted to delve into the arguments.

It just says "page not found".

I am just not compelled about a child born of illegals being "stateless". Granted, I am ignorant of what various laws in various other nations have to say about their nationals having children outside of their country, but my assumption is that just as with U.S. nationals having children abroad, the citizenship of the parent is inherited in these cases. And I am not advocating complete abolition of birthright citizenship, either.

So far, the most well argued point I have seen is that there will be a population of people who are not citizens but were born in the United States and that this will be detrimental to our society in a number of ways. Which, I don't disagree with. But leaving aside the illegals already living here, let's grant them amnesty for sake of argument. Now why is this proposed policy wrong?
I think it's pretty common sense that immigration remain and forever be a federal issue. We are a country. I can't think of a single issue that should be more standardized than immigration. I mean, if it was something left in the hands of the state, then each state would need an individual customs and entrance point at the airports. We'd need checkpoints at state lines, because what's considered legal for one state wouldn't be legal for another.
It just seems like common sense that federal law controls immigration, deportation and customs. Hell, we'd need separate passports for each state, because if each state had the ability to make discriminatory laws, other countries have the right to react with tit-for-tat.
I can't think of a single good argument for leaving that in state hands. Can anyone?
As for the 'anchor baby' laws, I'm pretty steady in the belief that if you are born here, you have the right to claim citizenship here. It's part of our Constitution. It's part of our traditions and founding as a nation.
What I do have a problem with is granting the right to exist to those that are not born here, just because they procreated on U.S soil. If you are here illegally, then you are committing a crime. If you commit a crime, you should be deported. Simple as that. I think this especially applies to immigrants that come here just to have a child. In many cases, they are exploiting emergency room laws that state that a person must be treated, no matter if they can pay or not. So basically the cost of delivering these babies often fall to the tax payer.
I don't know. I'm really torn on the issue. I feel that having to carry your papers smacks of Nazi Germany. I feel that it's going to widen the already considerable gap between police officers and immigrant societies. I also feel like we are getting taken for a ride as a country, and the laws we have now are either insufficient or unenforced to the point that we can no longer turn things around.
It's frustrating. It's frightening. And the last thing anyone needs is more ammunition for the rich white Repugs that are trying to tamper with our Constitution.
"If you are here illegally, then you are committing a crime. If you commit a crime, you should be deported. Simple as that."

Its actually not as simple as that. This would be assuming that (1) the current immigration laws are good (2) that all laws carry an equal weight. If this were the case, then should we not all be in jail for the countless "laws" we break during the course of the year? Why are we equating a person's escape from Juarez to find low-paying work with crime?

I agree that this is a federal issue, but Arizona's approach to correcting it is hostile, racist, anti-diplomatic and unsustainable. With an open border, a multi-million multi-generational immigrant alien population, and a exceedingly complex immigration laws (which I have been helping someone navigate for many years) Arizona's attempts are futile and do nothing to address the larger systemic problem.

We should be grateful that we live in a country that still attracts people. If we are so worried that they are using our public services without paying into them (roads, hospitals etc) then why don't we grant those that are here a working status and collect taxes? Who cares? What point are we proving by throwing people out on their asses at a slower rate than they are immigrating?

Anecdotal: I personally know a great many illegals and they are honorable hard-working people.
I personally know a great many illegals and they are honorable hard-working people.

I don't doubt that. No one is passing judgement on the personal qualities of these individuals. I often say, only half jokingly, that many immigrants possess all the qualities that conservatives claim to value in quantities greater than the conservatives themselves. Illegal immigrants demonstrate American "can do" and entrepreneurialism in spades.
You know, I just read a book called 'The Value of Nothing' by Raj Patel.
He makes the argument that one fast food cheeseburger really costs about three hundred dollars when you take into consideration the cost of clean up it will take to balance out the carbon footprint it takes to create this mass produced, inhumane meat.
Basically the entire book is about how subsidization and other factors makes things that ought to be expensive very cheap, and things that ought to be cheap so very expensive. This cycle is quite literally destroying our world.
What would happen if Americans HAD to pay the real cost for their food?
I know what would happen. We would quit buying produce that's shipped halfway across the country, and start planting gardens in our back yards.
And THAT is going to be what saves our planet, if anything. Eating locally.
Very locally.
First off, the policy isn't racist. It's nationalistic.
Mexican is not a race, it's a mixed breeding of Spanish explorers and Central American Natives.
Secondly, it doesn't matter if the laws are good or not. They are still the laws. The issue I see arising is that if there is a conflict of laws, or if the law was broken unintentionally.
There are plenty of bad laws out there that we still have to follow.
I think it should be well within my rights to slap the shit out of the screaming little bastard kids next door that keep me awake at all hours.
But I can't. So I don't.
Without laws, especially laws on such complex issues as immigration, right and wrong would be nothing but opinion. It's too subjective. We need a standardized set of procedures working towards the common good of the American public, FOR the common good of the American public.
Thirdly, I don't think that we should only grant public services to hard working individuals in our country, I just think that we should grant public services to CITIZENS of our country, or LEGAL residents.
So please, please don't insinuate that just because I'm American, I have it so good I ought to spend all my time appreciating how good I've got it instead of standing up for the politics and issues I believe in, and keeping silent about the things I don't. We only have it so good because at one point in time, our population was actively voting and shaping this country.
The law certainly encourages racism by specifically targeting the latin population. As others have stated, a blond-haired blue-eyed individual will most likely not be prompted for paperwork.

I'm not advocating a disregard of law in general, but rather approaching the issue more systemically (federal level) as opposed to carrying the banner for an unsustainable and outdated system. Given the immense public outcry of Arizona's approach, would it not be in our best interest to determine a more appropriate and diplomatic solution?

Instead of wasting precious resources trying to hunt down and deport millions of people that have come over the last several decades, ruining our diplomatic image in the process, why not fix the system (borders, national ids, simplified work visas) and grant those that are here a working status and move on.


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