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.
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.