Do you carry your papers?

I certainly don’t and neither does Angel Rodriguez, the Kansas State guard who was heckled by band members from the University of Southern Mississippi with chants of “where’s your green card?” during the NCAA tournament last month.  But if the state of Arizona has its way, many of us will have to carry them and be able to show “proof” of being in this country legally.  Although some argue that Arizona’s SB 1070 isn’t a big deal if you are here legally, they are wrong.

Passing laws that single out one group of people amounts to that group being viewed as suspect just by the virtue of how they look, their accent, their last name, or their perceived ancestry.  We wouldn’t accept that if it was based on religion so why it is ok to accept this because it is being done to Latinos.  While those in favor of the law state it will apply to everyone, logistically common sense dictates that won’t be the case.

I mean, imagine Arizona police having to ask everyone they come into contact if they have their papers and then arresting them if they can’t show them.  Local law enforcement wouldn’t have the capacity to house everyone who doesn’t walk around with their birth certificate.  They will have to make choices about how they will enforce the law and the dirty little secret is that only those who don’t pass an officer’s “look test” will be asked to prove they are citizens.  Being judged by how you look isn’t right and it certainly doesn’t represent the America I was raised in.

As the U.S. Supreme Court begins to hear oral arguments today about SB 1070, I hope they see the inherent foolishness of the law and declare it unconstitutional so I don’t have to worry about carrying my papers.