Arizona’s new controversial law requiring all immigrants to carry documents verifying their immigration status has caused a firestorm that has left both politicians and the general public in a tailspin. In addition to card-carrying enforcement, Arizona police will be required to interrogate the immigration status of an individual if there’s “reasonable suspicion” that s/he is here illegally.
This tense issue has unearthed many concerns including national security, states’ rights, the law’s affect on democracy and blatant discrimination. To the latter point, the requirement of citizens to carry documents for fear of persecution is reminiscent of apartheid, and even pre-Civil War United states. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell shares his view on the matter:
“I’m concerned about the whole idea of carrying papers and always having to be able to prove your citizenship. That brings up some shades of some other regimes that weren’t necessarily helpful to democracy.”
On the contrary, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has gone on record saying, “Continually enhancing border security is not only critical for border communities, but is a necessary part of any comprehensive attempt to fix our nation’s broken immigration system to make it work for the 21st century.”
This complex issue continues to unravel within the halls of Washington, and eventually down the streets and roads of the contiguous United States will no doubt challenge the opinions and perceptions and even the fabric of our society. Whether it’s for the better or worse remains to be seen.
Photo Source: CBS News