Here’s my letter to Governor Brewer, regarding SB1070:
Dear Governor Brewer,
I am shocked and infuriated that the House of Representatives voted to pass SB 1070 yesterday – a state law that would criminalize being an undocumented immigrant, allow state and local police officers to check immigration status, and for these officers to arrest and detain suspected illegal immigrants without a warrant.
I urge you to veto this legislation.
I am a legal resident alien, who is studying as a graduate student at the University of Arizona. I have spent much of my adult life navigating the federal immigration process. SB 1070 criminalizes, under state law, the act of not carrying immigration papers on one’s person at all times, and grants state and local police the power to arrest immigrants (legal or otherwise) whom they suspect of committing a crime. However, the very act of being arrested, charged and convicted with the misdemeanor crime of not having one’s immigration papers could put into question the immigration status of legal resident aliens – thus, a routine traffic stop wherein a police officer chooses to enforce this law could result in the deportation of a legal alien for the mere “crime” of forgetting their passport at home.
While this law is aimed at addressing the influx of undocumented immigration across Arizona’s southern border, the criteria whereby a law officer can choose to inspect a person’s immigration status is ill-defined in this law, and could allow use of racial or ethnic information in making that decision. In practice, SB1070 will only serve to sanction state-wide harassment of legal citizens and immigrants and institutionalize racial profiling of Arizona’s residents.
Again, I implore you to veto SB1070. Arizona doesn’t need the reputation of having the nation’s most Orwellian anti-immigrant laws.