Arizona can now count me out as a tourist.
A law signed by Arizona’s Republican Governor Jan Brewer allows police to question anyone in the southwestern border state they believe may be an illegal immigrant, even if they are not suspected of committing another crime. If stopped by police, the persons suspected of being illegal immigrants must show a document proving their legal status, like a “green card” permanent residency document or a passport. To think, the police don’t have a valid reason to pull over anyone for sneaking into the country — even if they were born in the United States, let alone Arizona.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mind being stopped by the police, but it’d better be a legitimate reason for them to stop me. And the color of my skin ain’t one of them. The bill becoming law infuriated democrats in Arizona, especially Congressman Raúl Grijalva. He vowed to “overturn this unjust and racist law.”
Addressing the demonstrators, U.S. Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez from Illinois said the controversial law would not take effect for 90 days. “In these 90 days, we will demonstrate our solidarity,” he said, addressing the protesters in Spanish. “That’s why we are here.”
To make matters worse for Arizona, a group of vandals smeared a swastika made of refried beans onto the glass doors of the Arizona State Capitol Building. That is hate. That is racism. Racism and hate have no merit in this country. This is the 21st century. Let’s all grow the hell up and focus on the economy.