27
May
10

Immigration Enforcement Insanity

Back in April, Big Man wrote a post here at his Raving Black Lunatic blog called “This Sounds Familiar,” and he compared the new immigration laws in Arizona to the issue of Freedom Papers that Blacks had to carry around in those cases when their masters had freed them from slavery.

The post was one of those times that I broke my usual rule of engaging with Thordaddy, who is a big supporter of the Arizona immigration laws (which allows police pretty much any time they have a “legitimate” reason to interact with a person to demand that the person prove her or she is in the state [and country] legally). I pointed out to him repeatedly how the law was ripe with potential for abuse because it inevitably would lead to some Mexican-heritage (or other Latino) U.S. citizen being targeted, perhaps jailed, perhaps abused, and possibly even deported.

Over and over, Thordaddy played dumb, as if I was talking nonsense. I know he really wouldn’t care if a Mexican-American citizen got arrested, beat up or even deported, because Thordaddy is clearly one of the worst kinds of racists—the kind who won’t publicly say that they like it when non-whites get the shaft, and who try to be all intellectual about how discrimination and racism are OK and natural.

But I digress.

Because, in case you haven’t heard, a case in Chicago pretty much proves my point about what is so wrong with the Arizona situation.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can read about it here, but I’ll summarize quickly:

  • Eduardo Caraballo, a Puerto Rican-born man, was detained for over three days in Chicago on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant. (By the way, being Puerto Rican means you’re an American citizen)
  • Despite presenting identifying documents and even his birth certificate, Caraballo was held by federal immigration authorities over the weekend and threatened with deportation
  • He was only released when his congressman, Luis Gutierrez, intervened on his behalf
  • Authorities assumed he was Mexican, and planned to send him to Mexico

So, a guy who’s live on the mainland of the United States since he was a baby, and who was a citizen anyway, was going to be shipped “back to Mexico,” even though he was a U.S. citizen and wasn’t even Mexican.

Suddenly, the example I gave to Thordaddy in our argument online, wherein I imagined a Mexican-American U.S. citizen in Arizona taking a stroll gets arrested and perhaps sent over the border against his will, isn’t even wild speculation. I imagined what might happen to a guy who might have just gone out for a walk and left his wallet and ID at home. Here we have a guy in Chicago, where the immigration laws aren’t even as draconian as in Arizona, who almost has it happen to him and he HAD identification to show he was a citizen.

I think Rep. Gutierrez said it best when he noted: “In Arizona, they want everybody to be able to prove they’re legally in the country. They want everybody to prove that they’re an American citizen. Here we had an American citizen, that the federal government… could not determine, for more than three days, his status as an American citizen. It’s very, very, very dangerous ground to tread.”

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3 Responses to “Immigration Enforcement Insanity”


  1. 1 mac
    June 1, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Wow, just wow.

    “Show me your papers”
    In the USA?

    😦

  2. June 7, 2010 at 11:56 am

    That’s ugly. Very ugly. I am not totally against immigration laws that make it fair for those who are trying to come in legally – so they don’t get “jipped” in line by somebody who wants to break the law.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any solutions to the root problem that don’t have terribly racists implications or the potential for gross abuse.

  3. 3 Deacon Blue
    June 7, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Yeah, I love the evil overreactions to situations that seem to be becoming more and more common in this country.

    Now the Texas Board of Education is talking about removing references to the “slave trade” and calling it the “Atlantic triangular trade” instead.

    Add that to the nonsense coming out of Rand Paul’s mouth about the Civil Rights Act and one wonders what more craziness is on the way.


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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

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