Sometimes, it seems we’ve made progress as Americans.
And sometimes, it’s clear we have not. Just witness the retrograde, racist immigration law just adopted in Arizona.
Under the new law, police officers are permitted to stop anybody they merely “suspect” of being an illegal immigrant and demand to see proof of citizenship.
Anybody who’s speaking Spanish, for example. Or anybody who orders a taco at Taco Bell. Anybody whose name is Gonzalez. Or, what the hell, anybody with brown skin.
There’s no other way to describe it: This is out-and-out racial profiling. It’s no different from the common practice of police officers pulling over young drivers merely because they’re black – an outrage outlawed years ago in many states.
As offensive as it is, however, Arizona’s new law does serve one purpose. It underscores the crying need for fair, sensible, comprehensive immigration reform: a new set of federal policies to protect our borders, enforce existing immigration law, and create a path to citizenship for those millions of tax-paying, working immigrant families who have been here, illegally, for years.
It’s all the more important, now, for Congress to act – before we see other draconian state laws, even worse than Arizona.
That’s my parting shot for today.