The American Civil Liberties Union is filing a suit in federal court against the State of Arizona in an attempt to block SB 1070 from coming into law. This is a good move on behalf of the ACLU, considering the potential for civil liberties violations that may be associated with the bill. But, is this an empty claim? What is the real potential for these violations? I mean, we've seen boycotts and protests galore, so surely there is something to this claim.
Well, it's a yes and no answer. Those who have been protesting and boycotting the bill have tended to take it a little too far, greatly exaggerating the effects of the bill. But, they are on to something.
First off, the bill does not readily define "reasonable suspicion", which means that it is up to the police officers to make that decision. Most likely, the way that they will do this is based on race because it is the most readily identifiable. It is much easier for that cop to look at their race and then ask for papers then it is for them to do a background check. Racial profiling may not be in the bill, but it is likely the way that it will be enforced on the personal level.
Secondly, how can a government possibly expect to be able to enforce this law all across the state. This law applies to everyone, yes, but there is no way that the police and the detective agencies have the time to constantly check everyone for their papers. The only rational way to make this process more efficient is by eliminating large groups of people from the selection process. This is another instance where racial profiling will probably make an appearance.
In the end, we have to understand that of illegal immigration is caused by the government restrictions of travel between countries. We have created a system that does not allow people to immigrate and easily become citizens. We have created the incentives to work illegally. We have messed up. There is a lot of extremism coming from both sides of this, and they both have a point, but, let's not lose sight of what is the cause of illegal immigration. Instead of shipping people back home, let's fix our laws.