Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Real Issue, Bad Law

Imagine you are walking down, say, Robson Street towards the Library.

A policeman stops you and demands your "identity card" or your "immigration papers."

You might think, "Did the Berlin Wall go back up? Is this the stasi?"

When I first moved to Vancouver in my early twenties and began driving taxi, I was always astonished to be asked by curious passengers, "What are you?"

Of course, I had a number of ready smarty pants answers.

But what they meant was, "What is your ethnicity?"

Coming from Winnipeg, where a question like that was moot and never asked because if you weren't Scottish, then you had to be Ukrainian, German, Jewish, Polish, or twelve other unacceptable pitiable things, I always found this inquiry alarming.

Long before we lived in Hongcouver or Shangcouver, this was decidedly BRITISH Columbia.


Place yourself if you dare in Phoenix.

Last week, Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, signed a law which makes failure to carry immigration documents a crime. Further, the law directs police to question people about their immigration status.

Among other backlashes, conventions booked for Phoenix and Scottsdale have been cancelled and moved to other cites.

Baseball clubs are urging that the 2011 All-Star Game be relocated out of Phoenix.

There is no question that states bordering Mexico have serious problems with illegal immigration.

Among the several hundred possible remedies, this is close to the worst.

The very Americans who hold their rifles high over head shouting, "Over my dead body," are happy to have their fellow citizens stopped at the mall by officers of the state demanding ID because of the shape of your eyes or the colour of your skin.


Anonymous said...

If the State of Arizona is so worried about illegal immigration - they would be better to start fining and prosecuting AMERICAN BUSINESSES which actively recruit and hire illegal immigrants so that they can keep their profits high by paying pitiful wages/no benefits.

Of course, if an illegal worker was to be so bold as to demand non-dangerous working conditions or other meager rights - now the business owners can simply have a couple of cops come around after work and demand the workers "papers". There, pesky problem solved. Now bring in the next illegal worker and it's business as usual.

Anonymous said...

The Arizona law simply reinforces a federal law that dates to FDR. All immigrants have to carry their papers. Nothing new.