We are, after all, a nation of laws. And we live in a culture where carrying a form of identification is as normal as keeping your car keys in your pocket. When any of us walk into a grocery store and cashes a check, no one skips a beat when asked to present our driver’s license. If a police officer is looking for a criminal, he or she might stop a number of people in that particular area and ask to see their driver’s license. No one bellyaches about civil rights or privacy issues. We’re just happy the cops are trying to find the bad guy.
Hispanics have expressed concern that Arizona police officers will abuse this law and harass and intimidate “people of color.” Well, most logical, clear-thinking people don’t worry that cops are going to start rounding up Hispanics, throwing them in the trunk of their police car, and haul them out to the woods somewhere and beat them to death.
If any person -- white, black, brown or yellow -- objects to having a police officer potentially ask them for their ID, it makes me wonder what that person is trying to hide.
The classic media meltdown over the Arizona law came on CNN where a young Hispanic Army medic about to be deployed was interviewed by a reporter named Thelma Gutierrez (heaven forbid someone named “Buffy Smith” would be assigned this story). The young man was busily lighting candles on the steps of the state house, explaining that his family brought him here -- illegally -- when he was two years old and they all eventually became naturalized citizens. Now, he’s so ashamed of Arizona that he practically doesn’t want to live there anymore.
I honor his service to our country. I’m sorry his parents set such a lousy example for him that their illegal act became part of his life story. But I wonder if he realizes that roads between the United States and Mexico run north AND south. And I hope CNN does a follow-up interview with him when he, God willing, returns safely from Iraq and describes how soldiers do more than a little “racial profiling” in their ongoing battle with terrorists.
But here in the United States, Arizona just became the torch-bearer in doing the right thing when it comes to dealing with illegal immigrants.
Here’s hoping the other 49 state legislatures are paying attention. Let’s not make Arizona be alone in its act of bravery.