Thursday, April 29, 2010

Is it really about race?

 I have lived in Latin America for over 25 years. I love the Latin people! I love the language! I love the culture! I especially love the cuisine. I have a Latin daughter  in law whom I love as a daughter. I have a Mexican  brother in law, and I even love him! My husband has a Mexican uncle and Mexican cousins. We love them too!

I say all this in hopes that you will not accuse me of racism. I have been a victim of racism and racial profiling. I have watched as my children were prejudiced against because of their color and race by their fellow citizens. My husband was even detained and held on a military base for not carrying his documents as he crossed a state line. He should have had his documents with him but being an American he was not accustomed to needing to carry his papers. Any Latin would have known better and my husband never left home without his papers again! My house was once painted with graffiti because of my color!

Every Latin American country requires its CITIZENS to carry their identification documents upon their person at all times. Any law officer can request any citizen to show their ID at any time. No suspicious conduct is required before the asking of these papers.

The reason for this is obvious. DUH! All Latin Americans are of the same race and look alike! How is a Mexican police officer going to be able to know which Hispanic is a citizen of Mexico and which is a Guatemalan? How can a Venezuelan  guarding the border of Colombia  know which Latin is a Venezuelan citizen and which is Colombian? It would not be possible for a Paraguayan  law officer to know which person is a lawful citizen of Paraguay and which might be an illegal Bolivian.  They are all the same race, speak the same language, share a common culture. The only way to prove citizenship is with documentation and no suspicious or illegal conduct needs to be committed  before requiring the person to prove their nationality. Not only does the law officer have the authority to do this, he has the responsibly to do this in order to maintain the rule of law of his nation.

In the USA we have a great diversity of race among our citizenry, and yet, in Arizona a police officer is now to be considered a racist if he asks someone to prove their legal status in this country when under REASONABLE SUSPICION!

If it is not racist for the Mexican police officer to asks for documentation of all citizens in Mexico, why is it racist for the American police officer expect all people, no matter their race, to be able show legal documentation in Arizona when they have already given reason for suspicion?

I reiterate! I am not a racist! I love Latins Americans, but I also honor the law, whether it be the law of the United States, Mexico, Venezuela or  Paraguay. Two years ago, when I legally immigrated to the country of Paraguay, I had to swear in front of an immigration officer to obey and uphold the laws of this land.  And I will honor their laws as long as I live here. If the day comes when I can not obey all of their laws, I will leave.

“The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom. ~ John Locke


Brooke said...

If only you had the Fed's ear, JM!

Gringo said...

From the Washington Examiner
The law requires police to check with federal authorities on a person's immigration status, if officers have stopped that person for some legitimate reason and come to suspect that he or she might be in the U.S. illegally. The heart of the law is this provision: "For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency…where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person…"
Critics have focused on the term "reasonable suspicion" to suggest that the law would give police the power to pick anyone out of a crowd for any reason and force them to prove they are in the U.S. legally. Some foresee mass civil rights violations targeting Hispanics.
What fewer people have noticed is the phrase "lawful contact," which defines what must be going on before police even think about checking immigration status. "That means the officer is already engaged in some detention of an individual because he's violated some other law," says Kris Kobach, a University of Missouri Kansas City Law School professor who helped draft the measure. "The most likely context where this law would come into play is a traffic stop."
As far as "reasonable suspicion" is concerned, there is a great deal of case law dealing with the idea, but in immigration matters, it means a combination of circumstances that, taken together, cause the officer to suspect lawbreaking. It's not race -- Arizona's new law specifically says race and ethnicity cannot be the sole factors in determining a reasonable suspicion.

Moreover, there is already Federal law that requires aliens to carry documentation.

Jungle Mom said...

gringo, thanks for sharing the article. I wonder how many people protesting this law have actually read it.


Not many have read it, Rita. You should listen to Sean Hannity light into them. And you are so very right on what you said. Plus, we had to learn THEIR language to get along in the country. They did not accomodate us and put up English along with the Spanish.

Kathy said...

AMEN! If you're legal, what's the big deal?

Gringo said...

I wonder how many people protesting this law have actually read it.
How many have protesters have read it? My guess that number is equal to the number of US citizens who are redheaded wives of ministers living in Asuncion: wives who who have also lived in the Venezuelan jungle and who also like drinking yerba mate.

Or equal to the number of Congressmen who actually read as many as five pages of the recently passed Health Care Deformed Bill.

Rather small Venn diagram, methinks.

Pajamas Media has more links.

Bob said...

Thanks for a very thought-provoking and timely post!

Tammy said...

Well-said, and I agree!

redneck preacher said...

As a pastor I have to walk a line between what is pertinent to Scripture and what is just an angry political rant (which I try not to do). This one had me foaming at the mouth.

When is it illegal to check if someone is illegal after they have done something illegal. DUH. and arg.


Urraca said...

Rita, I heard it yesterday on the news this issue in the State of Arizona. Where I do not agree with you is that I consider the US to be more open-minded, to have more commmon sense and not fail into 3rd world contries behaviour. I used to have my ID with me all the time in Latam but now is not the case and I am happy for that I live in an "inteligent" country where I only need my driver's license as a proof of identity. This is what I criticize is THAT new attitude of LDC's.

Jungle Mom said...

Urraca, Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I understand the frustration but make sure and read the Arizona law, which only mirrors existing Federal Laws. Legal Immigrants have always been required to carry their documents and this could only be asked for when there is 'lawful contact' (suspicious actions). I have no problem with someone debating the Constitutional legalities of the law in regards to treatment of citizens but I do not think it is about race or that assuming it is based on race is a fair argument.
A citizen already would be expected to produce a license as ID when there is 'lawful contact'. Now, in some states, illegals can acquire driver's license without presenting legal documentation. This would stop that type of illegal action as well.
I think the media hype has really turned this into something much uglier than it really is.
Illegal Immigration is wrong. Racism is wrong. This law, no law, will eliminate neither!
Have a great day! And let me know when you make it here so we can share some terere!I am glad we can agree to disagree:)

D.A. Brosius said...

It´s all a big joke. Lawyers in the states help illegals who have committed crimes avoid court by meeting the judge in his chambers so ICE doesn´t see them in courtrooms. (I know this as a fact.)The government knows illegals are entering and staying and does very little about it. Meanwhile, at the US Embassies all over the world they rudely deny visas to people who want to visit the USA legally because they state that they assume that every visitor is really planning to stay. Assuming they are liars is much more insulting than asking for an ID.

Kadia Raine said...

I didn't mean to post that as anonymous, I am not afraid of what I said.

Anonymous said...

It's not about race. It's not even about illegal immigrants- they already get here and get fake papers. Mandatory documentation would not stop them from obtaining fakes or from stealing someone's real identity- in fact, having all our info on a national database would make it amazingly simple for anyone with any little computer knowledge to steal very sensitive information. Medical records are usually stolen by people in the medical field- those very same who we trust with the info in the first place. It's not about terrorism- to stop a "homegrown terrorist" would take more than proof that they ARE a citizen. So why do you think the government is really trying to get us to be "identified?"

Jungle Mom said...

Kadia, I do not wish for a national ID either although the driver's license already is a defacto national ID. Just try and cash a check without one!
My point in writing this is that it is not about RACE. We need to stop illegals at the border and we need to fine, heavily, those who enable illegals by providing houses or work to them. The Arizona law only mirrors existing Federal law which is not being enforced. We need to enforce existing laws and require people to prove their legal status which is already the law and has nothing to do with race. A German immigrant is required the same as a Latino or Asian.