Sunday, April 25, 2010
Arizona's New Law
However, the police can be surprisingly skillful at determining a person's background and origin. I recall visiting Ottawa, Canada in 1982 with my wife. We stood next to the parliament building to watch for the prime minister. The police were keeping order by keeping the crowd on the sidewalk and kerb and out of the street. A policeman near me would approach a man walking in the street and speak to him in French if he was from Quebec Province or in English if he was from other parts of Canada. I asked the policeman how he could tell. He couldn't tell me, but he had the ability. Perhaps there is a slight difference in the way the Quebecois people walk. I have noticed, for example, seeing people on television walk. The Chinese have a characteristic way of walking that is noticeably different from that of an American.
I don't think that the manner of walking will serve the Arizona policemen. Mexicans may indeed have a characteristic walk that is a little different from that of a "white" American like me. However, I suspect that Arizonans of Mexican extraction who have American citizenship walk just like their relatives in Mexico.
In the end I suspect the police will give up the practice of simply stopping and questioning anyone they suspect. They will confine their questioning to persons stopped for traffic violations as well as those arrested and put in jail for more serious offenses. Even that won't work. How is a person who is in Arizona legally to prove he or she isn't an illegal alien? We Americans don't carry passports or birth certificates with us. A driver's license isn't a guarantee of citizenship. The only people who are apt to carry identification with them sufficient to convince a skeptical policeman of their legality are tourists with visitor's visas.
Perhaps the only workable solution is for everyone who is in Arizona legally to move to some other State. California, look out!