Immigration bill will inspire racial profiling

Last Monday, the Arizona State Senate passed a bill that could drastically overhaul the Grand Canyon State’s approach to illegal immigration.By the time you read this, it’s possible that the governor will have signed it — transforming this caterpillar of a bill into a full-blown, xenophobic butterfly of a law.You see, this law takes an extreme approach to the issue. If it passes, all immigrants — or anyone thought to be an immigrant — will be obligated to carry documentation of their status at all times.     If the police have “reason to believe” that someone is an immigrant and they don’t have papers, then the police can arrest them. I’m sure everyone — including the bill’s drafters — is aware of the potential for abuse.  No one is operating under the pretense that this is going to be enforced in a racially neutral way, and it almost certainly will lead to civil liberties violations. I’m one of those people who can’t stand it when words like “Nazi” or “fascist” are casually thrown around, so I’m going to be guarded about this. However, I think it’s fair to say that this bill constitutes at least a baby step or two in the direction of totalitarianism.     Don’t believe me? Ask Republican — yes, Republican — State Representative Bill Konopnicki, who says, “We’re going to look like Alabama in the ‘60s.”Of course, Mr. Konopnicki ended up voting for the bill because “everybody was afraid to vote ‘no’ on immigration.”It’s nice to hear someone so refreshingly honest about his lack of moral fiber, I have to say.Anyway, the upside is that the law will definitely hit some heavy flak in the courts, and its chances for long-term survival are relatively slim.And that’s that. It’s all just further evidence that something serious needs to be done on this front.Lindsey Graham and Charles Schumer have put together a bipartisan immigration reform bill that could bring a little sanity to the situation.And if the law encourages Washington to take the issue seriously, it may just turn out to be a blessing in disguise.