Reader Participation Day: Has Arizona's Approach To Controlling Illegal Immigrants Led You To Cancel a Grand Canyon Trip?

The Grand Canyon, as viewed from Mohave Point. NPS photo.

Are you rethinking that trip to the Grand Canyon or Saguaro National Park due to the approach Arizona officials are taking towards illegal immigration?

Arizona's move to require police to check anyone's U.S. residency status if it might be in doubt is drawing quite a bit of criticism. Already there's some evidence that folks from outside Arizona who oppose the law are canceling trips to the Grand Canyon State.

Are you?

Comments

We are planning a trip next year to Arizona and never considered any impact from the new law. You can have a camera on the street taking my picture and I am fine with it because I have nothing to hide and more so I welcome it because it improves my security just as a police officer asking to see my license to prove that I live here does not bother me because I have nothing to hide and it also improves my security. As one official put it "illegal is illegal" and the situation warrants swift strong action.

I think its about time someone did something about illegal immigrants. The word says it all - illegal. They are illegal. They have no business coming to our country unless they do it the way our forefathers did; through the proper legal channels. If its good enough for the rest of us why is it we have to bend, break our rules for those slithering across the border. I think it will definitely bring down crime in Arizona, eventually. And I have to show my ID when I do almost everything including using my credit card, if I got stopped by a police officer, etc., so for them to protest that it will be racial profiling is ridiculous. In a world where terrorists could be sitting next to you on an airplane, everyone needs to show ID's wherever they go; if you are protesting that its because you have something to hide. Illegals are costing our country so much in tax revenue, health care and other resources, we just can't sustain it or them.

And the man running for Governor of Alabama has it right. We speak English in this country, and should not have to spend millions of our tax dollars to put everything into other languages to accomodate those who cannot or more importantly will not learn to speak English.

We didn't have an Arizona trip planned, but certainly wouldn't cancel it if we did. I see the potential for abuse under the law but I also fully understand the desperation of residents of border areas. There's not going to be an easy answer, but it must be addressed immediately. I've been somewhat leery of a planned trip to Big Bend (yes, I know that's not in Arizona!) because of border violence issues.

Didn't have plans to visit Arizona before but certain will now.

Given the combination of Vermont carry and the state making a serious effort to combat illegal immigration my family is considering moving to Arizona. We've scheduled a trip to Page AZ as a result. There is no question that we'll visit the Grand Canyon for a few days during this time.

I had firm plans to finally do some serious photography in the Southwest over the next couple years - these plans are now on indefinite hold. There are plenty of other beautiful places to visit, photograph, and spend my money.

I just canceled a trip to Flagstaff

Arizona trip has been on the bucket list for a while, considered going this year, but will postpone indefinitely now. I have traveled outside the US in countries where I had to carry both birth certificate and passport through the market, and was still stopped by police with semi-automatics. I certainly don't plan to spend my money in a state paving the way for similar circumstances.

To the readers who think a driver's license or id is enough to prove citizenship, there is this from the US consulate:

Proof of U.S. Citizenship can be demonstrated by a:

a full validity U.S. passport
Certified U.S. birth certificate; or
Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240); or
Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization from USCIS

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't usually travel around my country with my passport in hand, much less my certified birth certificate. I was told years ago when I was visiting Canada, that a driver's license does not constitute proof of citizenship.

Considering how illegal immigrants and drug runners have made places like Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument downright dangerous, this law may have an up side!

You have to understand, however, that this new law is mostly political theater. It is designed to provoke the feds into doing what they were supposed to do all along: securing the border.

I'll preface this by saying that I'm not a fan of this law as written. It's horribly written with the only criteria for law enforcement detaining someone and asking for proof of legal status. I'm actually a bit concerned that US born people and naturalized US citizens with minor to heavy accents might be disproportionately targeted. It requires that legal aliens keep their status IDs on them at all times, but that's already a requirement for greencard holders over the age of 18. It also states that local LE can accept an Arizona driver license as prima facie evidence of legal status. Arizona now has a requirement for documents that "demonstrate" legal status to get a DL, but they've got a huge loophole too. Someone with an older DL from before the status checks can still renew. They also accept a DL from another state with current status checks as a demonstration of legal status, but many of those states renew older licenses without rechecking.

While NPS LE rangers do generally enforce state and local laws, my reading of this Arizona law is that it can't apply to federal law enforcement officers.

I really doubt that the police around the Grand Canyon areas are going to be seriously using this law's provisions for stopping people without suspicion of committing a crime. Tourism is their lifeblood, and I'm sure the local law enforcement know that and doesn't want to create a situation where some tourist with an accent (and there are a lot of them visiting the Grand Canyon) gets unnecessarily detained just because he didn't have his passport with visa on him. My reading of this law is that it doesn't state that tourists visiting the United States are required to keep their documents on them at all times. A lot of people store their passports in hotel safes.

My worry would be that a tourist or US citizen is going to be hassled, or that a legal permanent resident who forgets his wallet at home is going to be fined. I suppose there is a federal requirement, but that's almost never enforced.

It doesn't make it a Godwin's Law violation to realize that every movie ever made about the Nazi's has a scene where an authority uses the phrase "Papers please?" Since I live in Washington State I have to wonder what a similar law here would mean - to challenge everyone who looks like they may be an illegal Canadian immigrant.

"I'm actually a bit concerned that US born people and naturalized US citizens with minor to heavy accents might be disproportionately targeted."

Then maybe they (US born and naturalized US citizens) should themselves work to rid the country of illegal aliens of their nationality. If they weren't disproportionately illegal, they would not be disproportionately targeted.

Well if your tickets are unrefundable I'd be delighted to visit and spend money in AZ.

I disagree with the new law, but it's ridiculous to cancel travel plans to Arizona because of it. I'm from South Carolina, and before I moved to Colorado nearly a decade ago, the NAACP launched a boycott of the state mostly because of the Legislature's insistence on flying the Confederate battle flag prominently on the Statehouse grounds. The placement of that flag is appalling, waving front-and-center before one of the main entrances to the Capitol and illustrating for many that the racism inherent in the romanticizing and prominent commemoration of Confederate history remains alive and well in South Carolina. Do I refuse to visit my birthplace because of it? Do I refuse to learn more about that history spelled out in so many NPS sites in the state? Not a chance.

Much more can be gleaned from visiting and attempting to learn more about a place with controversial laws and attitudes toward immigrants and other minorities than by refusing to go there.

That said, the federal Border Patrol checkpoints surrounding border cities do make the region feel a bit like a police state, but that's not limited to Arizona. Pay a visit to Big Bend National Park or El Paso and you'll see what I mean. I was traveling with a Native American and native New Mexican friend of mine in southern New Mexico a few years ago, and when we stopped at the checkpoint on I-25 north of Las Cruces, we were interrogated for 20 minutes. Inexcusable.

Finally, though I think the new law is unjust in a variety of ways, I visited Saguaro National Park two weeks ago and was nearly run off the road in the Tucson Mountain District by a Border Patrol SUV chasing someone. Something has to be done. I hope discourse on this issue doesn't devolve any further because it's incredibly complex.

Heck no. I definitely will feel a lot safer once Arizona implements their new law. I may even be able to leave my sidearm at home. We are now planning to make a trip there this fall unless the economy keeps its death slide going or the courts overturn the law. Lots of things we have missed on our past trips there. I may even try to replace the Nalgene bottle I bought at Saguaro NP and almost immediately lost at a truck stop!

Anonymous:
I don't know about anyone else, but I don't usually travel around my country with my passport in hand, much less my certified birth certificate. I was told years ago when I was visiting Canada, that a driver's license does not constitute proof of citizenship.
I don't usually go around divulging this, but I'm not Caucasian. Maybe I'm a bit paranoid, but one reason why I got and carry my US Passport Card was fear that I might one day get swept up in some immigration action by some strange happenstance.

However - for the purposes of this new Arizona law, an Arizona driver license is sufficient as proof of legal status. I'm not sure if LE is going to be carrying around lists of acceptable state DLs, although I'd think an Enhanced DL would probably fit the description. I think for an actual arrest with suspicion of being in this country illegally, it calls for final status adjudication by an authorized US government official.

http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070h.htm

"A PERSON IS PRESUMED TO NOT BE AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES IF THE PERSON PROVIDES TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR AGENCY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
1. A VALID ARIZONA DRIVER LICENSE.
2. A VALID ARIZONA NONOPERATING IDENTIFICATION LICENSE.
3. A VALID TRIBAL ENROLLMENT CARD OR OTHER FORM OF TRIBAL IDENTIFICATION.
4. IF THE ENTITY REQUIRES PROOF OF LEGAL PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES BEFORE ISSUANCE, ANY VALID UNITED STATES FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT ISSUED IDENTIFICATION."

The background is that several states now require some sort of documentation of legal status before issuing a first time driver license in the state. It could be a birth certificate, passport, greencard, etc that establishes one is in this country legally. Arizona's list of acceptable documents is something like that, or a driver license from a state that does a similar check for new DL applicants. I mentioned there is a huge loophole since one can renew an Arizona DL or use an out of state DL that was renewed without requiring redocumentation.

Personally I'm getting the suspicion that there might be a brisk business in forged documentation now.

I just tried to read the law and wonder if a somewhat important point is missing. How about aliens that are temporarily and legally in the United States? Let's take a British or German tourist visiting Grand Canyon National Park. He would have neither a Arizona driver license, nor any of the other documents listed in the law. But he would carry his British or German passport with a small green stub of his immigration form hefted in as well as a stamp how long he can stay. But obviously this is not mentioned in the new Arizona law. Didn't they think of international tourists? How will they be treated? The law only knows persons who can proof their citizenship or legal residence on the one hand and illegal aliens on the other.

My grand parents came to to this country the legal way.They learned the language and were proud to be U.S citizens.
I expect that this country allow other immigrants the same law full way to enter this country.
Our federal government has been lax on this because somebody making big money off this.It's all about the money folks.
So sad to see this once great nation go down the drain over the greed of money.

I travelled this February through southern AZ (Yuma to Organ Pipe to Tuscon, through Phoenix and up to Flagstaff and then down through Sedona, Prescott, Congress, Vicksburg and Quartzsite), visiting every national monument and park on the way. The police presence (local, state and federal homeland security) was over-whelming. It felt like a police state BEFORE this law was passed, and instead of feeling safer, I actually felt a bit paranoid. I carry a passport at all times but would definately feel intimidated and harassed if stopped under the new law. I will NOT be visiting Arizona again until this law is repealed, even though I spend every winter in southern California, and every autumn in Utah, New Mexico and Colorado.

MRC - I certainly understand your concerns. Personally I think that this law is going to have its hearing in federal court and many of its provisions are likely to be struck down as with California's Proposition 187. The ruling in that case was that the Federal government was the only entity with the authority to enforce immigration laws as a matter of law.

A significant portion of Arizona's economy comes from tourism. That the law didn't specifically address foreign tourism show me how sloppy they were in crafting this legislation. Police are given broad discretion (the only requirement is for "lawful contact") in the situations where they can detain someone for suspicion of being an illegal alien. I know some have claimed it only applies to someone being arrested for another violation, but that's not what the law indicates. While the law supposedly gives people the authority to press charges against law enforcement agencies with policies to relax enforcement of these provisions, these agencies will have to weigh the impact if they end up detaining Mexican or other Spanish-speaking tourists with valid visas, just because they left their passports/visas in their hotels.

If people really want to make a dent on illegal immigration, employers who hire illegal aliens need to be hit hard with fines and maybe even criminal sanctions. That's politically tricky, since a lot of those employers are the political base for the legislators who supported this law. What's needed is an actual check of initial employment eligibility documents with a federal database.

The premise of this article is absurd.

I support the Arizona law as do 70% of Americans and as do 60% of Hispanics IN ARIZONA, accoding to Rasmussen Reports polling agency.

No more politics of division! Stop trying to split America along ethnic lines!

Americans, as Ben Franklin said "Unite or die!"

I'm frankly rather curious as to what "suspicion of illegal status" will be given that the law supposedly doesn't allow for "race or national origin" to be the sole factor. What exactly is the grounds for suspicion? Does it require that someone go up to a cop and admit it? Maybe someone else making the claim?

My reading of the law is that it will either severely inconvenience a lot of people who have no reason to be suspected, or it will have no teeth because the most obvious reasons for suspicion (someone's accent) can't be used as grounds to check someone's legal status.

I think one can easily visit the Grand Canyon while minimizing expenses on local AZ businesses, thereby enjoying your precious national park vacation while supporting a financial boycott of the now blatantly racist state of Arizona.

What is now legal in Arizona is not far off from the initial treatment of Jews in Germany under the Third Reich. We are now sliding full speed down that slippery slope, whether we like it or not.
And if 70% of Americans agree with it, then 70% of Americans are burying their heads in the sand just as Germans did under Hitler. But hey, wasn't our country "discovered" and "civilized" through the best of imperialist intentions??

Kurt:

What is the general demographic of readers/commenters on this site? Has a survey or study ever been done?
I ask because the majority opinion on this matter seems to be filled with xenophobic paranoia about the "other".

Having worked in a broad range of parks, one being a "crown jewel" of the system, I know that many many visitors are of a certain financial status that usually fosters entitlement, and fear that anything not like themselves will try to take their money, possessions, or lives away. (Ironically, just like we did to the Native Americans that inhabited this great land before Europeans began our Imperialist quest to "civilize".)

Put the fear and paranoia down and wake up, people. You know who commits the overwhelming majority of crimes in the parks I have worked in? White people, just like you.
This new law may make you feel safer because it legally justifies how you secretly feel about dark skinned people, but you aren't safer. You are just as likely to be robbed or attacked in a national park under this law as you were before it was passed.
So what does it accomplish?

We have never done a demographic study of the readership.

Beyond that, due to the anonymous nature of most commentors, we couldn't tell you if those expressing what you term "xenophobic paranoia" are regular readers, or passers by latching onto a controversial topic.

Unreal, The law is written nearly verbatim to the federal immigration law which has been so widely ignored by so many. Truly, this sort of action is long over due. Had it been enacted after the last huge amnesty sell out, we wouldn't be at these cross roads again now. The gimme gimme people of this country have long been selling her out through greed, indifference and apathy. Sadly, you wont miss it until you don't have it any longer. Each and every day, a God given right is removed while being replaced with a false man made right which is useless from the day it is issued. You all want your free and easy at the expense of others. Well, the others are tired of it.
Arizona has now taken the high road which every state in the republic should follow in like. God Bless Them.

If you travel anywhere outside of the good ole USA you have to carry your passport. Many people are carrying their passports in the USA when they travel now. I will be happy to travel and support AZ in any way possible.
This isn't profiling it's following the law. It isn't about being safer, it's about reserving the resources to provide the things that make these people want to sneak in. Healthcare, housing, jobs, education. The list is long. Come into the country the legal way to benefit from all citizens hard work, whether born here or naturalized. People who worked hard to become an American citizen deserve to keep their pride about the work they did to become a citizen, don't just hand out benefits to whoever pushes over the line.

Good for Arizona.

Nope, with the new law maybe I can go there without thinking about needing a gun

Kurt Repanshek:
Beyond that, due to the anonymous nature of most commentors, we couldn't tell you if those expressing what you term "xenophobic paranoia" are regular readers, or passers by latching onto a controversial topic.
NPT articles are linked on news search engines - especially Google News. Couple that with the ability to post anonymously and/or without logging in, and it's kind of an invitation for a lot of random people to latch on to a story of interest that they're passionate about. While I might even fit the passionate description, I'd hope that my posting history on NPT wouldn't classify me as random.

I for one am concerned about being targeted in Arizona. I would think that the area around the Grand Canyon would be a bit different because of their economic reliance on tourism dollars. However - Tucson or Nogales may be different. If someone is visiting Tucson from Washington state (whose standard driver license isn't going to be on Arizona's list of acceptable IDs because they don't check for legal status) then I'd hope they wouldn't get stopped, detained, and then further processed. There is zero requirement that anyone must be suspected of committing another crime before they can be questioned and perhaps detained if they can't produce "acceptable" ID.

I have no problem with immigration enforcement. If this required an immigration check for EVERY person found guilty (or perhaps even arrested) of a crime in a court of law, I wouldn't have a problem. I do have a problem with an express authorization for law enforcement to stop and detain anyone on the street, as a passenger in a car during a traffic stop, or as a witness to a crime (although the law does seem to state it might not apply) for a vague suspicion that they're not in this country legally. There's just way too much discretion. If everyone is treated equally under the law (white, black, Hispanic, European, etc), then perhaps people would understand the ramifications of giving police this level of power to detain someone without any other cause. There is no standard in the law that describes what may or may not be grounds for suspicion. I also have a problem that it creates a state crime for what's currently a federal violation (for a legal resident alien not carrying documentation), mandates a higher level of punishment (an Arizona Class I misdemeanor), and forces minors to carry their documentation when federal statutes don't require it.

Ken, I don't understand why you have a problem. I assume you fly...if so, you have show ID and even get searched. If you travel to Canada you have to show passport to enter. If you go to a bank and cash a check you have to show proof that you are who you say you are. If you travel the TX to NY corridor traveling in a van there is a good probability you will get stopped and have a drug dogs check your van. Happened to us three times but we never got upset. The feds won't enforce the immigration laws because they are afraid of the flack they would get from Hispanics, opps I mean voters. If someone is here illegally why shouldn't they be arrested and prosecuted.

Additionally, the Arizona law virtually mirrors the federal law, excepting now the state has responsibility for enforcement.

You worry about guns in NP's but feel it is ok to let millions flagrantly break the law. If they want to enter the US let them do it legally.

Just for the record, there's no "Ken" in this thread. If you're referring to me, the moderator, I just raised the question for discussion purposes. I haven't stated a position on it.

Again - a US citizen under this law is not required to carry any form of ID for walking down the street or being a passenger in a vehicle. No federal or state law makes IDs mandatory. If this law is enforced as written, I can almost guarantee that someone with legal status (including US citizens) in the country is going to be detained because that someone (who was never required to have any in the first place) didn't have ID. I'm not necessarily a fan of random checkpoints, but in those cases drivers are required to carry their licenses, and drug-sniffing dogs will simply do their thing and leave you alone when they realize there's nothing. Someone who doesn't have acceptable ID is going to be in for a long day under this law.

"Sir. Could I see your ID?"

"Sorry officer. I was just going to pick up my son from school. My car is in the shop, and I took the bus. I was in a hurry and I forgot to bring my wallet."

"I understand your dilemma, but I have to follow the law. I can take you home and you can produce your ID."

"Yeah - it's at home, but I need to pick up my son."

"Again - I understand, but the law requires that I determine your legal status before I can let you go."

"You couldn't give me an exception?"

"If it were up to me I would. However - the law says the public can sue us if we don't follow it to the letter. I'm sorry - I can't make an exception for you."

** ** **

I suppose the one thing they could have done would make it mandatory for EVERYONE to carry some form of ID that meets their standard for adjudicating legal status, with the same Class 1 misdemeanor penalty (up to 6 months in the pokey) for not doing so. However - they didn't mandate that, and I'm pretty sure there would have been some pretty stiff resistance to that.

The feds won't do a real crackdown on illegal immigration because that would mean hitting employers with hefty criminal and/or civil penalties, along with a loss of their trained workforce.

Some just don't get it. Citizens have long been hauled in by police for vagrancy if they had no money in their pocket or an I.D. This is overlooked by those who cry foul on this immigration enforcement. Yes you do have to have a license to be behind the wheel of a car. If you don't, you should be hauled in. Maybe the next time you would think before you got behind the wheel. Obay the law and have your freedom. Disobay the laws and loose your freedom. It truly is that simple.

Not me. I applaud the Arizona governor for taking the first step. The illegal immigration issue has ben ignored by both parties for too long.

As a supporter of the National Parks, I want citizens to feel safe when they travel in the parks. As it is now, Organ Pipe is a no go area for me. Too dangerous. I would be hesitant to do any tent camping in many of the national parks or monuments near the border.

This law will make Arizona and the surrounding states safer since Arizona is a leading corridor for human and drug trafficking to other states. The federal government has refused to complete the border fence. They don't enforce immigration laws. They don't reimburse the states for the costs of their non-enforcement. One-third of all inmates in California prisons are illegals.

I am now thinking of a visit to Arizona now in the fall. I wasn't before this whole brouhaha. For every person boycotting Arizona there are likely to be three like me.

Kath wrote:
One-third of all inmates in California prisons are illegals.

This surfaces quite a bit within the immigration debate and as far as I can tell stems from a statement made by a LA County Sheriff 10 years ago, "23% of inmates in county jails were deportable." and this includes all immigrants convicted of crimes, legal and illegal, from Mexico and all other countries. A 2007 report by the Immigration Policy Center said that among men 18-39, which represents the majority of prison inmates in California, the incarceration rate of foreign born was 0.7 percent while the incarceration rate of native born was 3.5 percent. The report does not say how many of the foreign born were illegals.

Here is another report from the IPC for your reading pleasure (.pdf file)

Shame on all of you.

This should be eye-opening for you, Kurt, these comments show the true colors of the majority of your readers.

When I serve them as an NPS employee, I keep my mouth shut about their racism and entitled approach to life, because I would lose my job if I didn't.

Shame on every last one of you for supporting what is a veiled first step towards Fascism in America.

This will be my last post to this site, and the last time I visit it. I have to put up with their inhumanity on the job, I cannot expose myself to any more of it here on NPT.

I'm certainly sorry you feel you can't continue to contribute, NPSfan, for we've long taken the stance here at the Traveler that only through civil discourse, discourse that offers a wide range of views, can folks come to perhaps understand an opposing point of view.

Can we succeed? Who knows. That's certainly a lofty goal. But I do believe if folks like you abandon the discussion that it's a great loss, for it lessens the diversity of opinions that can be learned from.

That said, I feel I'm on safe ground to say that most of the harsher comments do not come from our regular readers, but rather from a minority who aren't regulars. And looking back through the comments, I do see a lot of tolerance...as well as a lot of frustration.

NPSFan...

Speaking as another nonofficial visitor to this site, and one who is also quite pissed about the racism that has been growing in our nation not just in Arizona but nationally since the last Presidential election, I sure would encourage you to stick around here. I enjoy your posts and if everyone leaves then Kurt will be left only with the naysayers [most of whom I would guess won't stick around for other less controversial but equally important NPS issues].

[[ hmmm... Captcha phrase for me today is "Supreme shimmery"....]]

It is not racist to want the laws on immigration to be followed and obeyed by everyone no matter which country they come from, whether it's Mexico or Ireland. Nor is following the law fascist. There is absolutely nothing in Arizona's new law that is not in the federal law that has been in effect for years, much of it written during the Clinton administration. The only difference is that Arizona police will call ICE to pick up illegal immigrants. When factual arguments fail, those with no further rational statements start calling out 'racist' and 'fascist'. Name calling is not persuasive.

Kath:
It is not racist to want the laws on immigration to be followed and obeyed by everyone no matter which country they come from, whether it's Mexico or Ireland. Nor is following the law fascist. There is absolutely nothing in Arizona's new law that is not in the federal law that has been in effect for years, much of it written during the Clinton administration. The only difference is that Arizona police will call ICE to pick up illegal immigrants. When factual arguments fail, those with no further rational statements start calling out 'racist' and 'fascist'. Name calling is not persuasive.
Funny that you mention both Mexico and Ireland. I remember hearing a story involving immigrants of those two nationalities in a discussion on this new law. I can't be 100% sure it actually happened, but it sounded reasonable to me, so here goes. The teller (probably a US citizen) is working at a large restaurant years ago. A lot of restaurants are known for hiring Hispanic immigrants - many from Mexico and quite a few probably not in this country legally. Immigration (don't know if it was INS or ICE at the time) conducts an immigration raid, detains a lot of employees, and probably ends up deporting quite a few. Except one who was about as guilty as anyone. The only thing that saved him was that he was from Ireland and didn't "fit the profile".

The law itself is extremely open ended. It's a broad set of different provisions, of which many are not covered under federal law. There's actually the provision on picking up day laborers. I've actually heard of a class of out of work US citizens who have gone the day labor route to make ends meet. Some hirers seem to prefer them because English comprehension may be less of a problem. This law of course makes it a state crime for a permanent resident to be in public without documentation (I-551 most likely). Some have cited that this is already a federal statute. While it is, it's hardly enforced, and the maximum fine is $100 with a maximum 30 days jail time. This law bumps it up to an Arizona Class 1 misdemeanor, with a maximum 6 months jail time. I suspect if anything, that part is going to be struck down. Here's something I don't generally say. I used to have a a green card. I was a minor, and no federal law said I had to keep it on my person at all times. However - I was an adult holder of that card for a few years until I got naturalized (I aced the American history part of the naturalization interview without even studying). Occasionally I'd actually **gasp** leave the house without it. Sometimes I had to chase down my dog running down the street. I'd venture that I might have even taken the bus a few times without my wallet. In general - this is a low priority item for the feds to enforce. Now if some gung-ho local law enforcement wanted to make an example out of me, and I've now got a criminal record and some jail time that puts my college years on hold.

The only thing that's really going to do any good is if there are tough sanctions on employers. Employers could easily do this in a fair and evenhanded manner by performing background and/or credit checks on all their employees at the time of hiring. That would at least suss out the fake SSNs, given that every employee must submit the number even without producing a card.

I'm not particularly a fan of calling anyone a "fascist". I think the use of certain terms can be a crutch, and it gets used by people on all side of debates.

Everyone I know who has gotten a new job recently has had to produce evidence of citizenship or legal residency. It is not draconian or fascist to do so.

As for 'morality', it is immoral to hire illegals, to harbor illegals or to fail to enforce the law especially while American citizens are at 10% unemployment.

I believe the biggest concern isn't that one is asked to produce evidence of being in the U.S. legally, but rather that the state is ordering police to check for that evidence without probable cause but merely a "reasonable suspicion" that the individual might be in the country illegally. Can anyone define "reasonable suspicion"?

And there is a concern that these checks are being focused on Hispanics, which is both stereotyping and racial profiling. Will French, German, Italian, Japanese tourists from all other countries be approached? And what about Hispanic U.S. citizens who either live in Arizona or are visiting from other states? Apparently, while Arizona driver's licenses are accepted as proof of citizenship because one must document that to get a license, not all states do the same and so theoretically not all states' drivers licenses will necessarily be accepted as proof of citizenship in Arizona.

How would this law play in other parts of the country? On Cape Cod, for instance, there's a heavy presence of Eastern European workers (indeed, more than a few national park concessionaires also hire Eastern Europeans these days).

Back in Arizona, the crime rate has actually been falling in recent years, and, according to the Immigration Policy Center, "unauthorized immigration is not associated with higher crime rates." Additionally:

(P)eople like Republican State Senator Russell Pearce of Mesa, the bill’s author, overlook two salient points: crime rates have already been falling in Arizona for years despite the presence of unauthorized immigrants, and a century’s worth of research has demonstrated that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or be behind bars than the native-born. Furthermore, while much has been made about kidnappings in Arizona, law-enforcement officials indicate that most of these involve drug and human smugglers, as well as smuggled immigrants themselves—not the general population of the state.

For more details, check out this fact sheet from the center: http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/sites/default/files/docs/Arizona_Punishment_Doesnt_Fit_the_Crime_042810_0.pdf

it is immoral to hire illegals, to harbor illegals or fail to enforce the law

Nope, it is only against the law..

I think this is a very poorly written law that will create more problems than it solves. Not only will it lead to racial profiling and harassment of US citizens with the wrong "look," it will overburden the various municipal police forces, many of which vehemently oppose the law. They now have added duties and yet there is no funding for extra manpower. In addition, they can get in trouble for failure to enforce the law, meaning that if someone isn't satisfied that their perfectly legal, US citizen, Hispanic neighbor that they don't like hasn't been harassed, they can accuse the local cops of violating the law. It is absolutely ridiculous.

We normally go to AZ twice a year, once to the Grand Canyon for hiking and once to other areas. We have decided to go on our next planned GC trip, but we will not be visiting the state otherwise. When we visit GC, we will do everything we can to keep our spending within the park and not support businesses outside its boundaries.

Kath:
Everyone I know who has gotten a new job recently has had to produce evidence of citizenship or legal residency. It is not draconian or fascist to do so.

As for 'morality', it is immoral to hire illegals, to harbor illegals or to fail to enforce the law especially while American citizens are at 10% unemployment.

I certainly agree that proof of legal status is required by employers. However - there is a brisk business in fake social security cards. Most employers are required only to do a perfunctory check of the documents and merely have to make note of the document number on the employee's I-9 form. They don't have to file the I-9 with any government agency; it only has to go into the employer's personnel files. Many employers know there's a good likelihood that they're hiring illegal aliens despite their "papers", and frankly most don't want to know. Since they only need to go through the motions and not really understand how to tell a fake from a real document, they can always claim ignorance even if they harbor suspicions. If they wanted to know they would at least require and pay for a credit or background check, which would tend to uncover things like fake or reused social security numbers.

I for one wouldn't be bothered if those arrested for other violations would have their legal status adjudicated before being released. I don't care for the "reasonable suspicion" standard though. Right now everyone had to take their shoes off when going through airport security. What would be equitable is for a status verification for everyone in police custody which would apply to anyone whether or not they're American, Mexican, Irish, or Chinese. What I don't find equitable is that someone can be stopped on the street over nothing more than a "reasonable suspicion". It's been noted that the Fourth Amendment requires a stronger "probable cause" standard which would otherwise be needed to make an arrest or search someone on the street.

Frankly I'm not going to get into any arguments about morality. Everybody is bound to disagree on what is or isn't moral.

Kurt Repanshek:
Apparently, while Arizona driver's licenses are accepted as proof of citizenship because one must document that to get a license, not all states do the same and so theoretically not all states' drivers licenses will necessarily be accepted as proof of citizenship in Arizona.
Well - proof of legal status is generally used to obtain driver licenses. However - I previously mentioned the huge loophole in their driver license process. If you first applied for the license before they instituted their more stringent checks, one can still renew indefinitely without ever needing to resubmit new documents. Several out of state driver licenses can be renewed indefinitely from an initial application where proof of legal status was not a requirement. The law implies that such licenses will be accepted as proof of legal status, and that such a license can be used to obtain a first time Arizona driver license as a prima facie proof of legal status.

Meanwhile, because the administration doesn't adequately secure the border another police officer has been shot by illegal alien drug smugglers.

You really can't blame Arizona for trying to protect her citizens and their jobs when the federal government is doing little or nothing.

Whether or not I believe that the law is correct will not effect my decision as to whether or not I visit a National Park in AZ. The legislature passed the law, not the people. Yes, the people voted in the legislature but we all know that once someone is elected into power, we have little say in how they vote. The people of AZ don't deserve to lose income because of a law they have no control over. Boycotting the National Parks in AZ will effect countless small businesses who rely on the tourist dollars. Just imagine a small mom and pop motel having to close its doors because not enough people will come and visit AZ due to an immigration law. I think that its important to let your voice be heard but to make sure not to punish the little guy who is just and innocent bystard of politcal policy.

Let me guess, you're Caucasian aren't you? I guess that means you're free from being harassed and racially profiled. Good for you. I unfortunately am a Mexican-American. An American citizen as it were and I will not stand to even have the thought of being bullied around by police officials just for the way I look. And don't tell me I'm wrong. Just because I'm Mexican, you or any other small minded person might think I'm illegal. That gives you the right to confront me, force me to show you some proof that I belong here? That's ridiculous and a violation of free rights to *exist*. But just because it'll never happen to you because you're white you don't care how it would feel. Secondly, every single first world country other than ours requires their citizens to learn another language. Because it's to educate and add culture to people. Don't you realize the perception others hold of this "great" country? You probably don't.