Arizona and its new immigration law offer a frightening preview of the police-state mentality that could envelop other parts of the nation if anti-immigrant hysteria spreads to other states with weak-kneed legislatures and city councils.
Under the law signed last week, cops can stop anyone if officers think there is “a reasonable suspicion” the person is in the country illegally. People can be jailed for the vague offense of trespassing if they are stopped on public or private land. The law requires some form of government identification to prove legal status. Arizona, as Linda Greenhouse wrote in The New York Times, would, in effect, require “internal passports, one of the most distasteful features of life in the Soviet Union and apartheid-era South Africa.”
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