Listeners Respond: Arizona Immigration Law Ruling

Friday, July 30, 2010

Yesterday, we reported on the last-minute ruling by an Arizona federal judge, which put a hold on many of the controversial provisions in the state's new immigration law, such as requiring immigrants to carry their papers with them at all times and officers to check the immigration status of people detained for other reasons. 

The story sparked passion from both sides of the debate. Listen to the responses and let us know what you think.

Produced by:

Amanda Moore

Comments [2]


Celeste Headlee remarked about a listener's observation about the normalcy of requiring foreign visitors, including Americans abroad, to do something like carry a passport. Ms. Headlee responded by saying that she does "not always carry a passport" when she is outside of the U.S.

Indeed. Nor have I, when I have been abroad. I did not, and probably would not, carry with me at all times my US passport.

But both the listener, and Ms. Headlee, miss the real point entirely. Ms. Headlee (I presume) was not living as an illegal alien when she was abroad. I know that I wasn't. I did carry identification, as I presume she did as well. Our identification would have identified us each as citizens of the United States. And if our citizenship were challenged, there'd have been no confusion, and no dispute. We'd be understood to be foreign visitors, not phony national citizens. And if pressed, while in some kind of detention, we'd be able to say, "If you'll let me get it, I can show you my passport, which shows that I legally entered the country under a guest visa. But I am not pretending to be a citizen of this country."

Arizona's SB 1070 does not require everyone to carry a passport. The law presumes, that if you have a driver's license or a state police i.d., or some other good identification that proves your citizenship, you are presumptively a citizen of the U.S. The law is not aimed at rounding up everyone who is not an American. The law is aimed at persons who are here illegally, without any identification and without any proof that they entered the country legally.

I do realize that Celeste Headlee, and to a lesser extent, John Hockenberry, will go to any lengths to assist in the culture-war protests against SB 1070, but it would help everyone if we just worked off of a reasonable and accurate statement of what the facts are.

Jul. 30 2010 01:31 PM
B.J. Herbison from Bolton, MA

All this talk about requiring papers for all legal visitors misses the point. The people who suffer the worst are not illegal.

The people who suffer the most are citizens who don't speak like a native or who have the skin color of illegal residents. They get hassled, asked for papers, and possibly put in jail because the don't carry papers -- because they shouldn't need to carry papers.

Jul. 30 2010 06:35 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.