U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton has ruled that police in Arizona can now require persons they suspect of being illegal aliens to show proof of legal immigration status or face arrest and detention.
The unspoken problem with such a ruling is that there is no way to suspect a person of being an illegal alien without racial profiling. To be sure, Canadians and British tourist who may have overstayed their tourist visas by a week or so need not worry. No police officer would suspect a Caucasian of being an illegal immigrant.
However, if you have black hair, brown skin, and speak with a Spanish accent, you may be faced with being stopped and detained repeatedly by police.
Of course there are hundreds of thousands of Hispanic U.S. citizens and legal residents living in or traveling through Arizona.
Governor Jan Brewer, who is admittedly angry over the influx of Mexicans into Arizona, is hopeful that the new law will serve as a deterrent to Mexican and other Hispanic individuals from "violating" the Arizona state border.
As the new law does not attempt to distinguish legal residents from undocumented aliens, the response from the larger community should be appropriate.
The vast majority of Arizonans are caring, intelligent, and deserving people. The majority of businesses there are quick to realize the importance of the Hispanic culture in leadership and in the workplace. But at some point, the state as a whole needs to bear responsibility for the anti-Hispanic racism that underlies the state's leadership.
The fact that the Governor and state legislature would willingly subject all Hispanics to police stops and interrogations, based solely on race, reveals a clear attitude:
Hispanics NOT WANTED in Arizona!
For the rest of us, we are left feeling incredulous. Frankly, if Arizona doesn't want our Hispanic brothers and sisters, we need to think twice before we travel there as tourists, relocate a business there, or plan a convention there.
Just imagine if you were to schedule your business meeting in Arizona, only to have your employees or managers of Hispanic origin subjected to police stops and detention.
I am Caucasian myself, but I cannot and will not support a state that requires its police officers to violate the civil rights of our Hispanic community.
I do not believe that Governor Jan Brewer will listen to reason or be concerned about the violation of Hispanic's civil rights.
But Governor Brewer and the Arizona state legislature will be accountable for the resulting economic impact that results from Hispanics and non-Hispanics avoiding the state and its products and services.
By consciously avoiding the State of Arizona, we can help to usher in change to a leadership that more closely reflects the inclusive, caring, and responsible attitudes of the residents of that state.