Racial Profiling and the Arizona Immigration Law

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The Classical Argument Final Draft
Breauna Nooks
September17, 2012
Racial Profiling and the Arizona Immigration Law
The Arizona Immigration Law is a form of racial profiling, and it is wrong for the following three reasons 1) it is racists, 2) it is unconstitutional, and 3) it is regressive in today’s modern society. Supporters have taken the position that the Arizona Immigration Law should be welcomed in our society since similar legislation has been accepted in Utah, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, and South Carolina. However, articles, cases, and research have proven that the position of the supporters to be wrong. (Fox News).

The first reason why the Arizona Immigration Law is wrong is that it is racist. Joseph Healy in his book, Race, Ethnicity and Class, defines ideological racism as, the belief system that asserts a particular group, or social class that justifies their prejudice towards someone. This is used to rationalize the prejudice of one cultural group over another in society (Healy 27). Following, is an example that demonstrate how the Arizona Immigration Law is racist. The Alabama Immigration Law is similar to the Arizona Immigration Law. In an article by Maureen Costello she states that the Alabama Immigration Law states that “schools are required to determine the immigration status of every student at the beginning of each school year” (Costello). This, according to Costello goes against the case of Plyer vs. Doe where schools are not allowed to deny an education to undocumented immigrants. Like the Jim Crow law of separate but equal education of black and whites, the parents of children in the state of Alabama would seem to be facing similar issues of discrimination. Another racist point of the Arizona Immigration Law is the provision in the “Legal Arizona Workers Act” which does not allow employers to knowingly hire illegal immigrants. If an employer does violate the “Legal Arizona Workers Act” an employer can lose their business license. (Arizona State). This sounds similar to another one of the Jim Crow Laws where hospitals were not allowed to have a white female nurse work with any Negro man (Jim Crow). Now the state of Arizona is saying if you hire an alleged illegal immigrant you lose your business. The decision to investigate a person’s legal status is arbitrary and left to the discretion of the police officer. The police officers are influenced by prejudices that can result in racial profiling Mexican immigrants. The second reason why the Arizona Immigration Law is wrong is that it is unconstitutional. One of the reasons why the law appears to be unconstitutional would be that it allows a police officer to determine the immigration status of the person stopped, detained, or arrested. The police officer has the authority, based on their suspicion, to implement an investigation to determine if a person is in the country illegally (Rau1). Suspected illegal immigrants could be detained or arrested while they are if they are on their way to work or to the grocery store, or if they have too many people in the car. The police officer could arrest the person questioned, if they are unable to produce documentation that they are legally residing in the United States. They would be arrested because they don’t have their papers to prove that their supposed to be in the United States. If a person is in Arizona illegally they will be arrested, and they can be fined $2,500 and imprisoned for approximately six months (Lowe1). These actions are similar to a “sundown law” for African Americans that were active in the 1960’s in my home town of Gahanna, Ohio. According to the sundown law, an African American had to show proof of who they were and their residency. If they did not the proper documentation, they were to be out of that town by sundown. In most cases there were no proper documentations to be in the towns that had sundown laws for African Americans. If you were an African American, you were not...
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