New Fox News piece: Fears of Arizona's Immigration Law Are Bogus
When Arizona's new law was signed on Friday, Hispanics demonstrated outside the state capitol in Phoenix, fearful of what it would mean for them. "If a cop sees them and they look Mexican, he's going to stop me," a 18-year-old Hispanic told the Associated Press. "What if people are U.S. citizens? They're going to be asking them if they have papers because of the color of their skin." The young man claimed that he was that even though he was a U.S. citizen he risked being arrested and put in jail.
Other news stories discuss Hispanics believing that they will have to have to carry multiple IDs to avoid prison. "Even if you're legal, you're in fear that maybe your driver's license isn't going to be enough or if you're walking down the street and the police stop you," a 21-year-old University of Arizona college student told CNN. "It's a constant fear we're living in and even legal citizens are afraid to go out."
But it is a dangerous game stirring up fears of people being hunted down and put in jail because of their race or nationality. The law specifically bans picking up someone just because they are Hispanic or even because the person was originally from Mexico or any other country you can read a copy of the law right here. . . .
UPDATE: The BBC has a piece about how upset the Mexican government is about Arizona's new law.
Media Matters quite unintentionally documents incorrect statements by the NY Times and other publications.
UPDATE 2: The phrase "lawful contact" is also discussed here.
What fewer people have noticed is the phrase "lawful contact," which defines what must be going on before police even think about checking immigration status. "That means the officer is already engaged in some detention of an individual because he's violated some other law," says Kris Kobach, a University of Missouri Kansas City Law School professor who helped draft the measure. "The most likely context where this law would come into play is a traffic stop."
As far as "reasonable suspicion" is concerned, there is a great deal of case law dealing with the idea, but in immigration matters, it means a combination of circumstances that, taken together, cause the officer to suspect lawbreaking. It's not race -- Arizona's new law specifically says race and ethnicity cannot be the sole factors in determining a reasonable suspicion. . . .