Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Your Papers, Please."

Back in the 1950's when I was but a child, I was often told how fortunate I was to live in free country where I did not have to produce "papers" to prove my identity. That was something that only dictators like the Communists in Russia or the recently defeated Nazis did. On this side of the Iron Curtain, we were free move about without being subject to official scrutiny and surveillance.

If anyone still believes that myth in post 9-11 America, they will be hard pressed to maintain their faith if they live or travel in my former home state of Arizona, where the legislature and governor have enacted a law allowing police to demand proof of an individual's immigration or citizenship status. Theoretically, all persons in Arizona will be subject to this requirement but I am pretty certain that I--a white male--will not be questioned if I return to the Grand Canyon State.

My friend, the artist Luis Gutierrez, whose family was in Arizona when it became a territory and whose father was Democratic leader in the state senate in the early 80's, will probably not be quite so fortunate. Of course, he will have no problem proving his right to be in Arizona. All he need to do is show his papers.

In Arizona freedom isn't just not free. It now requires documents.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stephen Hawking is afraid of them too. And he knows everything.

9:10 PM  

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