The United States federal courts (specifically, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Hawaii, California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Montana–see map) has upheld a block on Arizona’s state law which would have required its own law- enforcement officials (police, sheriffs, etc) to check immigration status while enforcing laws, among other things.
The Arizona law is titled the "Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe 27 Neighborhoods Act" In my opinion, the most "offensive," worrisome and potentially dangerous portion of the law is as follows:
Well, that’s basically what happened–there are a lot of technical legal procedural details and tactical constitutional maneuvers, including invocation of the "Supremacy Clause", etc. Basically, no state law may preempt federal law. As Judge Richard Paez wrote in his opinion, "In sum, we are not persuaded that Arizona has the inherent authority to enforce the civil provisions of federal immigration law."
To me, the offensive part of the law is that an officer making "any lawful contact," may demand proof of citizenship or other proof of immigration status. First, in general, I do not carry proof of my citizenship. Second, when going on a trip, within my own country, I also do not generally carry proof of my citizenship. True, I often bring my passport with me on trips. But, I usually leave it in the hotel safe. I do not make a point of grabbing it to go to the store, etc.
I think many, many Americans feel that it is their right as a United States citizen, to have the FREEDOM, to "walk the streets" without worrying about carrying proof that they have "permission" to do so. In fact, I would be so bold as to state that the overwhelming majority of Americans do not carry proof of citizenship, and further, believe that it is their right of freedom, to NOT have to carry such documents with them. This mind set has become part of our American way of life. Does anyone else recall the fear and revulsion of seeing movies where, in communist countries, officials are demanding "papers" from its own citizens?
What is more, the racial and ethnic profiling that would NECESSARILY come with this law is not just un-american, its wrong. Its uncivilized. Its illegal and unconstitutional. Let us not forget that an officer saying hello to you is "lawful contact." If you are not clearly, visibly and obviously, a white blond Aryan, may an officer then say that "reasonable suspicion exists that [you are] an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States?" If Arizona is allowed to enforce its immigration law, could that officer then demand your papers under penalty of jail? Does this sound familiar? What’s next on this slippery slope? Forcing people to wear identifying patches on their clothing? Gold Six-Pointed Stars? Pink Triangles?