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Many Celebrate, Defend Racial Profiling as SB1070 Goes Into Effect

Flickr Photo by DrCuervo


The day before SB1070, the Arizona immigration law, was to go into effect, Federal Judge Susan Bolton halted the "worst" of the law from going into effect.


A New York Times editorial, "Showdown in Arizona," indicates that Bolton affirmed the "government’s final authority over immigration enforcement." She made the following basic points that "those who support the Arizona law have ignored or forgotten:"


-A state cannot require its police officers to demand the papers of people they stop and suspect are illegal immigrants. As the judge wrote, the law places an "unacceptable burden on lawfully present aliens." 

-Arizona cannot require that every arrested person have his or her immigration status checked, or that people be detained until they prove they are here lawfully.

-Arizona cannot make it a state crime for immigrants not to carry papers at all times, or for an undocumented immigrant to look for work.

-It cannot give officers the power to make warrantless arrests of anyone they believe has committed a crime that makes them deportable. Deportation is a matter to be decided by a judge in court, Judge Bolton wrote, not a state trooper or sheriff’s deputy in a traffic stop.


Despite the ruling, there will be civil disobedience in Arizona against the SB1070 law today. There will be a national day of action in support of immigrant rights and in opposition to the SB1070 law. And, there will be a formidable amount of Americans who rally in defense of the SB1070 law in support of targeting "illegals" who are in America.


The key problem with the law, as many who have followed discussion of the law since May, is that the law racially profiles. People like Arizona police officer Paul Dobson, a man who has posted video and conducted interviews in opposition to the law, are convinced it will put them in situations where they have to racially profile individuals and behave like Nazis.


Fernando Silva, a US citizen who has been speaking out against SB1070, asks, "If the law is not racist then why would racial profiling need to be explicitly prohibited in it?…It says race may not be a factor in explicitly prohibited in determining immigration status, which is useless because there’s no other factor."


"To say the law permits racial profiling isn’t a fact. On its face, the law is perfectly constitutional because it doesn’t say anything about race," added Silva. "But there are certain facts, which could prove that this law is racially biased." Silva cited Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s record and Kris Kobach’s email to Senator Pearce as evidence that racial profiling is a legitimate fear.


Silva’s thinking is exactly what promoted me to record the following video message. I directed this message to viewers who had been commenting on a previous video called, "Do I Look Illegal?" that now has over 120 comments from people who, for the most part, fervently support the SB1070 law.

The law may not explicitly single out Latinos, but the country understands Arizona is a border state. More than 75% of illegal immigrants in Arizona are Latino. So, instinctively, law enforcement authorities especially police officers are going to be especially attentive to the presence of Latinos as a way of eradicating the immigration "problem" the state’s political leaders and many of its citizens think exists.

 Here is the video I made prior to my comment on how those in favor of SB1070 support racial profiling.

There are two routes to go when discussing the law. One can talk about the facts and what the law will and will not do. One can cite studies and try to employ well-reasoned arguments to explain why people, whose prejudice against immigrants is too much for them to bear, exaggerate the immigration problem. Or, one can simply share the remarks with others and give the reactionary views of people who support the law what the remarks most deserve: sunlight.


How many actually think you can reason with people who are so stuck on their worldview that immigrants are The Threat? It’s much easier to expose them and take them on for what they are saying rather than trying to find common ground and instead of hoping you can question them and get them to see the error of their judgment.


So, I’ll conclude this with a few comments I received on my post.


 2 months ago

Arizona Rancher Krentz and his dog was slaughtered by ILLEGAL MEXICAN DRUG SMUGGLING ALIENS on his ranch last month. He is just one victim of the TENS OF THOUSANDS of U.S. citizens murdered, raped, robbed and tortured at the hands of ILLEGAL HISPANIC ALIENS. Several of Arizona’s Police officers have been slaughtered by your people, ILLEGAL HISPANIC ALIENS. Hundreds of Arizona’s citizens have been killed on their streets by ILLEGAL HISPANIC ALIENS. Officer shot, by ILLEGAL, YESTERDAY.


2 months ago 

@chi1088 [my handle on Youtube] In Arizona, there is a kidnapping every 35 hours. In Arizona, there is a murder everyday. In Arizona there are 5 Rapes everyday. In Arizona, 56,000 burglaries occurred in 2008. 6.5 Million People, 500,000 Illegal Immigrants….. you do the math.



2 months ago 

@chi1088 Apperantly he smoke to much crap. He doesn’t understand Illegals in the US cost over 338 Billion a year, never file taxes, and sendt about 50% of their income overseas. And yes, demand proof of citizenship from all people, I.E. Chicago, NY, DC,


2 months ago 

We have lost TENS OF THOUSANDS of U.S. CITIZENS, while our brave young soldiers have died on foreign soil. We have lost MORE U.S. CITIZENS at the hands of ILLEGAL HISPANIC ALIEN, than we have lost brave soldier in both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will soon be over, but the slaughter of our people, at the hands of ILLEGAL HISPANIC ALIENS will continue, until we remove EVERY SINGLE ILLEGAL ALIEN. ILLEGAL ALIEN COMMUNITIES protect those



2 months ago 




 2 months ago

Since the Arizona law does not specify nation of origin, like our federal laws, you certainly could look illegal. What does an illegal immigrant look like? Do illegal immigrants wear funny hats or something? Maybe they’re all barefoot or dark-skinned. Is that it? Your ignorance and prejudice toward anyone who looks different from you is showing, though you’d never admit it. Dare I say racist? There are MILLIONS just like you, unfortunately.



 2 months ago 

Stop from the bottom and go up I was responding to your whole retarded video. Do you look illegal. Hmm I don’t know. If I pull you over for speeding, I will ask for You i.d. your papers, insurance, check your tags, check your inspection, If you can’t even furbish an I.D. or speak English, I guess I could legally start to assume you’re illegal right? See it’s stupid people like you who fill your head with propaganda from the news. It’s liberal bullshit.



2 months ago 

Federal government has to uphold the LAW. WHEN THEY DON"T We do. Again everyone has been repeatedly asked to prove they belong here. Every time you talk to a cop he asks for ID. That’s basically showing your proof. You just somehow forgot it’s a law and want to call this racism all the sudden. The burden belongs on them. THEY ARE ILLEGAL. what part of the word illegal doesn’t mean illegal? 


And two favorites, posted as a comment on a video I shot at an SB1070 protest at Wrigley Field months ago:



2 months ago 

@ese1818 Yeah they can but the reason Democrats made people get social security numbers for babies (something that they did not need) was so that there would be a lot of available numbers in the system for illegals to use when they got jobs. You must be an illegal,



2 months ago 


Wants don’t mean shit. We are a country and we watch after our collective asses; not the entire fucking planets. It’s as if someone broke into your house to live there and when caught said " well i’d rather legally live in a house but i cant therefore me breaking in and tresspassing is entirely justified ". It’s the most retarded logic i’ve ever heard. There is NO LAW stating that I have to be compasionate to my fellow man; and its immoral to say that i’m required to be.


If you participate in protest or civil disobedience actions today, I encourage you to return to this post and leave a comment about what it was like to be out participating in today’s national day of action. If you are in Arizona, I especially want to hear if police crackdown significantly on those engaging in resistance to the law.




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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."