A project of the Center for Community Change

A glimpse into the future?

by Dennis Chin, guest blogger

Have you heard of this case?  Eduardo Caraballo, a U.S. citizen born in the U.S., spent last weekend in the custody of federal immigration agents in Chicago.  At the time of his arrest (for allegedly stealing a car) he presented them with ID and his birth certificate.  But, he says officials were skeptical.  From Caraballo, “Because of the way I look, I have Mexican features, they pretty much assumed that my papers were fake.”

Is this our crystal ball moment?

This is what racial profiling looks likes.  And this is the mechanism by which Arizona’s SB 1070 will work.

Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) says:

“In Arizona, they want everybody to be able to prove they’re legally in the country. They want everybody to prove that they’re an American citizen. Here we had an American citizen, that the federal government… could not determine, for more than three days, his status as an American citizen. It’s very, very, very dangerous ground to tread.”

Police officers will be wasting time and resources detaining people like Caraballo instead of actually keeping communities safe.  Local police know this and they have spoken out against this lawSome police chiefs say that the new immigration law would boost crime since the law would “intimidate crime victims and witnesses who are illegal immigrants and divert police from investigating more serious crimes.”

“This is not a law that increases public safety. This is a bill that makes it much harder for us to do our jobs,” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said. “Crime will go up if this becomes law in Arizona or in any other state.”

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