The absolutely worst argument I keep hearing against Arizona's law banning illegal aliens, is that somehow it was going to be racist in its implementation. A bunch of ignorant folk seem to have this idea about those of us in the southwest who oppose illegal immigration, that we see brown-skinned folk and think illegal!
I've been dismissing this idea since I first ran into it, because we out here know specific traits that mark likely illegals from living in the far southwest. I'm a lifelong southern California resident, so while it's not entirely the same here as it is in Arizona, the problem is pretty close. But it was only tonight as I sipped my Mexican Coke on the way home from picking up at the store some salsa chips and Jarritos fruit punch at the store, it occurred to me exactly what's going on.
It just doesn't occur to the Beltway folk just how impractical their vision of the law really is.
Per Wikipedia, take a look at the government-declared "hispanic" portions of the populations in DC, Maryland, and Virginia:
To the people out there, apparently they see these tiny minorities and think of police singling them out as illegal aliens, because in the greater beltway area that group stands out as a foreign element. Not so here in California and Arizona:
You really think that police would or could see a full quarter-to-third of the population and honestly think that just looking like them would cause a reasonable suspicion of illegal immigration status? Do you east coasters think that we, living in states where government-defined "minorities" are the majority (or quickly becoming so) of the population, stare at everyone who looks "hispanic" and suspect something?
That's just not how life is out here. Those names, those accents, those complexions are all perfectly normal to have out here. People with Mexican and other latin American heritage don't stand out! So yes, when we say that we have much better and reasonable ways to suspect illegals, we mean it.
Seriously. If the Arizona cops thought they had to stop one out of four people, the law would stop being enforced in a week. Just think, people, before you accuse.