According to the new law in Arizona that comes into effect soon, if people are suspected of being illegally present in the United States, people in Arizona are subject to police interrogation. If the person being questioned fails to have a birth certificate or a passport, the person could be arrested.
The law has not come into effect, but I join the many scholars who have chimed in about it in in saying that it will be found unconstitutional once it is challenged in court. It undermines well-established Fourth Amendment jurisprudence and is not consistent with any other fundamental norms of Locke's theory of natural law that this country was built upon.
What is important to realize, however, is that our government has waited too long to act on important immigration legislation. As always, good politics makes bad law. During the apex of negotiations concerning widespread immigration reform, the 9/11 tragedy occurred. Strengthening our nations borders and keeping out immigrants became politically in vogue almost overnight regardless of the fact that not a single terrorist involved in the 9/11 attack were Mexican or immigrated illegally through the Republic of Mexico.
The irony is that the ugly hate-inspired Arizona law may produce well-needed changes to our nation's immigration laws that will lead to a path for citizenship for illegal immigrants currently in our country. It should be noted that it is not the first time Arizona has taken swift and hard stances in legislation thought to be racist in nature. They once voted down allowing recognition of Martin Luther King Jr.
Change in immigration law is coming...it has to come and come soon....