New Law proposed: police may inquire about your immigration status (unless you’re white)
October 20, 2010 § Leave a comment
Miami New Times: Florida state Rep. William Snyder, who has drafted Tallahassee’s version of the hotly debated Arizona immigration bill, is adamant that his law would not lead to racial profiling. “Race, ethnicity, and national origin cannot be used in making arrests. It’s immoral, illegal, and unconstitutional,” he said in a recent radio interview. So why does his bill explicitly offer a free pass to Canadians and Western Europeans, who need only show a passport to be “presumed to be legally in the United States”? “That language makes it clear that police are targeting only a specific minority,” says Susana Barciela, policy director at the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center. What few observers seem to have noticed, though, is a bizarre clause Snyder included on page 3. Even if an officer has “reasonable suspicions” over a person’s immigration status, the bill says, a person will be “presumed to be legally in the United States” if he or she provides “a Canadian passport” or a passport from any “visa waiver country.” What are the visa waiver countries? Other than four Asian nations, all 32 other countries are in Western Europe, from France to Germany to Luxembourg. In other words, Snyder’s bill tells police to drop their “reasonable suspicions” of anyone hailing from dozens of countries full of white people.