What Arizona's New Immigration Law Doesn't Do

by Benjamin Domenech on 12:33 pm April 27, 2010

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Via Moe Lane, I see Eugene Robinson is angry about the new Arizona law requiring that people stopped for another legal offense must provide proof of immigration status if an officer requests it. Robinson is shocked that:

Legal immigrants will be required to carry papers proving that they have a right to be in the United States.

Sports personality Kevin Blackistone is also offended, arguing that Arizona should be banned as a locale for sporting events. Heavens to Murgatroyd, it’s the new police state!

Except, as anyone who has any immigrants in the family knows, it’s already the law (see page 8).

As a permanent resident, it is your responsibility to…Carry proof of your permanent resident status at all times.

Yes, any permanent resident is legally required to have their relevant ID on them at all times. This wasn’t enforced for domestic travel to any significant degree pre-9/11, but after that, it’s been enforced at a higher rate.

The utility of this Arizona law is a matter for debate. But Robinson and Blackistone could’ve at least bothered to ask a legal immigrant (if they know anyone who is) about the existing requirement before getting all verklempt.

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