Actually, it's worse than that. It's a police state for everyone in Arizona now.
Media Matters reports:
AZ Bill "Requires Police" To Determine A "Person's Immigration Status." The Los Angeles Times reported that the newly passed Arizona immigration "bill, known as SB 1070, makes it a misdemeanor to lack proper immigration paperwork in Arizona. It also requires police officers, if they form a 'reasonable suspicion' that someone is an illegal immigrant, to determine the person's immigration status." The legislation passed 35 to 21. [Los Angeles Times, 4/14/10, emphasis added]So if the police don't like something about me (I'm white, not Latino), they can lie about forming a "reasonable suspicion" and also require me to prove that I'm an American citizen or legally able to stay in the U.S. And if I happen to pick up a hitchhiker who is an illegal immigrant, and the police stop my car, I get to spend time in jail along with the person I picked up. Obviously, this law will be used to harass Latinos in general and immigrants, legal or otherwise, in particular, but it could be used against anyone. Say, for example, white-looking people at a pro-immigration rally. Or white-looking people handing out leaflets supporting immigrants. Or someone who gets angry at a police officer's high-handedness at a traffic stop.
Those "Unable To Produce Documents Showing They Are Allowed To Be In The United States Could Be Arrested, Jailed For Up To Six Months And Fined $2,500." According to the Seattle Times, under the Arizona immigration bill "the police would be authorized to arrest immigrants unable to show documents allowing them to be in the country and the legislation would leave drivers open to sanctions, in some cases for knowingly transporting an illegal immigrant, even a relative. Immigrants unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the United States could be arrested, jailed for up to six months and fined $2,500. Currently, officers can inquire about someone's immigration status only if the person is a suspect in another crime. The bill would allow officers to avoid the immigration issue if it would be impractical or hinder another investigation." [Seattle Times, 4/14/10, emphasis added]
AZ Bill "Makes It Illegal For Anyone To Transport An Illegal Immigrant, Even A Family Member." ABC News reported that the Arizona immigration "measure allows police to detain people on the suspicion that they are illegal immigrants, outlaws citizens from employing day laborers, and makes it illegal for anyone to transport an illegal immigrant, even a family member, anywhere in the state." [ABC News, 3/26/10, emphasis added]
And what are the documents that will satisfy the requirement of proving that one is legally in the U.S.? Is a driver's license from another state enough? A birth certificate? A social security card? If I ever have the misfortune of going to Arizona while this law is still on the books, I'll make sure to bring my passport with me.