Friday, May 14, 2010

Arizona, the New Regime

I could be arrested in the state of Arizona.  I drive a mini-van, generally loaded with three screaming kids.  I have a valid drivers license, issued to me by the state of Illinois.  Sure, there are some questions about how fast I drive the mini-van, my ability to make a right turn at an intersection, while the light is green, and my ability to make a right turn when it is 4:07 pm.  Yes, I am a bit bitter about the intense enforcement of the minute laws in this state, but I digress.

FACT:   Per Arizona law, my valid drivers license from the state of Illinois can NOT be used as a from of identification to obtain an Arizona drivers license because Illinois does not verify lawful presence.

FACT:  Arizona's new law, would require immigrants to carry documents verifying their immigration status. It would also require police officers to question a person about his or her immigration status if there is "reasonable suspicion" that person may be illegally in the country.

I am not an immigrant, so I don't have any documents verifying my immigration status.  The state of Illinois does not verify my legitimacy to be here in this country, and per Arizona law can not be used as verification of my status.  If I was pulled over in the state of Arizona, I could be arrested, because I do not have a valid passport, nor do I regularly travel with my birth certificate.  In spite of the fact that I was born in this country, to parents that were born here, I could go to jail.  Because I would not be able to prove my legitimacy to be here. 

The law states "reasonable suspicion."  What does that mean?  Nothing.  It means, that the police officer has a bee up his butt about the brand of underwear his girlfriend bought and he can decide I look illegal.  I can not prove I am legal.

At this time, I would like to point out that the President of our country travels on an Illinois drivers license, and there are some that question his immigration status.  According to the law in Arizona, the President of our country CAN NOT prove that he is legal, and could be arrested.  Just sayin'.  (Yes, I realize that to be President you must be a natural born citizen.  I do live with Mac.)

Granted, once the dust settled and I could obtain a copy of my birth certificate, I would be released.  It scares me to know that I could go to jail only because I live in a state that does not verify legitimacy.  Any interaction I would have with the police in that state would only end positively at the whim of that officer.  I do not regularly travel with any paperwork to prove I am legally here in this country.

I am a law abiding citizen, (minor driving infractions aside) of this country.  I deserve to travel within the confines of this country without fear.  This is not currently the case.  I will NOT be going to Arizona anytime soon.  Not until the Federal Government can ensure my safe travel.


  1. Well, thats kind of scary! So technically, anyone from Illinois who goes to Arizona to vacation or visit relatives, and drives, is driving without a valid license? Can people from IL even rent a car there, then?

  2. No, you can not use your drivers license to prove your legal presence in the country. Which means you can be detained.