The new immigration law enacted in the state of Arizona earlier this week is an egregious act of backwards thinking that sets the tone for draconian measures that will negatively impact millions of Americans and non-Americans for years to come.
This law, which commands that Arizona law enforcement officers demand to see the papers of any "suspicious" person who might, by some chance, be in the country illegally, will cause many individuals to be searched and questioned for no good reason other than the color of their skin. In an article by Robert Creamer on "The Huffington Post", the author correctly likens this new law to the legal climate in Alabama in the early 1960's.
Beyond requiring officers to question any individual who might be deemed as potentially illegal, the law also allows private citizens to file suit against any officer who they feel is not fully enforcing the new law, thus deputizing citizens to join in a witch hunt that will hurt families, children, communities, and the very economy of the state of Arizona.
Many law enforcement officials also believe that families with undocumented members will now choose to not report crimes for fear of being targeted by police under the new law.
In terms of health care, one of my main concerns is that injured or sick individuals in need of medical attention will choose to forgo medical care for fear of racial profiling. Most hospitals and medical institutions will treat needy individuals with or without proof of citizenship, and this new law will now send chills down the spines of sick or injured persons in need of urgent medical attention, and the human cost of such untreated illness is simply gruesome to consider.
No one can fully foresee the true human, moral and economic cost of this legally misguided and immoral act by a governor who is certainly sewing the seeds of his political demise.