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View Diary: Protests continue in Tucson (with Pix) (294 comments)

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  •  You are wrong, sort of (1+ / 0-)
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    I can attest to what Spain does, as I know it firsthand. Spain requires everyone over a certain age to carry a national ID card. In particular a foreigner should be carrying his or her identity card. It is common place in Madrid to see police ask obviously non-Spaniards for identification. While it's true that in Spain the consequences for being in the country without papers are far far less serious than they are in the US, there certainly is harassment by certain police of certain groups of immigrants, and folks who don't have papers avoid known hotspots for this sort of thing, and take some care to avoid encountering cops, just like they do in the US.

    These problems are not peculiar to the US. In some sense Arizona's new law is no worse than existing federal law - I am pretty sure agents of the USCIS/CBP/ICE/whatever can stop someone they suspect of not having papers and demand them. All that reflects is that the current legal regime regarding immigration, in the US or in much of the world, is already obscene. What Arizona has done is give a gestapo flavor to the process - in some sense it is the motivation for the wholly unnecessary Arizona law that causes it to be seen as a dramatic and vile law - this seems to me reasonable, although we should not forget the horribly inhumane character of much of the existing federal immigration law. Families are separated, ordinary folks are deported (this is really an obscenity if one thinks about what it means for someone's daily life), folks are caught in many year bureaucratic runarounds, etc.

    What is true is that the legal regimen controlling immigration in much of Europe is somewhat more humane than it is in the US, although in countries such as Italy and France there is some strong tendency towards US style repression.

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