Phoenix, AZ - In case you've been hiding out on a desert island for the past few weeks and haven't been privy to a computer, newspaper or television, last week, Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, signed into law a bill that significantly toughened Arizona's stand against illegal immigrants taking up residence or passing through the state.
And then, all hell broke loose. The fallout from this bill is being heard all over the world actually, not just in the United States. In order to quell some of the mocking criticisms leveled at the Governor and legislators who came up with this brilliant piece of legislation, the Governor has signed some changes into the law, which we've listed here.
The bill now makes it perfectly clear that racial profiling will not be tolerated and therefore, a police officer cannot stop anyone based solely on the fact that they are deemed to be Hispanic and/or illegally Hispanic in nature. However, if the person is caught engaging in an activity that may be determined to be illegal, they can question said (Hispanic) person, even if the police officer himself is Hispanic.
Some real laws still on Arizona books that Hispanics may want to bone up on in order to stay on the right side of the law are:
- Donkeys can't sleep in bathtubs (however, the law does not specifically include asses, nor does it preclude shower stalls).
- If someone is thirsty, you cannot refuse them a glass of water (that includes the police officer who is tailing you)
- In Nogales, you may not wear suspenders (this one, we have to agree with).
- When protesting in Prescott, you may not ride your horse (or donkey or someone else's ass presumably) on the County Courthouse steps.
- In Tucson, women may not wear pants. (Although this one sounds out of date, it's still a smart move for all Hispanic women in Tucson to wear skirts. And to be on the safe side, Hispanic men should not wear dresses.)
Another change to the Bill requires that all legal immigrants carry their alien registration documents with them at all times. We're assuming the lawmakers are under the assumption that at some time or another, legal immigrants will do something illegal and get stopped and be required to prove their residency status to the officer who stopped them.
Specifically mentioned in news reports discussing the the bill changes is the ability of law enforcement officers to stop anyone on the suspicion of loitering. So, to be safe, if you are a legal immigrant in Arizona, and are not in a car, but find yourself walking down a public street, do not stop to talk to friends, ask directions, reach down to pick up a heads-up penny, or any number of other things that would make you appear to be loitering, unless, of course, you have your green card or complete portfolio of documents with you to prove that you are either a legal alien or in the process of getting legalized. Be aware, however, that although you will most likely be released to continue on your way, you will probably still be charged with loitering and for that, you will have to seek legal counsel.
And finally, beginning Monday, all Hispanic men, women and children who are legal residents of Arizona will be required to wear orange jumpsuits in order to cut down on lawsuits associated with complaints of racial profiling. "If our Hispanic residents wish to make this immigration reform process go smoother, we believe they won't mind wearing clothing that will assist the men and women in law enforcement in making the right snap decisions, instead of relying on their intuitions, which may ultimately result in making wrong assumptions based solely on looks," said a governor's spokesperson.