Fucked Up, Stars Debate #AZMLBB

Yesterday Stars Tweeted about Arizona’s new immigration/anti-illegal immigrant law, the one that requires legal immigrants to carry their alien registration papers with them/gives AZ police the right to question people they suspect are in the States illegally. For their part, the Montreal crew says they plan to boycott the state: “We love AZ. but until its racist new immigration law is repealed, stars (and many others) will boycott this state…” This inspired another Canadian, Damian Abraham to enter the fray, also via Twitter:

Via @leftfordamian

Don’t get me wrong, I think the AZ immigration bill is horrible and must be repealed but I also think that indie bands boycotting the state is inane. Do Stars honestly think that by denying the state their brand of dreamy pop that they’re going to force the governor’s hand? All this does is not give the people that like your band enough credit and assumes that they are in someway supportive of the bill. Mind you, if you are Nickleback and a fan base of those types of douche bags then boycotting is a good strategy

Stars shot back by mentioning Abraham’s appearances on Red Eye — “just heard Fucked Up don’t support a boycott of AZ. um…one of them has a job on fox news…so..yeah….we all have a voice! lets use it!” — before backtracking a bit and saying they respect his opinion. Abraham responded to @montrealstars: “1st: No I don’t work for Fox, nice try ; ) 2nd: I kinda like your band. 3rd: No dis, I just think your analysis lacks nuance.” Stars went on to say they also like Fucked Up and that many people are appalled, but that “publicity rules in this culture” and that “until AZ feels the economic effects of this, their politicians are going to keep selling fear” and ask if he agrees that the new law cannot go un-protested. Damien?

A valid question. Why not keep playing Arizona, using the shows as an opportunity to engage the people there to get involved (they are the ones after all capable to affecting change in the state), use press ops before the show to talk about what is going on in the local media, donate some of the guarantee to nomoredeaths.org or other such groups that work on the front lines fighting draconian immigration laws…. hell even get them to table at the show.

The increasingly well-mannered debate rages on continues at @monstrealstars and @leftfordamian, 140 characters at a time. Most polite Twitter battle ever? They need Billy and Courtney to get involved to make it a little less reasonable. (Re: the Fucked Up press photo, I’ll leave the “Where’s The Beef?” jokes to you.)

Less talk, more rock? Take a listen to Fucked Up’s “Here Lies Are” from their upcoming split 12″ with Serena-Maneesh. It’ll be out on the Norwegian label Best Of Both Worlds.

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Comments (44)
  1. That beefcake’s got more brains rattling around in his head than you would think from looking at him. Team Fucked Up.

  2. Either you believe boycotts are a legitimate / potentially effective tool or you don’t. I do. Someone’s got to take the first step. Stars has, more power to them. Believe me Damian bigger entities will get on board with a boycott. And Phoenix will listen. Barack needs to step up way more forcefully though.

  3. no need to take sides on this one… at a time when nearly all political opinion is so consistently polarizing and spiteful of the opposition, it’s great to see an actual discourse take place. i’ve grown tired of the now-ubiquitous “see it my way or you’re an idiot who’s helping this country crumble” mentality.

  4. stars are so unbelievably retarded and naive

    • see my response below rob. by the way, you look really cool in those sunglasses. no one would mistake YOU for a “retard”……..
      stars

      • oh boy i better scroll down and read the eight great american novel bricks of texts you wrote about politics on this music website

        • enjoy your shower beer rob. we’ll see you on the ash heap of history.

          xostars

          • right, and each mountain of excessively worded opinion and misguided political backtracking makes you guys look so much cooler. enjoy continuing to troll the fallout of your big time interweb “controversy” and have fun alienating a portion of the people who buy your records.

          • what someone such as yourself fails to grasp is that there’s actually a reason for doing things other than looking cool.

          • again, have fun alienating your arizona fans who share your feelings on SB 1070

  5. It was a tourist boycott that pressured Arizona into honoring the MLK holiday. So, Mr. Casper, maybe you are the tard.

    Maybe Public Enemy helped a little with By The Time I Get To Arizona

    I’m countin’ down to the day deservin’
    Fittin’ for a king
    I’m waitin’ for the time when I can
    Get to Arizona
    ‘Cause my money’s spent on
    The goddamn rent
    Neither party is mine not the
    Jackass or the elephant
    20.000 nig niggy nigas in the corner
    Of the cell block but they come
    From California
    Population none in the desert and sun
    Wit’ a gun cracker
    Runnin’ things under his thumb
    Starin’ hard at the postcards
    Isn’t it odd and unique?
    Seein’ people smile wild in the heat
    120 degree
    ‘Cause I wanna be free
    What’s a smilin’ fact
    When the whole state’s racist
    Why want a holiday F–k it ’cause I wanna

    • pinkeye has a point, why penalize stars’ arizona fanbase just because their state fails to get a grip on racial profiling? isn’t arizona basically doing the same thing, by putting the rights of one group of people over the rights of another i.e. discriminating?

      hey old man rock join the ranks of the uninformed wannabe progressives like the jerkoffs in stars i.e. you’re an idiot

      • So what’s a real progressive?

        They both have valid arguments. Granted, the whole “Pink Eye works for Fox News” was a dumb point, but if more and more artists, even minor ones, choose to boycott shows in the state it sends a message.

        I mean, this same argument can be applied to US foreign policy when we place various types of embargoes on countries or pressure American financial organizations to withdraw, both of which normally do more harm to the average citizen in that country than to the politicians or the country’s infrastructure. But, as with something like the apartheid in South Africa for example, economic pressure from an increasing number of nations (in this case, bands/artists/etc.) can be a contributing (but not sole) factor in changing policy. Should we stop imposing those various types of embargoes on nations with a history of human rights abuses just because it might also hurt their citizens?

        • some distinctions need to be made.

          1) boycott of an individual or company/corporation — highly effective

          2) an EMBARGO — which is government action forbidding its citizens to do business with a country — the effectiveness of this is debatable as you point out (I think it kicks the chair out from under the citizens of that country who are trying to stand up in opposition, but that’s just me)

          3) an individual’s boycott of a state/country — by far the least effective, even if several individual’s get together.

          For version 3 (which is what we have when bands decide to boycott playing in a State) to be even remotely as successful as version 2, you would have to have universal acceptance of every individual doing business in that state. Even if every single band in the world didn’t play Arizona, you wouldn’t come close to the effectiveness as version 2. And remember, the effectiveness of version 2 is debatable in the first place.

          The harms to the people of Arizona are immediate and harsh — I don’t need to repeat what has been said by Damian and others in the comments. There is no way that the harms of not playing could be rationally compared to the benefits of a boycott. I really don’t think Stars has a valid argument. They’re acting emotionally and irrationally.

  6. yeah–i laughed last night when i noticed an item about stars’ twitter “position.” sorry, i think they’re silly. a canadian indie rock band boycotting their indie rock fans in az in a stance on an american immigration policy? huh? if they’re really concerned, maybe their concern could take a little better articulated form than a tweet. yes, they have a new record.

    • three of stars five members are US citizens. and the smug, confrontational, cynical tone of your comment is the reason the internet sucks. you disagree with stars? cool. why don’t you, as damien did SAY SOMETHING constructive? cause you’re too cool right? right…..

  7. …i mean, why is it that the word retarded has to be used in order to express disagreement about this issue? we’re not debating the new crystal castles album for fuck’s sake. this is an incredibly important issue, one in which the fundamental nature of being “free” is being redefined by people who are willing to violate the rights of a minority in order to protect the lifestyle of a majority. yeah, i’m sure illegal immigration is a huge problem in the southern US. A problem created an economic system that has for decades exploited latino countries and people, underpaying them, ghettoizing them, and running factories in Mexico and elsewhere that keep people in a state of virtual slavery. In germany in the 30′s, people were upset because they thought Jews controlled too much of the economy. So they got behind HItler because he was finally ready to “deal with the problem”. And just like now, a lot of cynical semi-liberals laughed and derided those who warned that the Nazi’s isolation and legal persecution of Jews was the thin end of a wedge. “it’s more complicated than these naive hippies think” has always been the go-to position of those who prefer sit on their ass and do nothing. We don’t pay taxes in Arizona, and we don’t live there. We support all those in AZ who are working to overturn this law, and it’s personal feeling that what we can do is bring attention to this situation by declaring our non participation in the AZ economy until this law changes. You think it’s the wrong move: you could be completely right. But suggesting that we’re taking this position because we have a new record out…makes you….umm….an asshole. cause you don’t know us. And you insult and belittle us and activism in general and the latino community by applying the same grade 11 smarmy internet -chat “im more cool than you are cause i know nothing means anything” tone that you probably employ to argue about indie rock records. Boycott AZ or don’t. Agree with us or don’t . But just for a change, why don’t those of you who take this as an opportunity to reaffirm your hatred of synth-pop instead use it as an opportunity to THINK, and argue with respect and consideration.
    xostars

    • Stars – I commend your commitment to this issue and your attempts to keep the discussion civil, despite the accusations and childish insults being hurled by the internet mob.

      I must however agree with Damian on this for two reasons.

      1. Embargoes/boycotts have been shown to be extremely ineffective at creating change unless one is able to get an extremely large following to contribute to the boycott. For every success story there are hundreds of others where boycotts just don’t work and actually contribute to the deterioration of the cause which one could be fighting for.

      2. In what may be a very broad generalization, I suspect that the vast majority of Stars fans are probably more progressive than conservative. Announcing a boycott is really preaching to the converted. Now if you got AC/DC or Nickelback to boycott Arizona, you might actually get some conservatives to think about the issue in a reasonable fashion. But until you withhold something that is desired by the majority of people responsible for deciding on the issue at hand, it really will be a fruitless endeavour.

      • That was my point about the embargo. You need to build a groundswell among artists/bands/filmmakers/etc. What Damien suggested for Stars to do would still be ineffective because, as both you and he noted, Stars is a small indie band. Any press they drum up will likely only be in like-minded publications like a college newspaper or a site like this, or in non-mainstream, fringe media outlets that cater to/deride liberal causes. Most of the people attending their shows are probably already on their side with this issue. And they could donate proceeds from the show, but they could also do that from other shows they take part in without playing Arizona.

        But, if you get enough bands to refuse shows in Arizona that hurts local bars and concert venues. They lose money on tickets/entry fee and can’t make any money off alcohol which in turn also hurts vendors. It hurts the local economy which could force business owners to put pressure on the government to rescind the legislation.

        To be honest, Stars is a small band that really won’t change anything on their own. I don’t think anyone would argue that. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t actively try. Their voice could influence other bands who decide they too want to take part in it. I’m not saying an indie rock boycott will change the legislation because as I pointed out with South Africa economic pressure was only one of many reasons the country changed their policies on race.

      • thanks man-
        we are new to the world of social media, and maybe have avoided it because the nihilistic smarminess of the tone sometimes (ourselves included!) but as a tool to incite discussion…man! it’s powerful! because even a band as admittedly minor as ourselves has been able to be heard on this issue by a broad number of people. and i guess this goes to one of your points: granted, we preach to the converted when we announce we’re joining a boycott of AZ. but because of the dynamism of things like twitter, that announcement has been written about, not just in blogs and chat rooms but in major newspapers all over north america, including Arizona. And it has contributed to broadening the discussion. which can’t be a bad thing right? you make great points; boycotts do indeed hurt the very people who probably hate the law their governor just signed. but as i say, stars arent starting a boycott-we’re joining one. one which has been called for by politicians and activists in AZ. and i hope it works! im willing to participate and support anything that will contribute to the repeal of this terrifying new precedent.
        peace
        stars

  8. I think it’s nice and all that bands care about more than just making music, but this entire issue isn’t even half as controversial as most people believe it to be.

    For one, legal immigrants have had to carry around their papers according to federal law since 1940. Arizona didn’t make that law, and it’s not even one unique to the US.

    For another, despite claims to the contrary, the law explicitly says that racial profiling cannot be considered a reasonable suspicion that a person is here illegally (see below for the actual bill).

    The biggest controversy is whether or not the law allows police to randomly stop people or if police must see or suspect someone of committing a crime first before being able to stop anyone. Many lawyers read the law as saying the police can only stop those who are suspected of or caught committing a crime (not the crime of having crossed the border illegally – unless of course caught in the act), but at its worst, it still doesn’t mean that citizens without paperwork will be treated any differently than they are now, as whenever questioned by police citizens have always (and still do) have the right to simply give a name and birth date.

    I have my own concerns about the law, but I hate the automatic leaps to racism here. There’s no need for demonization, especially of another band for its choices (Fox News is obviously a boogie man over here, even though Red Eye is nothing like the rest of its lineup), when open dialogue is much more effective.

    Check out the law here if you want to read it rather than reading interpretations of it:

    http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070h.pdf

    • the problem with this law as i see it jane is that it puts discretion in the hands of police. When legislation opens the door to the personal prejudices of an armed police force, you have started down a very slippery slope. If there’s no difference between this bill and what’s already on the books, why are they passing it? Answer: because it panders to the growing anger and fear around illegal immigrants and works as a cheap vote getter for cynical politicians who make their careers out of playing the blame game and the race card. Legislation which empowers individual police officers to make judgements based on what they deem reasonable, without clearly defining what that means is a dangerous, incendiary and potentially racist decision in my opinion. Maybe every cop in AZ is a completely fair minded, non-prejudice individual. Im sure the majority of them are that. But that would be of little comfort to me if i was a young latino living in Arizona who didn’t like the idea of having to prove my citizenship simply because of the color of my skin. Will AZ cops be asking blond blue eyed people for proof of citizenship, fearing that they may be here illegally on an expired student visa from Sweden? i doubt it very much…

      p.s. you were right about that shot i took at Damien. it was a cheap one. Fucked Up are a great band, and people who disagree with our stance on this issue have a lot of legitimate arguments…but you gotta follow your heart and do what you think is right. And that’s what we’re trying to do.

      • agreed – boycotts aside, what i really don’t like is the application of a reasonable suspicion standard – something used routinely in criminal procedure – to areas that are really in the realm of immigration law. and reasonable suspicion, as far as i know, has never been used in these capacities. it’s a pretty manipulable standard, and has no bright-line definition… this would essentially be giving the cops a huge amount of discretion in an area where they’ve never had it before. and also, even in the criminal law enforcement world, racial profiling is only sometimes allowable (on the books, that is) when the profiling matches a description of somebody. but here, it’s gonna be part of every circumstance where somebody gets detained under this law. i’m looking forward to seeing what the USSC will inevitably say about the constitutionality of this law.

  9. …and having just read the bill, i hope everyone does. Because as I see it, this legislation is even more sinister than i first understood it to be….

  10. I completely support you and your band doing what all of you think is right; it’s admirable. I don’t, however, particularly enjoy overtly partisan politics that do nothing but demonize the opposition in the most cynical ways. Accusations of racism are the new Godwin’s Law.

    Discretion is always in the hands of the police. This doesn’t change that whatsoever. Police are trained specifically in determining reasonable suspicion on any crime. This didn’t originate with this law.

    With this law, and they’ve just clarified it further btw (see link below) to make it more specific, cops are only going to check immigration status if they’ve already legally detained, arrested or stopped you, which is nothing new. Anytime you’re stopped here, the first thing they do is ask you to identify yourself. If you have any of the four documents they list in the bill (DL, military card, state ID, reservation card), they will automatically assume you are legal and won’t check any further.

    What this law does change is that it forces police to check immigration status when arresting someone, which simply isn’t being done today. This country has many people in prison who don’t legally belong in the country, and many will even serve their time and then be released as any other prisoner. I’m not using the word many to incite fear of “brown criminals” or anything but just because there are enough that we’re not just talking about one or two random exceptions but rather enough that this law isn’t simply re-enforcing a standard procedure.

    This law also opens up communication between different cities (I believe only within Arizona, but I’m not 100% on that) on the immigration status of those who have been legally detained, arrested, etc., something else that wasn’t done before.

    Finally, it was written to pressure the federal government into doing something rather than pretend there isn’t a problem. Whether you’re for amnesty or for deporting everyone who doesn’t have legal papers, it’s undeniable that having tens of millions of undocumented people in this country, who can be exploited at levels well below minimum wage among other issues, is a problem.

    Basically, the law changes nothing except how the local government of Arizona reacts to those found illegally in the country, and they explicitly list someone’s race, ethnicity, country of origin, etc. as being an invalid reason for suspecting someone of being here illegally.

    Are there racist cops in Arizona? I don’t know, and I’d rather not assume the worst of people I don’t know and tar all Arizona cops by association, but even assuming there are (I’m sure it’s statistically likely), the law is expressly written to punish people like that, not help them. If a racist cop decides a person who looks like a Mexican is in this country illegally and has no other reason to harass him, then that cop, barring some conspiracy, will be prosecuted. It’s the same thing we have with airport security. If a disproportionate number of Muslim men are searched, those doing and authorizing the searching are opened up for serious lawsuits.

    That’s the best any law can do. It can’t force anyone not to be a racist (nothing can force a change that personal, though I suppose some religious people might disagree with claims their deity can, but that’s a much longer discussion). If that’s your beef, then it’s misapplied.

    http://www.azleg.gov/search/oop/qfullhit.asp?CiWebHitsFile=/legtext/49leg/2r/summary/h.hb2162_ccmemo.doc.htm&CiRestriction=%22lawful+stop%22

    • I think it is absolutely ridiculous that this issue automatically goes down to race. Race is a made up thing of society. If you’re illegal, get the heck out of my country, and do the right thing and take the proper steps to get here legally. I don’t care what “color” you are, or what country you’re from. I think that part of immigration should be fixed: make it a bit easier for people to come to this great country. But honestly some of the comments I’ve read here are full of ignorance and accusing a whole state that they are “racist.” Another thing, this band is from CANADA am I right? Enough said…. @jane821 is 100% correct on the approach of this issue. Well said :D

      • I appreciate the support (and surprised to see it here), but I disagree with you on the issue of the band’s citizenship (and not just because one mentioned that they have Americans in the band), if only because I see nothing wrong with Americans finding fault with Canadian policies or any other country for that matter.

        Though I do make an exception for hypocrisy. I don’t know Canada’s immigration policy, so I don’t know if that exists in this case.

      • Kayll,
        If you’re going to bring social theory into the argument, do it right and not just to pin a ribbon on your (all-too-obvious) political stance. Race is a social construct, but as such has power when named. The fact of the matter is that the Arizona legislature allows for prodding and analysis by police officers based on any factor they deem appropriate without any other cause. The implication therein is that authorities will be able to visually decide who to check for documentation, which by definition lends itself to racial profiling.

        Furthermore, your rhetoric surrounding allowing people to immigrate to the US is also steeped in a “made up thing of society” (or social construct, as we call it). That “thing” is borders. Nation-state style borders controlled by centralized governments claiming ownership over the right to allow people to cross from one area of land to another is an entirely socially created idea, and a fairly modern one at that (c. 1700).

        If you don’t agree with the legislation because you support closed borders and “national security,” that’s fine. But don’t ignore the grander picture just because you do, and check your constitution and history books before you make such brash statements.

    • hi kayli-
      i hope i have some time to continure this argument! it’s gettin good. :) But right now i want to tell you that 3 of stars 5 members are american, and we’ve lived there collectively for years at a time. And in a way, it’s irrelevant, cause human rights is a human issue not one of nationality…

  11. I love how everyone thinks they know how life is here in AZ. Who the fuck are you stars? Good, don’t come here. Nobody gave a fuck about you before you decided to start talking about “boycotting AZ”. If you didn’t come here, unannounced, nobody would even give a shit. I don’t give a shit, fuck you stars. “Oh some piece of shit Canadian isn’t gonna come to AZ?? Oh…. well this changes everything, we need to overturn this bill!”. Oh yeah, please, start a boycott. I wouldn’t even notice a difference, it seems bands already hate playing here.

    Yes, there are lots of illegal immigrants here in Arizona. Yes, they are “illegal”, so why do DON’T we send them ALL back to Mexico? I mean, they’re ILLEGAL!! its first word of their political titles!

    If we send back all the “illegals”, our Arizona economic system would collapse. These people who are living AND working here “illegally” account for something like 29 billion dollars of the AZ economy. They are staples to keeping are state running, like it or not.

    Rumor has it, this new law that passed is a bargaining chip to the republican party so that the democrats can legalize marijuana (finally) and tax it. The last thing republicans want to do is legalize marijuana, especially because it would be difficult to tax it if people from the boarder are just bringing it through. AZ is in a financial mess, I think this bill is also trying add tax revenue by charging the convicted immigrants with a $500 dollar fine, which is obviously ridiculous, but is something people will pay to stay out of Mexico.

    • If they legalized, and taxed, pot in U.S., the current Mexican smugglers absolutely could not compete with marijuana manufactured in the states. In the not-to-distant future it could become a great import/export crop for both sides and eliminate a TON of the tension along the border.

      Elimination of the IRS, and a nice flat/consumption tax would also reduce tensions, but that’s radical logic speak that current governments want no part of.

  12. More than 99& of Arizona will never even know that a band called Stars ever existed. It really doesn’t matter.

  13. I just wanted to put in a word myself, commending stars for what they’re doing. I mean, they may not have any real affect on the outcome of things, their attempts may even be a bit misguided. I don’t think any of us can claim to know exactly how this bill will effect the state of AZ. But their intentions are obviously in the right place, and we can’t deride them for that. They’re only trying to make a positive difference with what they have, I don’t understand why people like Mr. Vandivort take their actions as a personal affront.
    I’m really surprised by the negative reaction they’ve received here. I agree with stars that the internet can be full of useless negativity.

    • Personal affront? Where do you live LeMonjello?? I’m sure all of your favorite bands play all of your local venues, and I’m sure you and all of your friends have a lot of fun.

      All of MY favorite bands skip right past AZ, right past Tucson. And if by chance, they actually decide they WANT to come play here, when “stars” is trying to “boycott” Arizona for political reasons they can’t relate to and pretend to care about, to try and prevent MORE bands from avoiding my home…. it fills me with “useless negativity”.

      But yeah, obviously their intentions are in the right place. They get to come off as “politically active” by doing what? Not playing in a state they probably never booked to begin with…?

      • Mark, buddy, I hear your frustration. It’s been a long time since bands you love like Avenged Sevenfold and Nickelback played the booming metropolis of Tucson. But why all the anger? Can’t other human beings have opinions that aren’t yours? I know they’re partially Canadian and your soul patch told you that it makes them “pieces of shit” (your words), but that doesn’t make them any less entitled to valid thoughts. I’m guessing you’ve never been to Iraq and Afghanistan, but you still have a very ALL-CAPS on what goes on over there, right? It clearly takes you a lot of time to do your hair in the morning, so while you’re working on your blow-out give your attitude some thought and maybe try to be a little more constructive.

        • I think you’re taking this personally. Theres more important things to care about, i’m over it.

          • Wait come back. We need to define “personally”.

            Definition: //All of MY favorite bands skip right past AZ, right past Tucson. And if by chance, they actually decide they WANT to come play here, when “stars” is trying to “boycott” Arizona for political reasons they can’t relate to and pretend to care about, to try and prevent MORE bands from avoiding my home…. it fills me with “useless negativity”// (via you).

            Alternate definition: //…Who the fuck are you stars? Good, don’t come here. Nobody gave a fuck about you before you decided to start talking about “boycotting AZ”. If you didn’t come here, unannounced, nobody would even give a shit. I don’t give a shit, fuck you stars. “Oh some piece of shit Canadian isn’t gonna come to AZ??…//(via you).

          • Thats me trying to make a point. What you’re doing is trying to troll me into getting pissed over some stupid internet topic by insulting the way I look and making ridiculous assertions.

            And that last quote should’ve read “Oh some piece of shit Canadian **band** isn’t gonna come to AZ??…”

          • You’re right. I am trying to troll you. Because it’s hysterical. I’m sorry.

  14. Yeah the last AZ boycott helped get the state to realize not recognizing MLK day was racist, why not for this issue?

    Also, this isn’t about requiring
    ” …. legal immigrants to carry their alien registration papers with them/gives AZ police the right to question people they suspect are in the States illegally,”

    it’s about the fact that even as a citizen, you’d better be carrying ID or else you’re going to be handed over to ICE if you even look slightly less white than John McCain.

  15. cool song

  16. No…just straight up no, Stars. Jane could not have stated my own personal viewpoint anymore clearly
    jane821  |   Posted on Apr 30th 

      +1

    I completely support you and your band doing what all of you think is right; it’s admirable. I don’t, however, particularly enjoy overtly partisan politics that do nothing but demonize the opposition in the most cynical ways. Accusations of racism are the new Godwin’s Law.

    Discretion is always in the hands of the police. This doesn’t change that whatsoever. Police are trained specifically in determining reasonable suspicion on any crime. This didn’t originate with this law.

    With this law, and they’ve just clarified it further btw (see link below) to make it more specific, cops are only going to check immigration status if they’ve already legally detained, arrested or stopped you, which is nothing new. Anytime you’re stopped here, the first thing they do is ask you to identify yourself. If you have any of the four documents they list in the bill (DL, military card, state ID, reservation card), they will automatically assume you are legal and won’t check any further.

    What this law does change is that it forces police to check immigration status when arresting someone, which simply isn’t being done today. This country has many people in prison who don’t legally belong in the country, and many will even serve their time and then be released as any other prisoner. I’m not using the word many to incite fear of “brown criminals” or anything but just because there are enough that we’re not just talking about one or two random exceptions but rather enough that this law isn’t simply re-enforcing a standard procedure.

    This law also opens up communication between different cities (I believe only within Arizona, but I’m not 100% on that) on the immigration status of those who have been legally detained, arrested, etc., something else that wasn’t done before.

    Finally, it was written to pressure the federal government into doing something rather than pretend there isn’t a problem. Whether you’re for amnesty or for deporting everyone who doesn’t have legal papers, it’s undeniable that having tens of millions of undocumented people in this country, who can be exploited at levels well below minimum wage among other issues, is a problem.

    Basically, the law changes nothing except how the local government of Arizona reacts to those found illegally in the country, and they explicitly list someone’s race, ethnicity, country of origin, etc. as being an invalid reason for suspecting someone of being here illegally.

    Are there racist cops in Arizona? I don’t know, and I’d rather not assume the worst of people I don’t know and tar all Arizona cops by association, but even assuming there are (I’m sure it’s statistically likely), the law is expressly written to punish people like that, not help them. If a racist cop decides a person who looks like a Mexican is in this country illegally and has no other reason to harass him, then that cop, barring some conspiracy, will be prosecuted. It’s the same thing we have with airport security. If a disproportionate number of Muslim men are searched, those doing and authorizing the searching are opened up for serious lawsuits.

    That’s the best any law can do. It can’t force anyone not to be a racist (nothing can force a change that personal, though I suppose some religious people might disagree with claims their deity can, but that’s a much longer discussion). If that’s your beef, then it’s misapplied.

    http://www.azleg.gov/search/oop/qfullhit.asp?CiWebHitsFile=/legtext/49leg/2r/summary/h.hb2162_ccmemo.doc.htm&CiRestriction=%22lawful+stop%22

    Once again: police will not be able to check for validity of citizenship of anyone unless that person is being questioned or arrested in relation to their violation of a law. This law does not give local and state police the authority to solely ask for documents that prove citizenship from anybody.
    The original bill was worded in a confusing manner, and has since been corrected to make this point very clearly.
    At first I thought your band was well-educated about this issue, but the more I read about your knowledge and interpretation of this matter, the more I realize I was wrong.

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