“Who the hell carries their birth certificate!” writes Jack Tomas from Guanabee. This update is not relating to Filipinos or the Asian American community, but on the recent injustice committed in Arizona with the recent anti-immigration law SB 1070. Unjustified racial profiling in Arizona officially kicked off with the detainment of a Mexican-American truck driver who is a born and bred American citizen. A few relatives of mine in the West Coast are having second thoughts of even passing through the state of Arizona due to the fact that my family is really brown and can definitely pass as Hispanics. What angers me from reading this article is that the truck driver, Abdon was detained by an incompetent and racist officer on the grounds that he was brown and his mother is currently living in Mexico. This led the officer to demand Abdon’s birth certificate, refer to Jack Tomas’s statements above.
As an immigrant and someone who comes from a family of immigration attorneys, I was really moved by a post on AbsolutelyFobulous by Suzanne Leung who shares a personal account on being held by US Customs in Houston, Texas. It’s sad that these sort things happen in country that tries to exemplify freedom, diversity, and change. In the detainment of Abdon, there was an unjustified racial profiling on natural born US citizen!
The truck driver, who would only give his name as Abdon, made a stop at an Arizona weigh station. According to the recently passed anti-immigration law SB 1070, a police officer may detain anyone of who he has “reasonable suspicion” of being an illegal alien, (you know like being brown.) The officer demanded to see his birth certificate to prove that he had been born in America and when Abdon could not provide it [Ed. Note: Who the hell carries around their birth certificate?] he was taken into custody.
The problem is that Abdon was born in Fresno, CA which, if you remember from 2nd grade geography, is in America. Abdon’s wife Jackie raced home to get his birth certificate and when he got to the police station she asked why her husband had been detained and was told:
“Because he didn’t answer the questions correctly. He stated that, you know, his mother is in Mexico currently. That’s where she lives. And I asked them, you know, is it a crime for his mother to be in Mexico? And he said it’s not but, he just thought it would be suspicious.”
Abdon was released, but it is a sign of things to come. Governor Jan “Not-Palin” Brewer has repeatedly said that she will not tolerate racial profiling in enforcement of the law but has not defined how police are supposed to determine if a person is an illegal immigrant on site without racial profiling.
If you are Hispanic and are driving through Arizona you might want to try to look and act more Americany so you don’t go to jail.
Take a stand against this law and visit the following sites: