There’s no such thing as ‘reasonable suspicion’ of immigrants

By Ana Christina DaSilva Iddings
July 1, 2014

Unaccompanied minors ride atop the wagon of a freight train, known as La Bestia (The Beast) in Ixtepec

My path to the United States, 20 years ago, was far less traumatic than that of the 52,000 unaccompanied children from Central America who have arrived at the southern U.S. border since October. Since many of these children don’t qualify for asylum, immigration officials move them to detention centers — after which they eventually face deportation proceedings.

Yet in my son — and in these unaccompanied migrants — I see an entire generation of children who will grow up viewing the United States as a country that discriminates against non-natives.

Our current immigration policies have an impact on all children — not just those who are undocumented or in mixed-status families. I am a green card-carrying resident alien who was born in Brazil. I’ve lived in the United States for over two decades. Yet I’m still held in airports or scrutinized by police because of anti-immigrant laws like SB 1070 in Arizona, which requires authorities to detain immigrants if there’s “reasonable suspicion” that they are not living in the U.S. legally.

The last time that happened, I was catching a flight out of the Tucson airport en route to an academic conference, accompanied by my teenage son. Ironically, I was due to give a talk about how immigration reform, deportation policies, and anti-immigrant laws such as Arizona’s SB 1070 can negatively affect the education of young immigrant children.

I arrived late at the airport and was rushing through security when a Border Patrol officer asked my fellow travelers and me whether we were citizens of the United States. After I explained that I was a resident alien, the officer asked to see my green card, which I had accidentally left at home. Although I had an Arizona driver’s license, birth certificate, marriage license and passport, the officer detained me for not carrying my green card.

She lined me up against a wall with about 20 other travelers — mostly brown-skinned people who were not carrying the required documents. She paced in front of me and yelled that I was breaking the law for not having the right documentation, and that I would suffer the consequences of my actions.

I asked the officer to use my driver’s license information to verify my legal status. She said that although she could have done so quickly, through a phone call, she wanted to make an example out of me. And so she stood there, smirking. She released me several hours later; I missed my flight and my talk.

My experience was painful, but it could have been far worse. Unlike the 11 million undocumented migrants in the United States who currently risk detention or deportation, I don’t have to worry about being separated from my family. Yet my teenage son was terrified by the way the Border Patrol agent treated me and others. He lost some of his respect for institutional authority, an unfortunate outcome for a child who is becoming a voting citizen of this country.

While my son — as a United States citizen, born to an academic — has a dramatically different life than the unaccompanied children heading to America, I’m concerned that they’re all part of a generation that will grow up resentful of the United States and its treatment of immigrants.

A migrant child chooses clothing at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church temporary migrant shelter in McAllen, TexasAs an educator in border towns across southern Arizona, I meet many children from migrant families, the majority of whom have parents or caretakers who risk deportation. Unlike their peers, these children don’t get to play outdoors, for fear of being identified by immigration officials. Instead, they hide inside. If they make any noise, Immigration Services may use it as an excuse to investigate their house; the children’s parents, grandparents or other relatives could be taken away at a moment’s notice. If their parents and other relatives are deported, the children may suffer severe emotional and psychological trauma.

Through their experiences, all of these children are developing a belief — perpetuated by our immigration policies — that they’re not welcome in America, and that the inclusiveness on which this country was founded does not apply to them.

It’s time that we, as a nation, improve our treatment of all immigrants. The world is watching how we handle the droves of Central American children arriving at the southern U.S. borders. We can’t wait for Congress to enact real immigration reform and not making any real provisions for them. We must stop U.S. Border Patrol use of excessive force. We must repeal anti-immigrant laws like SB 1070, and ensure that those who are detained or deported are treated humanely. Children, especially, should receive honorable treatment.

PHOTOS: Unaccompanied minors ride atop the wagon of a freight train, known as La Bestia (The Beast) in Ixtepec, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca June 18, 2014. USA-IMMIGRATION/MEXICO REUTERS/Jose de Jesus Cortes 

A migrant child chooses clothing at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church temporary migrant shelter in McAllen, Texas June 27, 2014.  Picture taken June 27, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

38 comments

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I sincerely hope you are right about an entire generation of Central American children growing up to view the United States as a country that discriminates against non-natives. Maybe that will result in fewer of them dragging their useless carcasses across the border to turn our cities into third world garbage heaps.

Posted by JRTerrance | Report as abusive

Seriously, does this “academic” know constitutional law at all. Yes, as “persons” of the USA aliens are afford civil rights such as due process, freedom to worship, etc. But because of these very awesome rights they receive there are also things they are suppose to be doing, like paying taxes. Legal Resident aliens pay taxes, ILLEGAL non resident aliens do not, hence they are deserving no pity. Follow the laws and rules on becoming a legal resident alien, get naturalized as a US citizen, or expect immigration laws to be upheld. And if you think we are suppose to just glady take on the burden of illegal aliens and bear some enormous guilt for their lives, not all Americans feel that way. Nor do a lot of mayors and governors dealing with the fiscal stress that illegal aliens have brought to their communities.

Posted by BGoldberg | Report as abusive

The responsiblity for border-crashing children lies first with their parents, and secondarily with the country of origin. The United States does not have any obligation to grant these alien children residency or citizenship just because their parents mislead them into thinking they get to stay by successfully sneaking through the border. The children should be fed, bathed, and repatriated quickly (within a week or two). The children may grow up hating the US for sending them home, but I certainly don’t care. The Author is completely unaware that her unpleasant experience in the airport for a minor infraction (forgetting to carry her green card) is a response to illegal immigration on a massive scale, which she advocates. Finally, it’s rather bizarre that she has lived in the US for more than two decades and has not acquired US citizenship (which she could easily do), but complains she is not treated like a citizen.

Posted by Squeamish | Report as abusive

How dare you try to shift the blame!

1. The parents (not the children and not the US) are to blame. They are deliberately sending their children out alone. This situation is not the fault of any border agent, or immigration policies, or anyone that may be in the path of your self-righteous diatribe. No one is forcing these parents to put their children out.

If even one person in the US did what these ‘parents’ are doing — put their 5 year old on a bus ALONE with no guarantee the child would arrive anywhere — the entire country would be outraged and the parents would be arrested for child abandonment / abuse. What happens to these negligent parents?

2. They rely on the US reputation for being humane and gracious — which most Americans are. They are not sending their children to Mexico, or Argentina.

3. They flagrantly demand the generosity of Americans to “help a child” in need (so maybe we have to stop being kind so we are not so blatantly taken advantage of?).

And then, after abandoning their children, they will say “Oh, I must be reunited with my child — in the US!” Not, please send my child home to me. What’s wrong with that? Plenty.

So somehow America is at fault for … not abandoning the entire country to the whims and demands of illegal migrants?

Does US immigration policy need to change? Yes.

It should be easier for LEGAL migrants to obtain their papers. It should be easier for certain qualified workers to get temporary (3-6 months) work visas. US Employers should be required to hire any American who wants the job, and provide training if needed. Only if there are no Americans who apply or the numbers are not sufficient, can they employer apply for foreign workers.

Visa application processing should take weeks or months, not years.

Responsible legal migrants who come to work temporarily and then return home should be given expedited, preferred status when they apply for another visa.

Provisions should be made for existing, unwitting illegal migrants (children brought by illegal migrant parents) to temporarily remain in the US while they complete their citizenship applications if they are of age. Or, they could have the choice of leaving with their parents. Once back in their home country, they could request a special visa to reenter the US — without penalty — they weren’t deported, their parents were.

The option to “arrive and give birth” should no longer be allowed. Children should be citizens of whatever country their parents came from — UNLESS the parents are Legal migrants.

Then, the parents (and their children) should have every right to enjoy all the privileges AND responsibilities conferred by their legal status — whatever that status might be. And, when the parents become naturalized citizens, their children should automatically become citizens, too.

Becoming a citizen should be a requirement — after 10-15 years, a person who wishes to remain in the US indefinitely should be required to take all steps necessary to become a citizen.

It should be easier (and less expensive for taxpayers) for border officials to stop ILLEGAL migrants and deport them — across the border, not wherever they may have come from.

Parents and children should be kept together. If the parents are in the US illegally and are deported, their non-adult children (not US citizens under the new rules) need to go with their parents. Keeping families together — isn’t that what the mantra is?

Return them across the border and let them stay in Mexico — oh wait, the Mexican government won’t allow that. Where is the criticism of the Mexican government for not helping these children? Oh, right. Only the US should be criticized. No other country, no other people have any responsibility.

There are places in the world where there is very little illegal migration. Those places have rigid, unbending policies and when they catch illegals, being returned to their native country may be the least of their worries.

Posted by Wry | Report as abusive

When is the world going to get over the antiquated crap of “…give us your tired, your hungry, your poor…”. Those days are gone and while most Americans would like to help their neighbors, especially children, this is not the country of open land and opportunity that it once was. I love the rhetoric of South and Central Americans leaders about the treatment of their citizens in the US when they have done so little to help their own. Where have they provided opportunity for their people, been fair to them, had any rule of law. On top of this – they certainly aren’t particularly good to Americans that travel there on try and settle there.

Posted by Subwavelength | Report as abusive

“She said that although she could have done so quickly, through a phone call, she wanted to make an example out of me. And so she stood there, smirking.”

Sorry, but frankly… I think you’re lying. I know numerous law enforcement officers, and none of them are even remotely dumb enough, that they would make comments such as these. And they have no logical motivation or reason to do so. You obviously have an agenda, and it sounds to me like you have no problem exaggerating, or flat out falsifying things, to try and boost the legitimacy of that agenda.

Yes, this country was technically founded by immigrants. That was a long time ago. This land was wild and untamed, and there was plenty of room for everybody. The people that came here, came here because they knew things would be MORE difficult… Not less difficult. They wanted that challenge. They weren’t coming here out of desperation, with no money, and in many cases, zero education. Many of them actually came with a LOT of money and resources, and they promptly invested in building up the country with that money.

How much longer do you think the US can be saddled with an onslaught of poor, uneducated people… before there’s no resources left? We are already at that point now. Then where will all your poor immigrants go? It won’t be here, because there won’t be any reason left to come here.

If you feel so bad for them… In stead of whining about it, why don’t you go back to your own country, and make it better there… so then people won’t have to come here. But of course, that would actually take effort. It’s a lot easier to just run away and blame the evil white people for your problems.

Posted by dd606 | Report as abusive

Wow…. the venom in America is ugly.

Posted by euro-yank | Report as abusive

Anna — If what you say is true, you would most certainly be obligated to disclose also that you were prosecuting the officer. I don’t believe your arrogant rant.

An officer of the law would be committing professional suicide to say that ‘she wanted to make an example out of (you)’

You go on to say:
“Through their experiences, all of these children are developing a belief — perpetuated by our immigration policies — that they’re not welcome in America, and that the inclusiveness on which this country was founded does not apply to them.”

BRAVO~!
You’re starting to understand, I hope..
That ‘welcome’ and ‘inclusiveness’ is patently revoked when MILLIONS of people are taking advantage of it illegally~!~!

This is not an issue that can be dealt with by ‘welcoming’ them all. This IS a crisis, and the only response that can be justified is to STOP the flow of illegal immigration.

There is something extremely wrong with a culture in which 50,000 CHILDREN (in just eight months’ time) are allowed and encouraged to travel over 1000 Miles ‘unaccompanied’

And don’t even start with the crocodile tears about fearing the gangs — your own proposition would have us welcome THEM, too~!

Frankly speaking, illegal alien children caught crossing the border have a much greater chance of leading us to the other illegal relatives who have already sneaked in or overstayed their visa’s. We should have a policy in which the additional burden posed by their presence elevates the priority of deportation proceedings for each and every one.

Posted by Psyllicon | Report as abusive

Glad to see that people are speaking up against this invasion. Yes, those children being sent back might hate us, but no more than we’re going to hate them for not playing by the rules and causing chaos in a very tenuous time. And of course people like you will tell them how hateful American’s are, when the reality is that their parents were the dip sticks that caused the problem. Count your blessings because we have embraced immigration up until the point that our jobs were being given away and people were abusing the assistance. We’ve been way to generous, we take in more than other countries and it’s about time we slowed things down and ensured that our own are taken care of first. If you’d carry your paperwork with you, you might not have had issues at the airport, it’s not rocket science. Yes, we get it you’re an illegal sympathizer, so I suggest you start putting 50-75% of your own paycheck aside, so that you and others who believe as you, provide the support – and, I’ll continue to support the charities that I believe in. I owe nothing to these invaders, I’ll be glad to see them and more go home, because there is no respect for how hard we’ve worked to make this the great nation it is. They just want to take, take, take.

Posted by MaidenUSA | Report as abusive

In my opinion there is no racism in saying we don’t want more immigrants whether they are 1 year old or 100 years old or any age in between. So those who sincerely hope to fix the issue of immigration in USA has every right to say so. However there are processes through which a person can immigrate to USA the clutter in those processes should be cleared so that those who can be rightfully here can come over with ease or those who are already here can get through the process with ease. It will be a terrible discrimination to say only immigrants from one part of the world or country are allowed to immigrate or to disallow people from certain places in the world to immigrate to USA. If they deserve to be part of the American Dream don’t show any hesitation to say “Welcome To America”
Said all that it is an outrageous act to send children across to USA from Central American countries and those children must be send back to where they came from without delay, because they belong with their parents in their birth lands.

Posted by Looter | Report as abusive

All these great advocates of free market economics are shocked, positively scandalized at the free movement of labour. You can’t hold back the hordes. They will keep coming. 20% of the world’s population cannot enjoy 80% of its riches for long.

Posted by shieldpalm | Report as abusive

Since Americans don’t get out much and have come to think that grouchy selfish and self righteousness arrogance is the right way to be. They don’t understand that the USA is just one part of AMERICA. These children are AMERICANS and they are AMERICAN refugees. They are not migrants. They are running to safety. THEY ARE CHILDREN who don’t realize that the USA had become the great nasty monster and not the safe haven it always has been. We can spend trillions of foreign wars, and invading far off lands to give them democracy, but we can not help countries in our own continental family to stabilize enough to give their people a decent life. We can give Israel $6 billion dollars a year, and yet not help our neighbors children who would be asked to help us if there were some disaster in the states. The grouchy selfish racist voices must not be the only ones heard here. We need some sane compassionate voices to be heard.

Posted by tpvero | Report as abusive

Since Americans don’t get out much and have come to think that grouchy selfish and self righteousness arrogance is the right way to be. They don’t understand that the USA is just one part of AMERICA. These children are AMERICANS and they are AMERICAN refugees. They are not migrants. They are running to safety. THEY ARE CHILDREN who don’t realize that the USA had become the great nasty monster and not the safe haven it always has been. We can spend trillions of foreign wars, and invading far off lands to give them democracy, but we can not help countries in our own continental family to stabilize enough to give their people a decent life. We can give Israel $6 billion dollars a year, and yet not help our neighbors children who would be asked to help us if there were some disaster in the states. The grouchy selfish racist voices must not be the only ones heard here. We need some sane compassionate voices to be heard.

Posted by tpvero | Report as abusive

I made my first comment and then read the other comments and I must write to say how appalled I am at those immediately below me. Everyone in American pays taxes (except large corporations) because everything we buy is taxed! There are people who don’t know this? These people for the most part work, work hard, and do jobs the self righteous, mean, racist, Americans don’t want to do. The parents of these children are desperate to have them be safe. These people have a sense of family that has evolved away from the great white hopes in America. Our compassion and ability to offer safety to oppressed masses made us great as a nation. You are deluding yourself to think we are still great. We now are the most hated nation. It is easy to see why, since we have so many cranky hateful people here. These are children! It is God himself that brought them safely to our shore. What would Christ do? These are fellow Christian for God’s sake, show some compassion and concern!

Posted by tpvero | Report as abusive

We need to be clear about a few things. The US (meaning us, the voting public) owe nothing to citizens of other countries. Yeah, we can be nice and utter patronizng comments when necessary but we have no obligation whatsoever to take people in. Further, when we do take people in we have every right (even the responsibility) to say:

“what are you going to do for us? Are you a scientist? An educator? Are you going to create jobs? What do YOU bring to the party? In short why should we let you in?”

Forget the guilt. My guilt vanished when unemployment among young black men topped 80%

Posted by MJCobb | Report as abusive

The GOP continues to oppose immigration reform. That is what is wrong here. It allows people to be racist pigs and stand behind the law and feel that it is ok.

It’s not ok. Americans should vote out the GOP and put a responsible immigration policy in place and stop the madness.

As for the children pouring across the border – unfortunately they have to go back. Again – if the GOP would pass immigration reform laws that are humane – we wouldn’t have this problem.

Posted by michaelryan | Report as abusive

Actually, if you look up the latest polls over 60% of Americans want the enforcement of our immigration laws to increase. There is not any need for “comprehensive immigration reform” as what is needed is a simple progressive system of enforcement:

First, close the borders
Second, fine all employers $10,000 per violation for employing those without green cards.
Third, implement a guest worker program where the worker has to return to his native country every nine months–and has to be sponsored by the employer to get back in.
Fourth, eliminate all public benefits to illegals–including health care, education, AFDC, school lunches, no access to subsidized housing. They are a drain on the limited resources in our schools. No welfare to legal immigrants for the first five years.
Fifth, change our deportation laws. Illegals have no right to object to their deportation. They are here illegally and should be sent home immediately.
Sixth: those convicted of felonies should be deported immediately. No release into the public. No ability to contest their deportation.
Seven: eliminate chain immigration. Each legal immigrant has to ensure they will not be a burden on the country.
Eight: require a work permit, like they do in Canada, for any immigrant seeking work
Nine: change our requirements for citizenship. One biological parent has to be a citizen for any child to be declared a citizen.

If you remove the incentives, then the problem will resolve itself. There are not any standing “rights”, for you or your children, if you entered the country illegally.

The citizens of these United States have a right to determine who enters this country.

Posted by COindependent | Report as abusive

Wait, so when an immigrant doesn’t have their green card they get questioned more closely? Good.

Posted by NDIrish | Report as abusive

I think a friend of mine put it most clearly… calling an illegal alien an undocumented immigrant is like calling a burglar an uninvited houseguest or a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist. Kids as well as adults. Nobody should be allowed to stay in our country without going through the proper, legal process for resident or citizen status. And we, as a Nation, shouldn’t be in the business of providing free room and board for those who try to flaunt our laws. Or giving them the full measure of social benefits that legal residents and citizens enjoy. It makes me sad to see all these desperate kids (and adults) trying to break into our country, but they are not our problem simply because they managed to make it across the border – any more than a family should feel obligated to adopt any underage catburglar who manages to make it across their doorstep.

As for the author’s drama at the air terminal without her resident alien card… sorry, but if I “forgot” my identification or tickets, I probably wouldn’t be allowed to fly either. This was less a matter of bigotry than a case of Natural Consequences.

BTW, for those who argue that illegal aliens pay their fair share of taxes (not just local consumption taxes, but State and Federal), I would ask if they’ve ever heard of a 1040 being submitted by someone without a Tax ID Number.

Posted by Xavier_Shurt | Report as abusive

I imagine most of the anti immigration bigots out there hire undocumented workers to mow their lawns, paint the houses, put up their masonry… and then pay them dirt cheap – without paying any employment taxes and then scream for them to go home!!

Posted by michaelryan | Report as abusive

@michaelryan. Drawing a straw man argument to demonize those of differing opinion is classic Obama.

When the illegals flood your town and schools, you can then might be able to intelligently discuss the issue.

Posted by COindependent | Report as abusive

Wow!! I knew that racism and hatred were on the rise, but this is appalling. Bigots spewing vile racism all over the internet is nothing new, but this is not a right wing, fanatical forum, this is not a fundamental Christian news source. As a country, we have reverted back to the good ol’ days, when we felt free to demonize and segregate a group of people who just happened to look different. Shame on your pitiful excuses! Since you have no qualms expressing your racist attitudes, at least drop the hypocritical platitudes.

Posted by noteaplease | Report as abusive

Considering the US has had a hand in creating the socio economic atmosphere that has caused the violence in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, we need to take some responsibility and not demonize these children. 60% of the ones interviewed are eligible for refugee status as their lives are in danger if repatriated. 80% have family members currently living in the US. Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua and Costa Rica are all experiencing similar levels of immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. These children deserve due process according to a 2008 bipartisan law Bush signed. It states that unaccompanied migrant minors must be cared for while deportation proceeding take place or they are reunited with family members in the US. All of our ancestors were immigrants, it’s hypocritical to dehumanize these migrant children.

Posted by mrsMcFiercson | Report as abusive

Wow!! I knew that racism and hatred were on the rise, but this is appalling. Bigots spewing vile racism all over the internet is nothing new, but this is not a right wing, fanatical forum, this is not a fundamental Christian news source. As a country, we have reverted back to the good ol’ days, when we felt free to demonize and segregate a group of people who just happened to look different. Shame on your pitiful excuses! Since you have no qualms expressing your racist attitudes, at least drop the hypocritical platitudes.

Posted by noteaplease | Report as abusive

@noteplease Candidly, you’re outside the capacity of your intellect.

As a country? Exactly! Our country. A nation of laws. We are only demanding that those that come here follow the rules. There are 1000′s that emigrate here annually, that follow the rules. Is it too much to ask that of everyone who seeks to do so?

Progressives love to categorize those that have a differing opinion as racists. It has nothing to do with race and everything to do with the fact that we cannot afford to absorb anyone/everyone who wants to come here. Importing poverty is a negative to this country when we have internal needs that are not funded.

Posted by COindependent | Report as abusive

Let us not forget that we do have an immigration policy. It might not be perfect but it is currently the law. It attempts to give equal opportunity to all peoples from all nations.
For someone to immigrate to the US and then complain about the laws that have made the US an attractive place to begin with seems unfair. After three years of holding a green card one can apply for citizenship, and then vote to affect change.
Being a fourth generation citizen, I am still required to carry proper identification to travel on commercial airlines and carry birth certificates for my minor children. I can understand how forgetting these documents might cause me to miss my flight. We expect our law enforcement officers to be diligent and uphold the law.
Our laws require that immigrants be able to sustain themselves or be sponsored by someone who can sustain them. I don’t think it is the taxpayers obligation to take care of everyone who illegally crosses the border. I do believe the US helps other countries all over the world financially and otherwise. I don’t think it is fair to criticize the US for not doing more. Many people are still out of work or working for lower wages. Many families are broken since the Great Recession began.
The US allows 675,000 permanent residents annually plus additional for family members. Whether it should be increased is another subject but we currently have many crossing the border illegally.
I certainly don’t blame people for wanting to come to the US. If the US allows them to freely come in, they will. But our current laws do not allow for that. Immigration reform is mostly another round of amnesty. Both political parties seem to want it. The Republicans support the business sector which wants more cheap labor; The Democrats want to increase their voter base. What is best for our nation as a whole is what should be addressed. I don’t believe we should deport families that have lived here for over a decade. But until we are able to secure the border I don’t think we should grant another round of amnesty. In the past both have been promised but only amnesty achieved. This time let’s secure the border first. After a few years of convincing statistics, then I think most would support amnesty.
In California we voted for yet another tax increase to support teachers yet still have more than 30 children per kindergarten class, even though voters wanted it limited to 20 students. We have many students that require Spanish speaking teachers and are not being integrated effectively. There is a pace that our systems can absorb immigrants from all nations. Such a rapid pace that we currently have might be have a detrimental effect on our resident children.
http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-fa cts/how-united-states-immigration-system -works-fact-sheet

Posted by AveAmerGuy | Report as abusive

For those on this page that think we are such racists, why not simply offer to support all of these people on your own nickel and not burden the rest of us? It is not racist as no particular group is singled out, though one might argue it is classist. On the other hand, like I did before, and others have pointed out here – what country is showing itself to be so much more benevolent and accepting? But of course we are all supposed to ignore this and work really, really hard to be get ahead so that we can be the same as everyone else. Yeah – that is a great idea. And I will tell my kids that they should work hard, be honest, and do everything thing they can so they cannot have the standard of living that they grew up with. What a motivational speech.

As the world population grows and both food and water become more scarce, this problem will simply grow. Of course, if one suggested population control, they would be even more demonized – because of course this is all God’s will and clearly the Earth’s population and issues now are EXACTLY the same as when the bible was penned.

Posted by Subwavelength | Report as abusive

Where in the AZ SB 1070 does it say that authorities are to detain IMMIGRANTS if there’s “reasonable suspicion” ?
I point to the very first line of the bill and show that this bill simply enforces CURRENT FEDERAL LAWS. The second line states that they are to do exactly what they do to EVERYONE THEY STOP who does not have PROPER ID. Run a background check on you. If you have a VALID ID, you are good. If you have nothing to prove who you are or where you live, they run a BACKGROUND CHECK on you.

ARTICLE 8. ENFORCEMENT OF IMMIGRATION LAWS
11-1051.
A. NO OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE MAY ADOPT A POLICY THAT LIMITS OR RESTRICTS THE ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAWS TO LESS THAN THE FULL EXTENT PERMITTED BY FEDERAL LAW.
B. FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON. THE PERSON’S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).

Posted by Jason1776 | Report as abusive

I talked to a guy who lives in Beverly Hills the other day, who criticized how mean people are for not wanting immigrants pouring into the US. Meanwhile, he lives in a gated home, in a city where… if you’re a brown skin person on the street after dark, the cops will probably stop and question you. I’m willing to bet that every last person calling people names in their comments, just because people don’t want the country flooded with immigrants… most likely live in an area that is virtually void of immigrants. Come down to the southwest and take a look around. See what’s going on and how this country is changing. I couldn’t care less what color somebody is. The reality is, you cannot take people who have nothing, and flood a country with people who do have something. It doesn’t work. If the bleeding hearts whining about how mean people are, want to come and take some immigrants home with them, feel free to do so. But you won’t… You’ll keep living in your nice, safe, unaffected, immigrant free suburb somewhere… looking down your nose at all of us supposedly ugly racists and bigots, who have to deal with the problem every single day. You’re hypocrites.

Posted by dd606 | Report as abusive

All of this is going to come back and bite the country in the ass one day. The realities of demographics have made the browning of the US inevitable. There isn’t a wall high enough to stop statistical certainty.

For every illegal hispanic there are 3-4 legal ones. The cultural and genetic impacts on the population are indelible. Poorer people south of the border will see people that speak the same language as them and share the same skin color doing well up here (as a good amount are) and will want that for themselves, especially when all home has to offer many is a hard life and violent death,

The only way to make the country less attractive is to make their own homes more palatable. The same people who oppose immigration probably oppose interfering in other nations problems as well. The thing is, you cant have your cake and eat it too. The world is out there America, there’s no keeping it out or denying it, and all attempts to circumvent that reality will prove futile.

The ironic thing is the descendants of the bus people will probably be denouncing the next ethnic group with equal zeal.

Posted by loxegwen | Report as abusive

I wonder if I can go to Brazil stay for a few years and get their version of a green card and then make a living discussing and encouraging illegals how to enter Brazil? Cool.

Posted by Mandingo | Report as abusive

Dear Ana: I’m very sorry you had to go through those experiences. I hope you got to report the incident; it is shocking to see this kind of misinformation within airports. I noticed that for a while they were also checking documentation of people leaving the state/country. I don’t understand why.

It is disheartening to see the hate and name-calling toward children and families. People have the right to disagree with the ways their cases are being handled; but it seems unfair to direct their rage toward children and youth who have already endured so much suffering. Instead, direct your energy and concerns to the corporations, employers, and politicians who have failed to fix a broken immigration system.

Posted by InternetBurnout | Report as abusive

@dd606: ‘I know numerous law enforcement officers, and none of them are even remotely dumb enough, that they would make comments such as these.’
You really need to get out more…
Plus: ‘They weren’t coming here out of desperation, with no money, and in many cases, zero education.’…
Two things…. You really need to get out more, and while you’re out, take a class at your local community college on American History. They did come here out of desperation – by the millions, and with little or no money…

Posted by edgyinchina | Report as abusive

So this Legal Immigrant had a hard time because the government refused to enforce our laws for 30 years. Since she fits the main profile of the huge vast majority of illegal aliens and chooses to live in an place that has to deal with these she gets caught up because she fits the bill.

Instead of talking bad on how she’s treated as an Immigrant how about trying to be part of the solution to stop the problem that creates her problem. Take a stand for securing the border and making sure immigrants come legally only. Don’t get pissed off at states and citizens when they are fed up with the fed’s failure to do their job so try and do it themselves. Take it up with those who created the problem.

In medicine you treat the problem, not the symptom. This is how it should be. But instead pro illegal alien people rather treat symptom because they refuse to acknowledge the problem.

Also any and all Immigrants should be happy to be in the US. Do they think they would even get a fraction of the freedoms they get even as illegal aliens in their home countries? Sure, they may have an annoyance now and then but often due to their own choices. But they could have not come at all and be in a much worse position.

Lastly Americans have every right to protect our interests and our country. This is not the United States of the World. We don’t have someplace else to run off to if everything goes to hell. This is all we have and as such have to fight for OUR rights in OUR own country.

Posted by Syanis | Report as abusive

Honey, you’re definitely right that “…the inclusiveness on which this country was founded does not apply to…” these illegal alien invaders. People who refuse to use legal means to come here are NOT “immigrants”.

These endless hoards of would-be squatters with no money, land, education, skill, English fluency, etc. who bring nothing but urine and feces to these United States are surprised “…that they’re not welcome in America…?” They are surprised that the “…inclusiveness on which this country was founded…” FOR LEGAL IMMIGRANTS does not apply to them?

Suck up the reality, baby!

Posted by OneOfTheSheep | Report as abusive

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Matthew 19:14

Posted by ikebana | Report as abusive

“viewing the United States as a country that discriminates against non-natives.”

if they are perceptive, they will realize that it is the republican portion of the U.S. that does most of the discriminating

Posted by Leftcoastrocky | Report as abusive

Hey – Leftcoastrocky. Yeah – you are right, the democratic portion just uses drones to kill people in other countries with no oversight and uses new technology to similarly monitor every American. Yeah – but you are right – no discrimination.

Posted by Subwavelength | Report as abusive