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  • Edición impresa de Diciembre 7, 2010

No, it’s not that I already bought into the Christmas spirit, but that I’m wishing a bunch of state legislators leave once and for all and stop working. It’s not either that I like them a lot and wished them to have a really happy-happy, but rather that I dislike them much.   That came about because this year many state legislators seem to have dedicated their time to mess around immigration. Among them all this year 314 new laws or ordinances were approved, despite the fact that after the nefarious experience of Arizona’s SB1070 it was clear for all that immigration matters are the realm of the federal government only, not the states.

But politics and coherence do not ever combine well; so 44 states approved some 21 percent more immigration laws this year than in 2009.

For instance, Nebraska decided that immigrants in the state must present official proof of legal residence in order to receive public services. As a fact, Governor Dave Heineman himself cancelled a pre-natal care program used by undocumented mothers-to-be of future U.S. citizens. If in 15 years the state is full of unhealthy citizens, please remember Heineman. He is also ready to send an Arizona-like bill to the State Legislature to facilitate the arrest of undocumented immigrants by local police.

Oklahoma is worse. HB 1804 disqualifies people without papers to receive birth certificates, and it also bans undocumented students from receiving scholarships or financial aid.

Even worse is a state with a French name, Missouri, which not only will not give any kind of papers to people without immigration documents, but it won’t even recognize documents from other states. It’s a law dedicated to ban documents from New Mexico, Washington and Utah, which still issue driver licenses to undocumented immigrants.

In Minnesota the state founded by Swedish illegal immigrants, amended Law S460, is taking away basic services to people without papers, especially health services as basic as emergency care and medical consultation.

The difficult-to-spell state of Mississippi, in its Labor Protection Law, mandates employers to use the failed E-Verify program to check everybody’s immigration status, and makes it a crime for undocumented workers to accept a job. Fines and punishments are up to 10 thousand dollars and up to 5 years in jail. State legislators should be removed on insanity grounds before sending them off to enjoy the holydays, since the U.S. Supreme Court already and clearly ruled, in the case against Arizona’s SB1070, that it is not illegal to actively look for work for undocumented immigrants.

But the one that really should start early vacations is the State Legislature in Florida. State Representative William Snyder, according to Tim Elfrink from the Miami New Times, already has a draft for a worse-than-Arizona’s bill. Not only will it repeat the stupidity of mandating police officers to use suspicion as grounds to investigate people, but it makes clear who will the suspects be, by default.

To the letter, the law says that “even if an officer has a reasonable suspicion about the immigration status of a person… the person will be presumed to be legally in the country if he or she presents a Canadian passport or a passport from any of the countries which do not require a visa to enter the United States.

It seems pertinent here to point out that no country exempted of visa requirement has Brown citizens. There are four in Asia and the rest are in Northern Europe. So to speak, the only way to make a suspicious a police officer about our immigration status is to make him suspect we are Northern Europeans, Swedish, Danish, or Norwegian, not an easy feat since our DNA does not contain genes for the right height, hair and skin color. The best option would be to fake we are Asians, something closer to us. It is either that or abandon the practice of forging gringo green cards and start forging Canadian passports.

So if our dear readers are in any of those states, call your State Rep and ask him or her to take an early vacation!

 


 

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