Kris Kobach In The NYT And “Your Papers, Please”

Law Professor Kris Kobach has an Op-Ed in the New York Times, explaining the truth about the new Arizona law.[Why Arizona Drew a Line, April 29, 2010] It`s good that they let him publish this, because you aren`t going to see a lot of this in either the NYT editorial page or their news reporting. He has the answers to five  bogus claims that opponents of the bill make:

  • It is unfair to demand that aliens carry their documents with them.
  • “Reasonable suspicion” is a meaningless term that will permit police misconduct.
  • The law will allow police to engage in racial profiling.
  • It is unfair to demand that people carry a driver’s license.
  • State governments aren’t allowed to get involved in immigration, which is a federal matter.

You can read the answers in detail on the New York Times website, but I thought I`d mention the part about documented immigrants being expected to keep their documents handy. Kobach reminds us that “[S]ince 1940, it has been a federal crime for aliens to fail to keep such registration documents with them.”

That is, if you`re a foreigner in the US legally, whether on a Green Card, a visa, or a passport from a non-visa country like Canada, you`re responsible for proving it. Why is that so hard?