In case you missed it, Arizona declared its independence yesterday. Yes indeed, Arizona has decided that it is too good to remain part of the union, and as one of the four more recent ratifiers of the Constitution acted on its buyer’s remorse and split from the union as its Governor, Jan Brewer, signed into law a bill that for all practical purposes forces visitors from other states to travel to Arizona with a U.S. passport under the protection of the U.S. Secretary of State, the esteemed Hillary Rodham Clinton (like Bill, I cannot resist mentioning her whenever I have a chance).
Unlike the signing of the U.S. Declaration in 1776, this was not a multi-signatoried event with Founding Parents traveling to the capital over a series of weeks and months to sign. It happened before TV cameras with the swipe of a pen by a single individual so that now, if you are in Arizona and either looking or behaving in a way that some officer of the law perceives as alien, you must now, by law, produce proof of legality. Arizona will evidently be issuing some kind of national I.D. document, but if you are not from Arizona, you would be well advised to have your passport on you at all times while within its borders. The papers must be on your person at the time you are stopped. You can be arrested for not having your papers with you while looking or acting alien. Exactly what is meant by that phrase has yet to be defined, so, at the moment, it is impossible to know how we might alter our looks or behavior in order to slide beneath Arizona police radar.
It is so interesting that this is being called an “Immigration Law” far and wide in the press when it is, in fact, a vote of no confidence in the federal government and secession from it. Given the wide publicity a few weeks ago of Virginia’s celebration of what state officials argued was a War of Secession, you would think that the concept of secession would be fresh in the minds of media reporters.
As I have argued here on many occasions and as former President Bill Clinton reminded everyone last weekend, words mean something, and we should be careful about how we select our vocabulary. Immigration law can be enacted only by a country, not by a state. This is not an immigration law and resembles immigration law far less than it does the use of national I.D. cards to classify groups as seen in Nazi Germany.
In the event that Arizona is on your itinerary and you do not have a current U.S. passport, of course it is our beautiful and efficient Head Homegirl to the rescue. Just go here to her website. She will make sure you are protected while within the borders of the Country of Arizona.
In case you missed this historic occasion, here is the video.Vodpod videos no longer available.