By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network
Arizona's new immigration law takes effect Thursday, but a group of activists who oppose it are going to make it darn hard for the cops to do their new job.
In fact, they are hoping they'll be arrested - so that they can successfully challenged the constitutionality of the law in court.
The activists are all Latinos living in the United States legally. Many of them, in fact, are U.S. citizens.
As it stands now (although this may change in the name of Homeland Security) there is no requirement in the United States that one has to carry one's papers when in public. That's the kind of thing we've always associated with totalitarian regimes. Like the Nazis.
But Arizona is making an exception - saying that anyone who is an immigrant had better have proof of citizenship or other legal right to be in the nation. Or they'll face arrest.
So what these folks are going to do is hang out on street corners - trying to draw attention to themselves as possibly being here illegally. When the cops ask them for ID, they will refuse.
Now, remember, the law requires immigrants to show proof they are here legally. What if the person they are stopping is not only a U.S. citizen - but one born here in the United States?
The hope is that they will be arrested - even though they've broken no laws. Giving them the opportunity to challenge - and hopefully overturn - the law.
We have a problem in the United States - and it's not just the influx of illegal immigrants or the threat of terrorism - both of which are valid concerns. It's the way we are so willing to discard our personal freedoms in our zeal to combat these issues.
Too many are so focused on their concerns about illegal immigrants and the threat of terrorism (issues that sometimes overlap) that they forget that the Founders gave us certain rights - rights that we the people permit to erode if we don't stand up and fight for them.
Some will argue that what these activists plan on Thursday impedes Arizona's efforts to combat illegal immigration. I say what they plan will protect my rights - and yours - as a U.S. citizen.
Which issue is more important to you?