ACLU Warns Americans on Risks of Traveling to Arizona

June 30, 2010

(ChattahBox)—-The ACLU has issued an unprecedented travel advisory for Arizona, warning about the risk to vacationers of becoming the victims of racial profiling and being thrown in jail for the failure to prove they are in the country legally. The civil rights organization from 26 states, including Arizona and New Mexico is warning vacationers before the July 4 holiday.

Although Arizona’s draconian anti-immigration law doesn’t take effect until July 29, police are reportedly already targeting people based on their appearance. And the “show me your papers” law is creating an environment of xenophobia and bigoted nativism.

Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona, defended the travel warning, pointing out that the harsh anti-immigration law would increase racial profiling that is already occurring within law enforcement:

“We have a long history of racial profiling in this state, and this is basically going to really exacerbate that problem,” said Alessandra Soler Meetze, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona.

“There is a tremendous amount of misinformation out there about the law,” Soler Meetze said. “It’s a very complicated piece of legislation that gives police unprecedented powers to stop and question people about their identity and their citizenship. I think it is important for people to have this information easily accessible.”

The ACLU is also providing travelers a “bust card” they can print and keep in their wallets or download to a mobile phone, which offers a quick primer on their legal rights, in case they are arrested, while vising Arizona.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Wing-Chi Poon/Entering Arizona on I-10 from New Mexico


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