I've never had any interest in visiting AZ before but with the immigration law, it's not principal for me. I'm a citizen but also 1st generation immigrant. If I travel to AZ, who's to say I won't get stopped and asked for my "papers"? Screw that. Try asking a gun-toting red-blood American (who's ancestors may or may not have been illegal themselves) for papers and it'll be Waco, TX all over again.
Couple this with the fact that citizens are not required to carry proof of citizenship with them and it creates an untenable situation.
What proof of citizenship? We have no national ID cards and only 5% of Americans have passports. Birth certificates? Those easily forged things? Besides, birth certificates don't have photos on them. Anyways, since I am a citizen, I don't need to carry papers and hence I can just tell the police no, right? (Yeah, good luck on that.)
Mossy, mostly I agree. But since passports are required to go to Mexico now...and since Mexico is our nearest beach, I think far more than 5% of Arizonans have a passport. Everyone I know does just so they can go to Rocky Point once a year. I really wonder when we are going to have to carry our passports.
Your point about being a first generation immigrant is also interesting. Not sure of your skin color but I doubt many citizens as white as I am will be asked for papers...nor will be Swedish and German friends. But my hispanic friends might be. They are concerned now. I think it is despicable that citizens would be made to feel that way.
Might be interesting to note that in both the Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo and the Gadsden Purchase the US agreed to grant citizenship to everyone in the treaty lands and until then would not displace them or deny them rights of other citizens. Congress has failed to act on that for 150+ years. I would like to see the Arizona law challenged at an international level but that will never happen.
I work at a University. There are hundreds of foreign nationals on campus every day. If you know anything about the INS in this country you know they are horribly inefficient and incompetent. It is common for people who are legal to not have the proper documentation because of some bureaucratic snafu. So what will their recourse be when stopped by an Arizona cop? Will INS agents be subject to subpeona to Arizona judges? No.
This is really a nightmare that is unfolding every minute.