I don’t want this blog to be full of my political leanings and rantings because let’s face it, the people in my life hear enough of it. But in light of my last post in the Haunted Halloween special on Bisbee, Arizona, I wanted to make some comments on Arizona, travel and SB1070.
SB 1070, or the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act”, created the one of the nation’s strictest anti-illegal immigration policies. Debate exists over whether or not it encourages racial profiling and rather than make a personal judgment here in this blog, I will say I trust the courts will hear a lot of cases on this law. Many organizations have called for a boycott on travel to Arizona and many others say the boycott will unfairly hurt the residents of towns that rely on travel dollars.
When I saw that TripAdvisor.com had included the ghost tour in Bisbee, Arizona on their list, I realized I had a judgment call to make. I could choose to ignore their entry and make a political statement or I could embrace it with open arms and ignore the issue at hand. Instead, I’ve found my own solution. I did indeed make a write-up on the entry but I have forwarded readers onto this one. The reason is, I want to include some warnings for people who do decide they want to travel to Arizona.
Warning: In states with less restrictive laws than Arizona’s, American citizens have been mistakenly deported to Mexico. In Chicago, a Puerto Rican man was held despite showing his birth certificate and issued ID. In North Carolina, a mentally ill prisoner was deported without being offered a lawyer, despite being an American citizen. When he arrived back in the United States, Georgia attempted to deport him again. In 2006, the Vera Institute of Justice identified 125 people in immigration detention centers across the nation who immigration lawyers believed had valid U.S. citizenship claims. Even though most cases like these involve those of Puerto Rican descent being detained, there are other citizens who have been detained as well. One Minnesota native was high on heroin when he was arrested and in his drug-induced state told authorities he had swam ashore to America via a Soviet Submarine. Colorado held him and sent him to Arizona where it took a US Senator to save him from deportation as ICE would not listen.
Lesson: Being a US citizen is not enough to protect you when a state wishes to deport you. Please bring multiple forms of identification to attempt to protect yourself.
Warning: The law specifically targets illegal immigrants.
Lesson: Illegal immigrants should do their best to avoid Arizona at all costs.
Warning: The just cause for checking on your status as a citizen is by the person breaking the law.
Lesson: Make sure you obey all laws. Research state laws before your trip if they may vary from your own state.
I chose to keep Arizona featured because in time the law may be overturned. At the moment, it is caught up in the legal process and partial injunctions are in place. So in the mean time, I highlighted the aspects of Bisbee, Arizona I thought were admirable, like the small businesses of the town and the charitable workings of the residents. I understand my readers may disapprove of the idea of visiting Arizona, or they may dislike the discussion of politics, or even discussing illegal immigrants. Some readers may not be aware of the situation and deserve to be informed. Whatever way you feel about Arizona’s new law, I hope I have provided enough information for you to make an informed choice about traveling to the state.