North Carolina lawmakers are continuing their march to become the crazy-capital of the nation.
After proposing the establishment of an official state religion and voting to require criminal background checks for welfare recipients, state legislators are now considering a bill that would implement Kris Kobach’s “Papers Please” anti-immigration law and create special identification for immigrants.
Under the bill, H.B. 786, police can check the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest and detain them for “reasonable suspicion.” The bill also makes it easier for police to seize immigrants’ vehicles. Furthermore, it would require a detained undocumented immigrant to pay the costs of his or her arrest, while making bail more difficult.
The bill does provide driver’s permits to undocumented immigrants if they lived in the state for one year. However, these licenses follow the controversial design North Carolina attempted to issue to DREAMers, which mark them from the rest of the state’s population: Undocumented immigrants would receive a vertical license, instead of the standard horizontal one, and they would carry a thumbprint.
How about a gold star?
The idea that we should detain people who seem suspicious — which lets be honest means their skin is brown — and then make them pay for their own arrest strikes me as a form of state-sanctioned extortion of the most vulnerable persons among us who have no recourse.
The bill’s proponents believe they would be throwing immigrants a bone by allowing them to obtain a drivers license, but this would be a specially-designed license that includes a thumbprint, alerting everyone it’s shown to that they are speaking to an immigrant. Whether it’s a bartender or a grocery store clerk requesting your ID so you can buy cold medicine, they would know right away who they are dealing with.
This is un-American.