Friday, April 23, 2010

Goodbye Arizona

We've been making a list of possible places to move to after law school. If I stay with my current job, which is a real possibility, we are limited to Cincinnati, Cody Wyoming, and maybe Denver. Another possibility is a judicial clerkship for one year. I'd work for a judge for one year for not much more than what I was making as a teacher, but it would look real nice on a resume. So we've been thinking about places where I could apply for a clerkship. Pretty much just places out west. Once I clerk for a judge in any given state, my resume looks extra nice in that state; for example, if I clerk for the Supreme Court of Idaho, I'd probably be able to get a job with the best firms in Idaho.
Now, though, I've decided to take Arizona off that list of potential places.
Ever since my mission, I've looked at the pros and cons to living in the US versus western Europe. Europeans focus more on education, have more culture, cheaper (yet just as good) healthcare, better public transportation, more livable cities, less violence.
The US has less of an obsession with sex (although that is changing), stronger freedoms of speech and religion (both exist in Europe too, but they're slightly more protected here), and, at least until now, you weren't required to carry around identification with you so you could prove to the cops that you were in the country legally.

A Russian friend of mine in Germany assisted Eastern Europeans coming (illegally) into Germany. He'd tell them to not speak when they went out in public, for fear of the police hearing their foreign language and asking for their papers. Those unfortunate to have black or brown skin (mostly people from Africa and the Middle East) could be stopped by police just because their skin was a different color. If they didn't have identification on them, the police assumed they were in the country illegally.
Now, Arizona has created a law that I pray will be found unconstitutional. Police in Arizona are now obligated to stop everyone they suspect might be an illegal immigrant (ie--looks Mexican) and ask for their papers. If they don't have papers on them, they can be arrested (regardless of whether or not they are American citizens). If you're brown and you want to go on a bike ride, better take your driver's license. And forget about going for that swim.

And let's not even think about how crime will soar when criminals realize they can victimize illegal immigrants without fear of the police being called. If your house is robbed or your daughter raped, and you're an illegal immigrant and you call the cops, you can kiss the USA goodbye. If you call the cops, you'll be deported. Crime will go up, while the reporting of crime will go down.

An article about it (and about the sad fall of what used to be one of America's great politicians) is here. Another article here. Sad times indeed. America just got a little less great.


JorgenMan said...


Katrina said...

Oh, man! That's terrible. All my wonderful friends there really didn't need to get any more scared about their illegal situation. I hope this ends up better than it looks like it will! Sounds way too similar to the Jews' situation in Europe a few decades ago...