I was in Dallas this week for work. I finished up a job and while the engineer was running tests I went to lunch with some of the equipment guys.
As always seems to happen, odd because I do not bring it up with customers, the convo turns to politics. I was with two guys who are very American but have ancestors who came from the Dominican Republic and one from Columbia.
Both seemed to be pretty conservative leaning guys and believe the border should be locked down. They have no problem with sending illegal aliens home, but one still believes he will be arrested if he goes to Arizona and a cop doesn't like him. He believes the AZ bill will be used against all brown people. This is not a stupid guy, but he was adamant that cops could hold him for 24hrs if they didn't believe his ID was real, even if he was driving his own car. He actually referred to needing papers. WHAT PAPERS??? I don't have papers. My drivers license is the only ID I have that has my picture on it and is a valid form of identification. I keep my expired Military ID for nestalgia, but that doesn't count. What good is your birth certificate (BC)? Can anyone look at a BC and tell it is yours? NO.... I guess they could take prints of the bottom of your feet and match them to the BC. How many cops want to do that?
There was just no arguing with him. I tried everything. I told him the law states that a drivers license is valid proof that one is a citizen. I pointed out that the law gives a list of valid IDs. I told him that a cop who arrested him after viewing his ID would be breaking the law and would dealt with accordingly (allowing for a nice law suit). I argued that cops have all sorts of laws that they can abuse and only a very small few abuse them so what was he afraid was going to set the cops on a law breaking frenzy? I didn't even dent his resolve.
The convo concluded with him saying that he was still happy we did the bill so it brought attention to the border. Maybe a minor victory for me, but not the awakening I wanted to see in him. I guess it could be that I do not understand the fear because I am very white. But he was the only "brown" person I had met that feared being arrested.