“The President of the United States has been required to show his papers because he is a member of a minority. Let that be an example to all our minorities” Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona said yesterday in speech reaffirming her support for random police checks of anyone suspected of being an illegal alien: SB 1070’s so-called “Show Me Your Papers” provision, which she has vowed she will fight for, all the way to the Supreme Court.
But the Governor also acknowledged that the law unfairly targeted “legals” - documented aliens - by casting suspicion on their status. She announced a new statewide program to “return dignity” to those who do comply with the immigration laws. At the same time she said, it will allow them to move about freely without the risk of being mistaken as “illegals” by police officers or concerned and usually armed citizens.
Documented Hispanic immigrants of all ages, regardless of their country of origin, will be invited to wear armbands decorated with a bright yellow sombrero. The armbands will be designed by the state with special holograms to prevent forgery, distributed from neighborhood “Immigrant Pride” centers and be available free of charge to anyone who can produce valid residency papers or a green card. Wearing them said Brewer is not mandatory, but it will be assumed by police and concerned citizens that anyone not wearing them is undocumented and subject to arrest and deportation.
The state is launching an upbeat publicity campaign, to ensure compliance of course, but also to emphasize the fun aspect of wearing armbands - as a fashion accessory for example or a way for families to get outside again and have fun with a certain peace of mind.