Shakira Shakes Up Controversy Over Arizona’s New Immigration Laws

If I wasn’t already slightly embarrassed to admit that I grew up in Arizona, I am now. With the announcement of the new immigration laws, I want to boycott the state altogether, but unfortunately that’s not an option since my family lives here. In fact, I am here right now with my brother for a family visit. On the flight over from NYC, there was a guy sitting a few rows behind me wearing a baseball cap that said, “Don’t shoot! I’m legal!” Yes, it was meant to be ironically disdainful, but this issue is personal for my brother. His girlfriend is a Canadian citizen, which would make it potentially dangerous for her to come visit. That’s how over-the-top the new laws are. Speaking of visiting … Arizona has a famous visitor this week who is also deeply angered by the new laws. The Colombian singer Shakira made a trip to our not-so-great state to meet with the police chief and the mayor yesterday and express her opposition to the new laws, set to go into effect within 90 days. The laws would allow police to ask for papers from anyone they suspect to be illegal. If a person is unable to produce proof of citizenship, they could be detained for up to six months in some cases. That means that Shakira, not a legal citizen of the U.S., could be detained while on tour in Arizona should a cop get a wild hair up his ass. That’s insane, people!

But she’s even more concerned about how the law would affect Latino families in the state. Many families have members who are both legal and illegal citizens living under one roof. Also, she feels this law will have a major impact on women who don’t have papers. They may be scared to report domestic violence or other crimes enacted upon for fear of being detained or deported. This is scary, people. I am truly ashamed of my own state. [CNN]

What are your thoughts about the new laws?