I’d bet most of those people don’t have brown skin.
“Aha! I knew you’d play the race card sometime.”
When discussing immigrants, even Latino immigrants, there shouldn’t be a race card to play. “Latino” or “Hispanic” aren’t races; they are ethnicities. That is, there are white Latinos, black Latinos, yellow Latinos, and brown Latinos. And there are plenty of people with brown skin who are neither Latino nor are they immigrants.
But we know who the brunt of this enforcement will fall on. When my friend Carlos was arrested for not having papers with him, he was merely the passenger in a car driven by someone who committed a violation (a U.S. citizen). Yet Carlos “looks Mexican” and was asked to prove his legal status. Unable to do so, he was arrested.
What documentation do you carry with you to prove your legal status? Ever been out with a friend when you weren’t driving? Did you worry about carrying your “papers” with you? Do you often carry your passport or other documentation showing your citizenship?
If you don’t have brown skin, probably not. If you’re one of the 2/3 of Hispanics that live here that were born in this country, you probably haven’t thought about that either. Yet I’ve had Hispanic friends who were asked to show their green card, even though they were born here. Why? They are Hispanic… and look like what most people think Hispanics look like.
My son probably doesn’t have to worry about it, even though he was born in Argentina and identifies as Hispanic. He doesn’t have brown skin. He’s okay.
Let me use an example from Argentina. Different country. Different laws. But maybe the illustration will help some. We had two young men in our congregation who regularly got around on motorcycles. One was stopped several times a week by the police to have his papers checked and his backpack searched. One was rarely stopped and never searched.
Can you guess the difference? The first young man was from the north of Argentina and looked “Bolivian” to most Argentine eyes. The other was also from a different Argentine province, but he and his family looked very European.
I don’t expect things to reach those levels here, but I do know if police are tasked with looking for illegal immigrants, they won’t be tapping me on the shoulder and asking for my papers.
I don’t have brown skin.