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ON IMMIGRANT PATROL IN ARIZONA

The recent anti-immigration law in Arizona has been getting a lot of national attention lately, what with it being un-American and unconstitutional and all, so BobCrespo.com has sent operatives to The Grand Canyon State to observe exactly how the people in the trenches, the various local and state police officers, are dealing with enforcing this new law. Few law enforcement agencies were willing to talk to us, but we did find some nice people in an Old West kind of town, a minor tourist attraction near the Mexican border called Dry Bones (pop: 377), who were willing to cooperate. The two officers who make up the town’s entire police force were happy to allow us to observe their efforts to enforce this new law.

Sheriff Frank Lee Scarletta and his partner Deputy Woody Johnson are part-timers, given the small population, and not really used to enforcing immigration laws, figuring, as Sheriff Scarletta puts it; “What the heck, we’re within spittin’ distance of Mexico, and someone’s got to clean the motels and work the kitchens around here. It’s always been sorta don’t-ask, don’t-tell around here up until now. Lotsa folks we know got family on both sides of the line for centuries, they come an’ go regular, never make no trouble. How ya gonna sort that out? Nothin’ to sort out, it ya ask me…” Bobcrespo.com was privy to the Dry Bones Sheriff’s Department trying to figure out what’s expected of them. Here’s how their morning rounds went:

Sheriff Scarletta: “Mornin’, Woody. Ready to bag some illegals?

Deputy Johnson: “Frank Lee Scarletta, I don’t give a damn!”

Sheriff Scarletta: “Oh, Jeez, what else is new? That one’s as old as your Johnson, Woody.”

Deputy Johnson: “Figure we might as well get the obvious jokes outta the way right off the bat for the slow learners, Sheriff. Now, what’s the deal with this illegal immigrant thing?”

Sheriff Scarletta: “Beats me. All I know is we’re not supposed to profile. Just because a person looks Mexican don’t mean he is, or don’t mean he wasn’t born here, or whatever such thing they mean, it’s kinda vague. Anyway, I figure we’ll proceed with all due caution, as usual.”

Deputy Johnson: “Well, Sheriff, that is the Mexican border right there, ain’t it?

Sheriff Scarletta: “Since 1848 it is, you know damned well, Woody.”

Deputy Johnson: “Then I don’t suppose we’ll be checking up on too many suspected illegal Swedes. I’m guessing the governor is thinking we oughtta roust Mexicans.”

Sheriff Scarletta: “The law says that police officers are to approach a suspect only if they have reasonable suspicion that a person is in the United States illegally.”

Deputy Johnson: “What’s reasonable around here? Who knows who’s Mexican-American or just plain Mexican, and who cares? It’d be easier if they had blue skin or somethin…”

Sheriff Scarletta: “Now there you go profilin’, Woody, and the law says we can’t do that, not by skin color, not blue, green, white, black, brown or plaid. Suspicious behavior, maybe…”

Deputy Johnson: “How do you act Mexican? Or Swedish, for that matter? ”

Sheriff Scarletta: “How the hell do you tell a Swede from a Finn, anyway?”

Deputy Johnson: “Got me. Ask ’em, I guess. Maybe we oughtta stop a coupla three of them hot blonde babe tourists and check their papers. Ya’ never know.”

Sheriff Scarletta: “Sounds good to me. Most likely they’re from Minnesota or thereabouts. It it sure beats roustin’ the busboys over at Denny’s, but we can’t be bothering our bread and butter. This town would blow away without the tourists.”

Deputy Johnson: “Then how ’bout Georgie Bellows’ new gal from LA? Wears a Dashiki all the time, that one. Whatsername… Loquatia? Yeh, that’s it, Loquatia. She might be an illegal from some African country.”

Sheriff Scarletta: “Everybody knows that people who are really from Africa don’t wear Dashikis, Woody. It’s only American Brothers and Sisters who wear those things. Besides, we know Georgie all our lives. We wanna get his girl in trouble? Don’t forget he’s the guy who cooks our breakfast at the diner every mornin’.”

Deputy Johnson: “Just kiddin’ Frank. Maybe we’ll just do what we other towns do when they get the word to bag some for illegals, go down by the Home Depot and round up the day laborers in the parking lot.”

Sheriff Scarletta: “Only we ain’t got no damned Home Depot in Dry Bones.”

Deputy Johnson: “Thank God for that. Well, can we make stuff up, then?

Sheriff Scarletta: “Now you’re talking, deputy! Dry Bones ain’t exactly on the radar in Phoenix, Woody. The damned border’s right over there, ain’t but a line in the sand, so we just report that we been escorting Mexican desperadoes back across the border regular. Who knows, maybe the state will pony up some dough for this Department, maybe make us a regular salary.”

Deputy Johnson: “I like the salary part, Frank, but what if they ask for proof?”

Sheriff Scarletta: “Well, we got plenty of Mex friends around here who just might help us out. For a few bucks, that is.”

Deputy Johnson: “I think I’m gettin’ your drift here, Frank. I know old Alonzo Blanco for one, he’s been plannin’ to visit his sister and her family across the way, a wedding or christening or some such. We could make a big hoopla about that, maybe even have Charlie over at the paper take a picture and write it up and all.”

Sheriff Scarletta: “That’s about the size of it, and when Alonzo comes home again there won’t be anyone here but us chickens to take note of it.”

Deputy Johnson: Bingo, Sheriff. Looks like we just found a way to enforce this damned hare-brained law and maintain the status quo.”

Sheriff Scarletta: “If it ain’t broke, don’t ask me to fix it. We got ourselves a nice, quiet little town here, Woody, and we do a few of these phony deportations with our friends, they’ll go away and leave us alone. Now, whaddya say we go to the diner and have Charlie make us a nice big breakfast, the works. All this law interpretation has worked up an appetite. After that we’ll go around and serve and protect.”

Deputy Johnson: “Serve and protect, Sheriff. Sounds about right…”

So there’s one small town’s response to the new law in Arizona. This has been an exclusive report on the Arizona Immigration law from bobcrespo.com

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