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When Even “Let me see your papers” Isn’t Enough

So, curious what could possibly go wrong with Arizona’s new anti-illegal immigrant law? Don’t think it will be used to discriminate against Mexicans (or people who look like Mexicans)?

Consider the recent case of Eduardo Caraballo. Caraballo was held for three days by federal immigration authorities in Chicago, was told that he was an illegal immigrant and that he was going to be deported.

The only problem? Caraballo is a US citizen. He was born in Puerto Rico (yes, Puerto Rico is part of the US, in case you don’t know that). He showed authorities his Illinois state-issued ID, but that wasn’t enough. His mother even brought in his birth certificate and his social security card, but they didn’t like that either. They finally released him, but only after his mother contacted Representative Luis Gutierrez.

According to Caraballo, officers asked him specific questions about Puerto Rico, which he couldn’t answer since he left there when he was eight months old. Apparently they thought his official papers were fake.

So, does anyone think that something like this would ever happen to someone who wasn’t hispanic?

© Matt Bors



  1. starluna wrote:

    Ever wonder why we never hear stories like this about suspicious Canadians?

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at 8:24 am | Permalink
  2. ebdoug wrote:

    I was at a check point just after 9/11 and watched the immigration police go through every suitcase and every inch of the car of an Arab looking person coming into the US. The person looked very accomadating, knowing what the Arabs did on 9/11. I don’t know what percentage is in Canada, but there are an awful lot of Canadian citizens who aren’t Lily White. The majority of the natives from the US were displace to Cananda. All the people from India who have settled there. The French in Quebec. A much more tolerant country than we are. And they can keep their heritage.

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at 9:46 am | Permalink
  3. Sammy wrote:

    Starluna: Because Canadians are criminal by nature.

    (I shouldn’t have to, but let me point out that I’M JOKING.)

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at 9:47 am | Permalink
  4. JDILLA wrote:

    As both a Canadian Citizen and resident of arizona, though not a US citizen, and from italian heritage (close to mexican in many a blue eye), i do get rather nervous when im down there, i try to blend in with rancher gear.

    Friday, June 4, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink
  5. Uzza wrote:

    Wait for it, somebody will get deported back to New Mexico.

    Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 1:06 am | Permalink

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