AZ: BORDER PATROL’S RACIAL PROFILING HITS HOME IN CHECKPOINT STOP
Last night was like any other night, so I was checking my e-mails before going to sleep. As I was typing, my hubby was looking at me. I could see him from the corner of my eye.
I thought, “Nice. Either he wants something or I really look pretty.” It reminded me that when we were engaged and when we first got married, I would wake up from my deep sleep and there he was, staring at me as if I were his queen.
Reality snapped me out of my thoughts when he said, “You don’t really look Mexican. Your facial features and skin color just don’t add up for you to look like a Mexican. You definitely look Egyptian.”
I looked at him and said, “Well, I did not have a say in the making.”
Apparently he was bothered for the past few days about what happened on the way back from Tombstone. There was a Border Patrol checkpoint. Usually, a guard asks us if we are all U.S. citizens, we say yes and he waves us on.
This time was different. He looked at all of us (my husband, my father-in-law and I) and asked if we were all U.S. citizens. We all said yes. Next, he came closer to our car and looked at me and asked me, “Where were you born?”
I said, “Brazil.” Then he asked, “When and where did you naturalize?” As I was saying, “Two thousand four . . . in Hawaii,” my husband apparently got angry and said, “She became a U.S. citizen during my 10 years in the Marine Corps.”
The guard at that moment stood back and said, “Oh, you were in the Marines.” He waved us on.
I was not angry, nor did I think much about it. I thought he was doing his job and I have nothing to hide. So I did not think about it again until yesterday.
My husband was bothered about my being profiled. We have divergent opinions on the subject. I think if one has nothing to hide, profiling is OK as long as law enforcement doesn’t overdo it, but it is hard to define “overdoing it.”
My husband feels that profiling is wrong and in the long term is not effective.
So, since I have mixed feelings on the subject, what do you think about racial profiling in airports and checkpoints? Can it be helpful or just cause more anger? Do you care?