Monday, April 1, 2013

Reasonable Suspicion: Being a Latino ballplayer in Arizona

By Bryan Curtis, Grantland
March 25, 2013

This spring, Elian Herrera came to Arizona to work. Herrera is 28 years old. He was born in the Dominican Republic. He has dark skin, and though he speaks English, he does so deliberately, in a way that reveals that his first language is Spanish.

In Los Angeles, Herrera is a backup outfielder with the Dodgers. Here at spring training, he's the type of guy who could arouse "reasonable suspicion." A person who's "reasonably suspicious," according to Arizona's immigration law, is one who looks like he or she might be in the United States illegally. That means Herrera faces the same dilemma as a Latino day laborer in Nogales or a Hispanic attorney from Phoenix. If Herrera is pulled over — if he fails to use his blinker, say — a police officer can ask to see his papers.

"Right now, if they want, they can stop and ask," Herrera says. "If there's no ID, they can take you down." [...]

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