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Arizona Immigration Law Criticized by Mets’ catcher Rod Barajas

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    ... To: boycott.arizona@lists.riseup.net Subject: [boycott.arizona] Arizona Immigration Law Criticized by Mets’ catcher Rod Barajas ... The New York Times
    Message 1 of 1 , May 3 11:55 AM
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      Subject: [boycott.arizona] Arizona Immigration Law Criticized by Mets’ catcher Rod Barajas

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      The New York Times
      May 1, 2010
      Arizona Immigration Law Criticized by Mets’ Barajas
      By DAVID WALDSTEIN

      PHILADELPHIA — The parents of Mets catcher Rod Barajas came to the United
      States from Mexico, and he lives in Arizona. So naturally, the new immigration
      law passed in that state has drawn his attention, and his ire.

      Barajas, an American-born citizen, said Saturday that the measure, which calls
      for police officers to demand proof of legal residency when they have
      “reasonable suspicion” that a person may be in the United States illegally,
      was unfair and discriminatory.

      “It’s disappointing,” Barajas said. “I have a lot of family born in
      Mexico. You would like to hope there is no stereotyping going on, but it’s
      hard to see that there would not be. If they happen to pull someone over who
      looks like they are of Latin descent, even if they are a U.S. citizen, that is
      the first question that is going to be asked. But if a blond-haired, blue-eyed
      Canadian gets pulled over, do you think they are going to ask for their papers?
      No.”

      Barajas was born in Ontario, Calif., on Sept. 5, 1975, three years after his
      parents moved there from Mexico. His father is from Mexicali and his mother is
      from Michoacán, and his older brother was born in Mexico, too.

      On Saturday, before the Mets’ 10-0 loss to the Phillies, Barajas addressed an
      issue that is important to him and his family. As a United States citizen,
      Barajas has less to worry about than many other major league players who came
      here from other countries to work legally as baseball players. Some have not
      been in the United States very long and do not speak English fluently. Barajas
      wonders if they, too, could be singled out or harassed along with illegal
      immigrants.

      “What if you go to Arizona and the starting pitcher that day gets asked for
      his papers and he doesn’t have them?” Barajas said. “What happens then? I
      don’t like it, and I think pretty much all of Major League Baseball feels the
      same way. We are part of the community. You hear there won’t be any profiling
      or racial stereotyping, but it’s hard to believe that. Us as Latin Americans
      are going to be put through that process and have to worry about it on a daily
      basis.”

      Growing up in California, Barajas said, he never experienced harassment about
      his ethnicity from law enforcement officials, and neither did his family, as
      far as he is aware. But he said that with the new law, he was concerned that he
      could be pulled over at a traffic stop and questioned simply because of how he
      looks. And as a United States citizen, he would have no reason to carry
      documentation of his citizenship.

      “Why would I carry that stuff around?” he said. “And why would most
      people carry it around? People who have been in this country for 30 or 40
      years, why would they carry a passport or a green card around? And now you have
      to, and if for some reason you don’t have it, what’s going to happen
      then?”

      On Friday, the Major League Baseball Players Association issued a statement
      criticizing the law. That made Barajas proud.

      “I’m 100 percent behind the union,” he said. “There’s got to be a
      better way than this. It’s just not fair. It’s not fair to us.”


      # Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/sports/baseball/02metsside.html

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