The impact of the new Arizona immigration law on baseball is far-reaching and potentially could cause a problem between labor and management. Of course, this is only a mirror of the effect it will have on society, in general, in Arizona. I’ve spent some time in Arizona on business trips in the past. It doesn’t take long to figure out that this is a serious and overt problem for the legal residents of the state.
I understand, and agree, with the notion that the people that are here in the U.S. should be here legally. If they’re not, they should be deported. That’s not a groundbreaking idea. But the implementation of the law in Arizona is absurd. The police are required to check the legal residency of anyone they think is here illegally? And do so without profiling? It’s beyond comprehension that this can be implemented without racial profiling. “Show me your papers” will be the new mantra in Arizona.
Mets catcher Rod Barajas, an Arizona resident and son of Mexican immigrants, talked to the NY Times about his opposition to the law.
“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.”
Mike Lupica of the Daily News thinks that MLB and the players union will stand together on this one in opposition of the law. I’m not so sure about that, but he does make a good point in the column. The 2011 All-Star game is scheduled to be in Phoenix. MLB could threaten to move to another venue if the law is still standing. The NFL did the same with the Super Bowl when the state of Arizona wouldn’t recognize Martin Luther King Day as a holiday.
You can read the statement from the MLBPA.