S.B. 1070: "I Look Suspicious"

By Jim Shee

Jim Shee

Jim Shee is a plaintiff in the ACLU and a coalition of civil rights organizations' case challenging S.B. 1070, Arizona’s notorious immigration law. Shee is an American citizen of Chinese and Spanish descent and a lifelong Arizona resident. Before the law passed, he was stopped twice by police and asked to show his “papers.” He now carries his passport with him at all times in case he is again pulled over and required to prove his right to be in his own country and city.

In this podcast, Shee describes an incident in which he was racially profiled:

I’ve been affected by SB1070 when it was first enacted on my birthday. It was very vivid April the 6th in 2010, I was leaving a car wash, and I received a text on my way out and so I pulled over and was answering my text. A couple minutes later I saw the flashing lights behind my car, and a Phoenix police officer tapping on my window. So I rolled down my window and he immediately responds, “Let me see your papers.” So I produced my papers. He took them out the window, went to the back of the car, must have called in by his radio and came back a few minutes later, and he said, “Well, you’re all clear. You’re free to go.” I questioned him and I says, “Why did you stop me?” And I says, “Well all I was doing was texting, and which I understand the law says that don’t text while you’re driving so I’m not driving and I’m checking my text. So you stopped me because I look suspicious.” And he says, “Yeah, but you’re free to go now.”

I was born and raised in Arizona, and I am a citizen for 70 plus years and for me to produce my papers, make me feel discriminated, racially profiled because of the color of my skin that I am being subjected to this type of inquiry.

My grandchildren are not blonde hair, blue eyes, and I fear for them that they are going to have to probably produce paperwork that they are here, what is their immigration status, and  etc. I feel that’s very degrading and embarrassing.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post stated that Shee was stopped twice after S.B. 1070 passed. That was incorrect. He was stopped prior to the law's passage. The post has also been amended to reflect that Shee is represented by a coalition of civil rights organizations, not just the ACLU.

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Luke Jannusch

What about anti-ILLEGAL immigrant laws? Or is it the ACLU's stance that there is no such thing as an ILLEGAL immigrant?


How stupid! We need SB 1070...Obama is against us, wanting
illegals to vote. Immoral. Suing states? Dead wrong.
We don't need the ACLU.


If those are direct quotes, he has apparently not yet fully learned the English language in the 70 years that he has lived here.


It is the AMERICAN Civil Liberties Union! What exactly does this have to do with illegals from whatever countries? If you are in the USA ILLEGALLY-YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY CIVIL LIBERTIES!!!!! You bleeding heart liberials, if you want to protect these lawbreakers then take them into your home and feed, clothe,support and give them medical care out of your own pocket. They have no civil liberties, it is AMERICA


I can't believe all the mean people who write in to this site. You would be screaming bloody murder if the shoe was on the other foot...


The ACLU is trying to help LEGAL citizens who are being arrested for no other reason than they LOOK hispanic or ARE hispanic. LEGAL citizens are being told that their papers are FORGERIES and being HAULED OFF to jail just because they LOOK hispanic or ARE hispanic. Even I would, more than likely, be arrested under this RACIALLY MOTIVATED law. I say this because I just happen to have dark brown hair, dark brown eyes and skin that tans fairly easily. I even have the same body build as most hispanic women in my area. What is really funny is that, to my knowledge, I have no hispanic ancestors but I look hispanic and have been MISTAKEN for a hispanic many times since we moved to this area in 1988. Does that make me hispanic? ABSOLUTELY NOT! But that is NOT saying that I couldn't be HAULED OFF to jail after being told that MY papers are FORGERIES. Do you even know how people are treated when they are arrested in this manner? Being a LEGAL citizen does not stop them from treating you like you are dirt under their feet and being assaulted sexually, physically and mentally. In fact, the more you protest that you are LEGAL the more you are beaten and harrased. Your RIGHTS as a LEGAL citizen are IGNORED. You have NO RIGHTS because, according to them, you are lying about being LEGAL.


I'm sorry but I do not understand the argument against this bill. I've read it and now where in it does it give the cops the right or responsibility to check someone's citizenship status unless the officer first has probable cause to suspect someone of another violation of the law first. The cannot just walk up to someone and ask for papers without probable cause which they need right now too. The law just tacks on the responsibility to the officer to check the citizenship of the person while they are checking wants and warrants. If an officer walked up to someone suspected of being an illegal immigrant he could not ask for papers based on that alone. He would be in violation of the law just as they are now when they do the same thing. That is what the ACLU should be doing is supporting people bringing lawsuits for this kind of violation not fighting a law that only requires AZ law officers to check citizenship of EVERYONE they suspect has committed some other violation. The media has blown the passage of this law as some kind of anti-american threat. If you stop and think first and ask yourself how our law officers are supposed to catch the OTMs (other than Mexicans) crossing into AZ from Mexico with intent to setup terrorist cells throughout the US. If you do not believe that Somalis, Iraqis, Yemenis, and Afghanis have been crossing into the US, Google OTMs and find out how many the border patrol and ICE have already caught. Unfortunately they know they haven't caught them all.
It's getting to be embarrassing at how easily Americans can be led about by the nose as to what they should believe and what they shouldn't. We used to be a nation that would think for itself and find out about issues by looking at the facts. Now we just get what we should think from the TV and protest things we have not even taken the time to read and understand.


This site is worthless. I just tried to post a lengthy discussion of SB1070 which I have taken the time to read but this site will not allow me to post it. Unfortunately it is gone now and I do not feel like trying to recreate it. All I can say is shame on you if you are protesting this bill and have not read it and made an effort to understand it.

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