The Paper Please Law

Moreen Prasad September 20, 2012 ENG 101 Rhetorical Analysis Papers Please! The Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, often referred to as the Papers Please Law, has stirred up an extensive amount of controversy gaining national and international attention. The Act basically states that people who: are not citizens of the United States; are over the age of 14; and visit the United States for more than 30 days are required to obtain and possess registration documents at all times.

However, the creators of the Arizona Act took it one step further when they enforced the failure of carrying your immigration documents with you at all times, a state misdemeanor crime. The state also has made it a requirement for officers to determine a person’s immigration status during any type of lawful contact, if there might be “reasonable suspicion” that the individual is an immigrant. The Arizona Act is not only unjust, but is bias and condones racism which is what leaders in the past have sacrificed their lives for in hopes of creating equality. What kind of society are we trying to create? One rooted in exclusion, punishment, and fear, or inclusion, forgiveness, and civic cohesion? ” asks Lindsay Brooks, editor of “News Story: Arizona Illegal Immigration Law. ” Brooks appeals to citizens in a moral manner in the question imposed, which the majority of people would answer this question with inclusion, forgiveness, and civic cohesion. The authors writing style and language impact the audience significantly. The author uses the word civic cohesion, implying that to punish, fear, and exclude would be uncivilized of the American population.

The author uses pathos when referring to inclusion and forgiveness to create feeling within the audience. Forgiveness often requires a change of heart and acceptance. Arizona’s governor signed the Papers Please Law, under an executive order requiring the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board to provide local police with additional training on what does and what does not constitute “reasonable suspicion. “ “The question is what exactly counts as suspicious behavior? And how does one receive efficient training for such judgment? ” (Brooks).

The author implies that logically, authorities are most likely pulling over and or pointing out anyone looks like a possible target which requires not training, but off the head judgment. The term, “reasonable suspicion” will simply permit police misconduct. Targets will be based off of obvious and basic judgment such as stereotypes, race, ethnicity, etc. The author creates a question within the readers’ mind of how judgment will be made and how targets will be established and then answers it as she would expect the reader to, persuading the reader to adopt the argument.

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The author not only addresses but questions the morality of stereotypes that many people encounter. In addressing stereotypes, the author creates a sense of mutual understanding and trust. The idea of judging ones status does not resemble the society we are trying to create with inclusion, forgiveness, civic cohesion, and equality. Although an individual’s personal decision regarding mass deportation is vital, the situation does not stop at the state boundaries of Arizona. “As The New York Times wrote in an April 29th editorial, “The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that states cannot make their own immigration laws. The author adds credibility to their argument. The author demonstrates that she is making more than just an opinion based argument, but is knowledgeable in politics and the concept of law making. When the author speaks upon politics, it makes the audience feel a sense of legitimacy within the argument. In order to create a society that resembles inclusion, forgiveness, and civic cohesion and functions effectively, we must not let our people be exploited. “…framed around the same philosophical question: deportation or immigration. ” (Lindsay).

The author ends the article with a question for the audience to bear in mind which includes ethos, pathos, and logos. Although the author has been persuading the audience to take a stand against the Papers Please and Arizona Act throughout the article, she leaves it to the reader to decide for themselves exerting the right amount of pressure without overwhelming them. I do not agree with the Paper Please law because it allows police misconduct and the law itself is bias and condones racism. It is our job as a community to not let history repeat itself, but to keep progressing forward towards equality.

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