From the East Coast to the Southwest there is disturbing news impacting Latinos and immigrants.
On Monday, a jury convicted a young man of manslaughter - not murder - in the beating death of Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero. This is hardly justice for such a heinous hate crime where Jeffrey Conroy and a group of friends went on what was described as "beaner-hopping" or "Mexican hopping."
And in Arizona, state lawmakers have approved a bill that would allow police to arrest people who they suspect are undocumented immigrants. This is tantamount to racial profiling and would essentially require all people to carry proof they are U.S. citizens.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, has five days to veto the bill or sign it into law.
If Brewer signs it, she would be supporting the most restrictive immigration law in the nation.
The law requires that if state and local police determine there is "reasonable suspicion" they can ask people about their immigration status. They can arrest people who are unable to provide documentation proving they are in the country legally.
What constitutes "reasonable suspicion"?
Having brown skin, speaking with an accent, having a Latino surname?
And does this mean Latinos or dark-skinned residents of Arizona will have to start carrying around their birth certificates or passports?
By the way, a driver's license is not proof of citizenship.
I can imagine right-wing Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio asking a Native American for proof of citizenship. This new law would give him and other law enforcement the authority to do so.
All this comes at a time when the Obama Administration has been slow to act on the DREAM Act to help undocumented youth and on passing comprehensive immigration reform.
The indignation over this restrictive law passed in Arizona is already having a national impact.
This actually could help galvanize the country for a new set of May Day protests calling for immigration reform.
And if they pass a law like this in Arizona, it's only a matter of time before other states do something similar.
To be clear this Arizona law is not about controlling the immigration flow into the United States. It's an affront on all our civil liberties.
A law like this won't help stop immigration. It won't save the state of Arizona money. It's more than likely to lead to lawsuits against the police when they start racial profiling legal permanent residents and U.S.-born Latinos.
I'm also upset that Conroy got away with the murder of Lucero, who was stabbed to death in Long Island in November 2008. Prosecutors said it wasn't an isolated incident and Conroy was convicted of attempted assault against two other Hispanic men he attacked prior to the fatal beating and stabbing of Lucero.
If we accept manslaughter as the punishment for murder, then we are losing our country to fear and hate.
I know that I won't accept that. And neither should you.