This is no more racist than when a person is carded at an airport security checkpoint or when they are proving that they are a credit card holder or that they are old enough to buy booze or cigarettes. The argument that keeping one's visa card, state-issued ID or something similar is a huge burden is just beyond the pale. Everyone, not just Hispanics, should be able to prove who they are given certain circumstances and indeed people can be thrown in jail, Hispanic or not, if they cannot or will not do so (ACLU, 2013). Exceptions can and should be made for the mentally ill and young children, but those exceptions are already allowed for. As such, to suggest that Arizona is racist or unreasonable for expecting does not appear to be explainable or supported using logical or legal terms.
While it is often wise to keep the state and local authorities out of the business of enforcing federal law, an exception should possibly be made for immigration law because state and local authorities are unavoidably and majorly involved with illegal immigrants and if a state or local authority catches an illegal immigrant, just releasing them because it is not a federal staffer that caught them is a waste of resources and perhaps speaks to the idea that being protective of immigrant rights always overrides national security concerns (Flannery, 2013). State and local authorities catch people for federal offenses all the time, like kidnapping for example, so it makes sense that the states can help with immigration enforcement as well (Department of Justice, 2013). This would save federal spending dollars and would put all agencies on the same page. However, potential detriments are state and local agencies engaging in racial profiling and otherwise over-stepping their ethical guidelines or their duties in general. However, it could be a win-win if the roles and rules are clearly defined and followed.
The SB 1070 case seems to indicate that the governments of the United States and Arizona are acting as adversaries when they should be acting like partners. Such a state of affairs would seem to suggest that politics and pandering might be in play. For the federal government to try and squelch the state of Arizona or any other state that really just wants to be able to enforce federal laws that are already on the books is fairly vexing and questionable. Either the laws are valid and should be enforced or the laws should be changed but to punish the states for doing the job that the federal government is inconsistent in doing is just counter-productive.
ACLU. (2013, November 2). American Civil Liberties Union. American Civil Liberties Union. Retrieved November 2, 2013, from https://www.aclu.org/drug-law-reform-immigrants-rights-racial-justice/know-your-rights-what-do-if-you
Department of Justice. (2013, November 2). Criminal Resource Manual 1034 Kidnapping -- Federal Jurisdiction. Criminal Resource Manual 1034 Kidnapping -- Federal Jurisdiction. Retrieved November 2, 2013, from http://www.justice.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/crm01034.htm
Flannery, N. (2013, September 9). Immigration Debate: What's More Important, Border Security Or Protecting Immigrant Workers?. Forbes. Retrieved November 2, 2013, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanielparishflannery/2013/09/09/immigration-debate-whats-more-important-border-security-or-protecting-immigrant-workers/