State "show me your papers" laws, however, do undermine the civil rights of millions of Americans who have lived here for decades. They require police officers to ask anyone who is "suspect" for their citizenship papers, abandoning the bedrock American legal principle of innocent until proven guilty.

At a time when our country grows increasingly diverse by the day, these laws encourage discrimination against people based solely on how they look or how they speak. Is it right for a military veteran to get asked for his papers just because he's of Mexican heritage? Is it right for a mother of Asian background who speaks with an accent to get asked for her papers - right in front of her children? A state law that encourages discrimination is flat out wrong. That's not who we are as a nation.
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