Tag Archives: SB1070

Arizona’s Immigration Law (SB1070) – Is It Racist?

Well, yes and no. The law does not explicitly state that “all those of brown skin or accented speech shall be detained and asked to demonstrate their legal status in this state”. Anyone who didn’t sleep through their freshman history class would know such explicit statutes are not necessary for a law to be overtly racially targeted. Remember poll taxes and literacy tests. Neither stated that a pollster was required to test and tax every black person or that the law was passed in order to keep blacks from voting, but those were the realities of the laws’ implementation.

So while the law does not say that those of hispanic origin shall be targeted, that seems the reasonable prediction given the situation in Arizona. Consider the following:

We’ve already watched Sheriff Arpaio launch massive racially targetted “crime-supression sweeps” in the name of combating illegal immigration (even as illegal immigrants are repeatedly shown to commit less crimes than white citizens). We’ve already seen a widely supported governor of the state refuse to recognize MLK day as a holiday. We’ve already seen ethnic studies banned in the state’s public schools and teachers with accents fired.
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Arizona’s New Immigration Law – The Facts and How You Can Help

“Every Generation has the obligation to free men’s minds for a look at new worlds… to look out from a higher plateau than the last generation” – Ellison S. Onizuka, American Astronaut.

The law has been amended to require that an individual can only be subjected to an immigration inquiry when the questioning officer is engaged in a lawful interaction with that individual. As Shikha Dalmia argues, this is less of a restriction than a sugar coating over the previous law. While eye-contact is no longer sufficient cause for an officer to demand proof of citizenship, Jay walking, littering, loitering, or failing to signal for a full 500 feet before making a right turn would be more than enough. Given Arizona Sheriffs’ fondness for race based round-ups, this amendment does little to sooth concerns about fairness and equal protection before the law.
First there are some general impacts related to Arizona’s law which will occur regardless of your opinions on the matter.

Tourism- Is a vital component of Arizona’s economy. Spending directly related to tourism amounted to $18.5b in 2008. This generated approximately $2.6b in tax revenue. An estimated 1.4b of which goes to state and local government.

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