Nov 19, 2020 in Analysis

Policy Analysis I Paper (The Arizona Immigration law passed in 2010)

The Arizona Immigration law

The contra versions and numerous debates, as well as discussions supporting or disagreeing with the situation around the law on immigration in Arizona, which is Arizona Senate Bill 1070 or simply Arizona SB 1070, started in 2010, still continue to be among the most important economic, social and constitutional issues that the USA has faced in the 20th century. It is even considered the strictest and the broadest anti-illegal immigration law that was passed in the history of the modern U.S. The issue is that the initial Act on immigration, known as The Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA), was rather punitive, but an amendment of it with Arizona SB 1070 turned the situation into critical.


All started in April 2010, when Arizona passed two laws on immigration, according to which crimes, penalties, and new state requirements related to the enforcement of immigration laws were to come into force the following summer. Simultaneously, the U.S. Department of Justice started to fight it, claiming that nature of those laws was inhumane and unconstitutional. Eventually the case was taken to the court and this put a path to the range of new disputes, allegations and contra versions.

The bill became effective in July 29, 2010, after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed the proposal, turning it into a law with some added immigration-related provisions (Morse, 2011). It means that it was initiated by state, but without authorization by Congress or the Executive, which eventually ended in hands of Supreme Court, where some main provisions were reviewed. To my mind, this policy is definitely legislative-initiated, as it was signed by the governor and initially was supported by the Arizonas government. The proposal came from the constitutionally defined power that has turned it into new law (Song, 2012).

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The law, which Arizona passed, was the most aggressive immigration enforcement law, also known as show-me-your-paper law. According to the main provisions of Arizona SB 1070, the law enforcement officials can and even should demand papers, criminalize all undocumented immigrants. It gives a permit to Arizonans to sue enforcement agencies if there is a suspicion that some provisions of the law are not enforced. More importantly, all Latinos in Arizona are suspected in their own communities as being illegal immigrants, even if they are legal. It happens regardless of their immigration status (NCLR).

To carry proper documentation for any alien in Arizona was in the list of other requirements, and it means that a person can be stopped by the police and asked to show documents at any moment and if, for some reasons, a person has no documents with him or her, a misdemeanor will appear on the individuals record. Furthermore, the state law enforcement officials have to determine an immigration status of the person, whom they have stopped during routine checking. They have the right to arrest or put the person in detention in case they have reasonable suspicion that this person stays illegally in Arizona. SB 1070 strengthens penalties for sheltering, hiring, transporting or helping illegal immigrants.

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There are some proponents of this law, who say that Arizona actually needs some kind of such policy as the proximity to Mexico makes the state rather easy way to get and live in the USA. The main arguments are that this law really works and helps to reduce drug trafficking crime and all other types and ways of illegal immigration, which makes the neighborhood safer and creates more working places for Native Americans.

Opponents claim that it is far from constitutional behavior to require documents on immigration from everyone the law enforcement officers stop. This may be a reason of biased behavior due to the race, skin color and any other ethnical or national origin, when only those characteristics may become the main judging point whether to stop the person and check documents (Debate Club, 2013).

Unfortunately, even though some years have gone since the law was implemented and despite the fact that federal judge has blocked some of its provisions just immediately after SB 1070 was created, still many issues have not been solved. The effect of this law on the community is profound, as it has created even more disparity between the government and people, who still struggle for their civil right and freedom. The accused and victims suffer the most and they feel the real consequences of Arizona SB 1070 provisions implementation, according to which the immigration laws outside the workplace were enforced.

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According to the information that comes from media and other official and non-official public sources, people often complain to the civil right groups in Arizona that police takes advantage of and abuses the immigrants because of that law, which is on the side of government. The examples of an appalling indecency, such as forcible removal of peaceful unauthorized immigrants from the U.S., separation of them from their families, jobs and property, and simply cruel treatments occur from time to time in Arizona. This all is done only in order to provide satisfaction to arcane labor market regulation, which is created by modern politicians who do not think about consequences. Thereafter, this policy has negative impact on the economy. Around 200,000 immigrants forcefully left Arizona, majority of who were from Phoenix area. This ended in a housing bust and prices were further lowered. This is only a short overview of the issues that happened due to LAWA and Arizona SB 1070 (Nowrasteh, 2012). Positive is only the fact that the case is in Supreme Court and positive decision for immigrants still may be made.

To conclude, I would like to say that based on the information provided above, here is definitely a constitutional issue related to Arizona SB 1070, which is very disputable. Hopefully, it will be solved in the future.


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