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Alec Kelly-Jones
Professor: Gonzalez
The Consequences of Senate Bill 1070
and the Conflict of Illegal Immigration

When Arizonas SB 1070 was passed on April 23, 2010, it aimed to serve as a
tool to put a slow to illegal immigration and the negative effects it bringsissues that
have affected Arizona for decades. It provided a means of determining ones
immigration status if there was reasonable suspicion as to their legality. For any lawful
contact made by a law enforcement official or agencywhere reasonable suspicion
exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a
reasonable attempt shall be made to determine the immigration status of the person
(Senate Bill 1070). This ultimately granted law enforcement the right to question a
persons country of origin and residence, based on the individuals own discretion.
However, the implementation of this policy also created a new wave of damaging
issuesthe most being racial profiling. People who appear to be too Mexican based on
their skin color, the way they speak, or the way they dress can be asked to produce
paperwork proving their legitimacy in the United States. If the person in question is
unable to produce the proper paperwork, they can be charged with a misdemeanor and
immediately turned over to Border Protection agencies. SB 1070 has allowed for a type
of institutional racism that is perhaps more devastating than the prejudices that exist
among the general population. Senate Bill 1070 gives law enforcement officers the right
to legally discriminate against those who are not white, native English speakers. This is a
serious problem when the government holds this sort of racially charged position, as it

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will eventually trickle its way into society and become a norm. The impact of SB 1070
us far reaching issues involving state's rights, civil rights, constitutional law, amnesty,
state immigration policy, politics, and national reform may be affected
( Even though this bill was passed with the intentions to
work together to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens and
economic activity by persons unlawfully present in the United States it has a much more
serious undertone this bill violates human and civil rights and normalizes these acts.

Arizona is the home to over two million Latinos, 400,000 of which are in the
United States unlawfully. Being a border state, Arizona experiences much of the
downside to illegal immigration including its negative effect on the U.S. economy, and
dangerous cartel affairs. Arizona looses between $1.3 billion and $2.5 billion each year
on illegal immigrants ( Much of this number goes towards the
imprisonment and education of illegal immigrants. In addition to the fiscal costs of
immigrants, there is a much larger costhuman lives. In Mexico, more than 40,000
people have been killed since 2006 in an ongoing drug war. Between January 2007 and
June 2009 there were over 2,500 murders in Mexico near the Arizona border
( Due to the said issues that have directly affected Arizona for many years,
Arizonas government felt SB 1070 a necessary step towards securing the border and
providing a safer community. Using this bill as a model, several states including
Pennsylvania, Minnesota, South Carolina, Rhode Island, and Mississippi have
implemented similar laws ( However, many of the thousands of
undocumented people residing in Arizona just want to live peaceful lives and hope to

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provide their families with more opportunities.

SB 1070 is an infamous bill throughout the Mexican and Mexican-American

community. These groups know that they live in danger of being deported at any time
and place, and that something as simple as a traffic violation could lead to it. They
obviously (and rightfully) believe it to be unfair that they are being unjustly profiled due
to their race. One man who was stopped by police while pulled over to the side of the
road responding to a text message experienced the full force of SB 1070being asked to
show his papers for no apparent reason. I was born and raised in Arizona, and I am a
citizen for 70 plus years and for me to produce my papers, make me feel discriminated,
racially profiled because of the color of my skin that I am being subjected to this type of
inquiry ( In this specific case the man was a citizen, but this goes to show the
severity of racial profiling. For those not so fortunate who came to this country in search
of opportunity and a better life, Arizona is closing the door on them and sending them
back to the lives they wanted to escape. Once someone is caught up in ICEs web, it's
nearly impossible to get out even if someone is in the country legally. Families
sometimes never find their loved ones. The people detained are often quickly forced or
pressured to leave the U.S. Whether they are 85 or 13, they can be jailed for days, weeks,
months, sometimes years, put on a prison bus and dropped off across the border without
ever seeing a lawyer or talking to their families ( This
definitely gives them the license to pitch in because their lives have been drastically
changed by this bill. It has created the separation of families, forcing people to cross the
border in an unsafe and often deadly manner. The passing of SB 1070 along with much

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of its aftermath has been nationally publicized. Many news stations convey the issue in a
different light, but regardless of these discrepancies the Mexican families being affected
surely only view it in terms of one collective perspective. However, Americans who are
not directly affected by this can view it in many different ways, typically either for or
against it with much grey area in between.

Since the passing of Senate Bill 1070, a countless number of people have spoken
out against it. The hundreds of thousands of Latinos here illegally, their families, civil
rights groups, other states, and even President Obama have criticized this bill. Elected
officials across the country called for a variety of economic boycotts and campaigns that
would discourage the full implementation of the law. Over fifteen major cities have
ended business contracts with Arizona. The State tourism industry has lost almost one
billion dollars in less than six months as a result of this policy ( Several states
boycotted Arizona in direct response to SB 1070 as well as various lawsuits, many
criminal investigations-- even the constitutionalism of the bill is under investigation.
Because immigration laws and policy are federal in nature, the Arizona immigration law
is being challenged on the grounds that it overstepped its exercise of power under the
U.S. constitution. The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Arizona in early
July of 2010, arguing that immigration law is the domain of federal, not state, law
( It is believed that this bill normalizes the violation of civil
and human rights and makes a targeted group criminal. The majority of illegals are here
simply to lead better, more prosperous livesnot to sell drugs or commit other crimes
despite Maricopa County Sherriff Joe Arpaio saying that the bill is not a crime sweep,

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its crime suppressant. Additionally, the passing of this bill has made illegal citizens not
want to report crimes for fear of being questioned and deported by the police. In a sense,
this makes the bill counter-productive if nearly 400,000 people residing in Arizona are
unwilling to report illegal activity for fear of the consequences it will have on them.

Gaining the proper paperwork and becoming a citizen is a long, challenging, and
expensive process. To become an American citizen, one needs to jump through many
hoops, including payments up to $1000, interviews, tests and other such things. For most
Mexicans wishing to become a citizen, the money portion of these requirements proves
the most challenging to comply with. For most, job opportunities is the reason they wish
to become American, seeing as Mexico is a much more impoverished country. Such
requirements defeat those wishing to be American before they even get the chance. For
those who are able to meet the demands, becoming a citizen takes on average 10-24
years, and there is always the chance of being denied. For some, this risk is not worth the
reward. When the people who wish to immigrate cannot comply with such demands, they
are forced to take the alternate, illegal, route. For those who wish to come here to work
for a certain period then return to Mexico, they can obtain a visa. This process includes a
$260 fee, an interview, and six weeks notice ( Again, the issue of
having to produce money occurs.

Groups against SB 1070 such as Fuerza!, the Repeal Coalition, and Alto Arizona
are several big names speaking out and fighting the bill. A leader in The Repeal

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Coalition, Margaret Huang, pointed out of the major flaws in this bill stating This law is
historically unprecedented because it will require every person in Arizona to carry
documents to prove their citizenship or immigration status in the event that they are
stopped by the police. Free democratic states generally do not require individuals to
carry identification at all times ( Alto Arizona is another
grassroots organization that is calling on president Obama to intervene in Arizona and
enforce the federal governments control on immigration. Fuerza! and the Repeal
Coalition are grassroots organizations comprised of many illegal and mixed families
along with many American civil rights activists. Groups such as these give the families
affected a voice in the matter, especially the members of such groups who are American
citizens since they have the right to vote to repeal this bill.

On the other hand, much of the conservative community supports, and even
pushed for this bill. It does not settle well with many people that their tax dollars go
towards the education and medical care of undocumented aliens who do not have to pay
taxes. From 2001 to 2010, an average of 1,374 illegal aliens a day were apprehended in
the Arizona border sector. DHS does not know how many illegal aliens successfully
entered Arizona each day during that period ( With this number of people
flooding into the United States, specifically Arizona, it is understandable how Americans
would feel threatenedhaving to meet the demand these individuals bring certainly
strains taxpayers. In addition to this, many conservatives are very pro-state rights and
believe that it is within the power of Arizona lawmakers to pass legislation regarding its
own borders without the influence of the national government. Addressing the argument

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that immigration is a federal responsibility, Sheriff Arpiao stated, Arizona is not going
to let the ongoing federal failure continue. This statement is a testament to many
Arizonans belief that the federal government is not doing enough in regards to the states
immigration issues.

On top of this, undocumented workers take jobs from Americans whose

unemployment rate is already extraordinarily high. There were an estimated 278,460
illegal aliens working in Arizona in 2011, approximately 9.3 percent of the total
workforce ( The American workers competing with undocumented ones are
forced to either take lesser pay to remain competitive, or not work at all. Labor
economists have concluded that undocumented workers have lowered the wages of U.S.
adults without a high school diploma25 million of themby anywhere between 0.4 to
7.4 percent (New York Times). For many conservatives, the extremely high number of
illegal immigrants in the United Statesnot just Arizona, is a threat to national security
and to the economy as a whole.

While both sides do have valid arguments regarding immigration, Senate Bill
1070 itself has encouraged racial profiling and the criminalization of an entire race. There
are so many grey areas to this bill, and there truly is not a correct stance. However,
SB1070 needs to be a more objective and comprehensive policy to handle immigration in
Arizona. It comes down to an issue of morals and ethicsnot just politics, and when
looking at Senate Bill 1070 on a life-to-life basis, one can see an extreme inconsistency.

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With this sensitive subject comes great responsibility to be just and inclusive to all
people, and SB 1070 is not meeting those standards. Policymakers therefore must find a
solution to closing the borders without closing off the country to those who want to be

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Works Cited - Stop the Arizonafication of the Nation." Alto Arizona. Web. 11 Oct.
"Arizona's SB 1070." American Civil Liberties Union. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.
Eagly, Ingrid V. "Local Immigration Prosecution: A Study of Arizona before SB
1070." UCLA Law Review (2011). Web.
Magana, Lisa, and Erik Lee. Latino Politics and Arizona's Immigration Law SB 1070.
PBS Immigration SB1070. PBS. Video.
"Press." Arizona Offers Compelling Legal Arguments in Support of SB 1070, Says FAIR.
N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2015.
S. 1070, 49 Cong. (2010) (enacted). Print.
Sacks, Mike. "SB 1070: Supreme Court Appears To Favor Arizona On Controversial
Immigration Law."Huffington Post. Web.
"SB 1070: "I Look Suspicious"" American Civil Liberties Union. Web. 01 Nov. 2015.
Szkupinski Quiroga, Seline. "Vamos a Aguantar: Observations on How Arizona's SB
1070 Has Affected Community." Web.
"Visas and Green Cards: Frequently Asked Questions." Visas and Green Cards:
Frequently Asked Questions. Web. 01 Nov. 2015.
Williamson, Kristen. "Arizona Offers Compelling Legal Arguments in Support of SB
1070, Says FAIR." Web.