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Volume 27 • Number 1

January 2013



Immigration Policy and Civic-Political Identity

by James W. Boettcher

On April 23, 2010, Senate Bill 1070—the "Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act"—was signed into law by Arizona governor Jan Brewer. Among its other provisions, SB 1070 criminalizes failures to carry alien registration documentation, allows for warrantless arrests, prohibits a range of interactions in areas such as employment, housing, and transportation, and authorizes state and local police to stop and investigate anyone based on reasonable suspicion about an individual's unlawful immigration status. The constitutionality of this last and most controversial feature of SB 1070 has been upheld by the US Supreme Court, though the Court recently struck down several other key provisions for pre-empting federal immigration law. Critics argue that the Arizona law likely will lead to—and, indeed, may even necessitate—profiling based on race and ethnicity. Nevertheless, a new wave of popular anti-immigrant sentiment has given rise to similar legislation in Georgia, Indiana, Utah, and elsewhere. As one of the nation's strictest immigration enforcement bills, the state of Alabama's HB 56 has gone so far as to propose that public schools determine and report the immigration status of enrolled students.

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ISSN: 2152-0542