Monday, November 22, 2010

SB 1070 . The Arizona Law

Throughout history immigration waves have altered. In the recent decades the Latino immigration waves have raised immensely. Although rhetorically the law is constitutional, in practice it is racial profiling. Recently, in my ethnic studies class we discussed what classified people as illegal aliens and a good percentage of my classmates responded by saying that the accent we,as Latinos, carry. I disagree with such assumption because my grandparent living here for five years still have an accent and they are soon to be United State citizens. I believe that SB1070 is an attack against Latinos, and after reading an article it made me begin to question who looked like a bigger fool, the government or the Latinos. The article explains different way that "illegal aliens" out did the government before being deported. School drop out have increased drastically in the state of Arizona.
I believe that is where one of the problem begins, the lack of education and understanding. Although it is clear "illegal aliens" came to the United States in illegal ways, it is important to remember why that occurred. Education and lack of opportunities in our home countries are the reason migrate here is for the same freedom that the Europeans conquered this land over 200 years ago.


  1. SB 1070, like you said, is a legally accepted way to racially profile people who might be suspected of being "illegal aliens." However, one thing I feel is never really questioned or defined, is what is this notion of "illegality"? What makes things, or most importantly, people "illegal"?

    Even though people do come to the United States in "illegal" ways, I feel we need to critique the very notion that these ways of entering the country are "illegal" in and of themselves...The basics to this world are: human being, space, time, and all the other living creatures that comprise our existences. People have been on the move since the beginning of time. Since when did people begin to demarcate for us imagined, yet very real, lines on the ground and the air that, upon crossing, somehow make certain human beings "illegal." Illegality is a social construction, and as such, it needs to be critiqued.

  2. Your post reminded me of Gloria Anzaldua's Borderlands. In this book, she writes about what it means to occupy a threshold identity; to live on the border where everything is in a state of transience. The idea that illegality is a 'legal' definition that reduces people to their residential status is (I think) an attempt to eliminate border identities. By inscribing citizenship and status into law, authorities try to control/manage those people who do live on the border (and cannot be placed in any dominant group).

    'Illegal' immigrants make up a significant portion of the informal, unskilled and lowest paid labor force. Officials continue to deny the labor politics despite statistics that suggest that 'illegals' are integral to the economy of the US. With the involvement of the prison industry now, illegal immigrants are not just laborers, they are also profit yeilders. The private prison industry makes revenue by locking immigrants up.

    Though we may not acknowledge their 'economic' value, the bodies of 'illegals' are extremely valuable and essentially keep many sectors of the US economy afloat (domestic, agricultural). It is a highly discriminatory system that does not give political rights to people who contribute to the economy as wage/sometimes even, unpaid laborers.