Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070: Targeting the Other1 and Generating Discourses and Practices of Discrimination and Hate

William Arrocha

Abstract


The state of Arizona, through its Senate Bill 1070, has made legal the practice of profiling as one of the key tools to regulate migration and differentiate those who are presumed to be residing in the state without legal documents. The state is encouraging xenophobia and empowering the groups with a strong anti-immigrant sentiment to become directly involved in the monitoring of such practice. History has shown us that when the state and large sectors of civil society exclude the “other” and criminalize his/her presence, hate toward the “other” is the most common result. The consequences of such a dynamic can result in an increase in racism, segregation, and an intensification of social violence and state repression. By tearing down the social and economic relationship between those who can legally reside in the state and those who are excluded, a future of a common ethos of inclusion and mutual respect is seriously jeopardized.

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