Arizona Senate Bill Compared with California’s Proposition 187

The 2010 Arizona Senate Bill 1070 recently passed and signed into law seems in some ways like a descendant to California’s Proposition 187 – passed into law in that state in 1994 but since declared unconstitutional.

To many neutral political observers, the recent passage and enactment of the controversial Arizona measure referred to as Senate Bill 1070 is strikingly reminiscent of a law enacted sixteen years ago in California – Proposition 187, which was also named by some proponents at the time as the “Save Our State” initiative, designed with perhaps even more aggressive intent to prohibit illegal immigrants’ access to social services, health care, and public education, and later declared to be unconstitutional. Like that controversial law would have, the Arizona anti-immigrant reform measure is likely to enhance a spiraling “chilling effect” in the desert – driving undocumented immigrants further underground while diminishing Hispanic cooperation with law enforcement by shutting down meaningful communications even in instances of genuine criminal activity that might well be occurring.

Although unintended, if the new Arizona law is not ruled unconstitutional like its California predecessor, the result might turn out to be precisely the opposite of what its proponents in their naiveté intended – creating a furtive and hidden sub-culture that will thrive in a climate of subversion, conflict, and confusion. This divisiveness is likely to have far-reaching effects, not merely geographically and politically but economically and sociologically. Such a “line newly drawn in the Arizona sand,” in assuming illegality while fostering racial and ethnic profiling – not only among residents of Arizona who might be brown-skinned – but likely extending to virtually any person of any age who is not “a normal-looking” Caucasian and thus above “reasonable suspicion.”

With Arizona suddenly loitering in such a murky ambivalence as newly driven by legal mandate, drug trafficking, kidnapping, sex crimes, and other infractions may actually increase exponentially, as precious law enforcement resources in Arizona are unnecessarily diverted to the often unwarranted apprehensions of “suspicious persons” who may not be guilty of anything more than the “crime” of expressing their humanity in the habits of existence.

Sometimes people receive exactly what they think they want – and it’s nothing like what they had in mind.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at