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Bottom of the Totem Pole: A Blackian Analysis of the Arizona Immigration Legislation
AuthorGrimmer, Caitlin B.
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The Arizona Immigration Legislation, also known as the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act”, has created much controversy since being signed into law in April 2010. This legislation, called Senate Bill 1070 (and then revised by House Bill 2162), still in the process of evolving, grants law enforcement officers the ability to request identification of an individual “for any lawful stop, detention or arrest made by a law enforcement official” (House Engrossed S.B. 1070, 2010, p. 2). The bill further criminalizes the act of failing to carry identification, namely “an alien registration document” (House Engrossed S.B. 1070, 2010, p. 4) on the person at all times, along with a plethora of other criminalized acts. The analysis provided by Black’s theory on the behavior of law is categorized as sociological jurisprudence. How this law affects society, whether in the political, judicial, or media realms, is intrinsically linked to how Senate Bill 1070 behaves and the ramifications it will have upon the inhabitants within the Arizona state society as well as upon inhabitants in the United States. This thesis analyzes the text of the immigration legislation, discusses the constitutional and immigration law issues surrounding said legislation, and applies this knowledge to Donald Black’s theory from The Behavior of Law (1976, 2008) in order to understand the nature, behavior, and ramifications of Senate Bill 1070.