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Unpublished Paper
Moral and Legal Dilemma: A Legal Analysis of the Criticisms Leveled Against Arizona SB 1070
ExpressO (2011)
  • Michael K Marriott, University of California - Davis

The Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, more commonly known as Arizona SB 1070, is a recently passed bill targeting unlawful immigration. Touted to be the strongest piece of immigration legislation passed in America's recent history, the bill has come under fire on state, national, and international levels.

This paper begins by setting the stage for why SB 1070 was passed, and what legislators sought to accomplish. It then provides a basic overview of the bill, with an emphasis towards its more controversial aspects. From there it groups together certain classes of criticisms that have been publicly leveled against the bill, and analyzes said criticisms to determine their legitimacy. The ultimate goal of this paper is to analyze SB 1070 in a legal context, and to determine whether its critics are legally justified in their criticisms.

The purpose of this paper is not to advocate for or against the bill, or to advance any type of moral or philosophical position. Rather, the purpose is to examine the legislation from a purely legalistic point of view. For this purpose, and considering that the terms ‘illegal immigrants’ and ‘undocumented workers’ are both politically charged terms used to imply certain positions in debates regarding the bill, this paper makes use of the term ‘unlawful immigrants’ when referring to those who have entered or remain in the United States in contradiction to U.S. Federal immigration laws. This term is used to differentiate the category of persons from ‘lawful immigrants,’ or those who were not born with American citizenship, but have immigrated in accordance with U.S. Federal immigration law.

  • Arizona,
  • law,
  • legislation,
  • 1070,
  • 2162,
  • immigration,
  • human rights,
  • civil rights,
  • constitution,
  • international,
  • hispanic
Publication Date
January 27, 2011
Citation Information
Michael K Marriott. "Moral and Legal Dilemma: A Legal Analysis of the Criticisms Leveled Against Arizona SB 1070" ExpressO (2011)
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