New NILC Reports Detail the Racist Origins of SB 1070, but Also New State and Local Inclusive Policies

November 3, 2016

Juan Gastelum, [email protected], 213-375-3149

New NILC Reports Detail the Racist Origins of SB 1070, but Also New State and Local Inclusive Policies

As legislative sessions and legal disputes wind down, we try to take stock of how they’ve played out, including the lessons they’ve taught us and our movement. We’ve summarized some of what we’ve learned in two new (but very different) reports.

One report unmasks details about the racism and xenophobia out of which one the most notorious state anti-immigrant laws to date, Arizona’s SB 1070, was born. The second report, on the other hand, summarizes some of the remarkably productive and inclusive developments at the state and local levels that came out of this year’s legislative sessions.

Along Racial Lines: The Genesis of Arizona’s SB 1070 Is a Cautionary Tale of Race-based Immigration Policy. Quoting and citing emails obtained mostly through discovery in Valle del Sol v. Whiting, our civil rights lawsuit against SB 1070, we present concrete evidence that the nation’s most notorious state-level anti-immigrant law was inspired by racism and xenophobia. Emails written and sent by the law’s authors and most ardent supporters show that anti-immigrant and anti-Latino sentiment were major factors driving the law’s attrition-through-racial-profiling approach.

This report is especially important at a time when xenophobic rhetoric is at an all-time high in our national discourse. Those who have lived through the daily realities of SB 1070 in Arizona know how much damage the law has caused communities across the state and recognize that it should not be replicated on a national level.

States Reject Immigration Enforcement Measures and Advance Inclusive Policies in 2016. While a significant portion of the national conversation has, for a while, seemed mired in anti-immigrant rhetoric, many state and local lawmakers have been trying to make our communities better for all of us, regardless of where we were born. From Nebraska to California, legislators on both sides of the aisle rejected measures designed to make life miserable for immigrants, and adopted immigrant-inclusive policies instead.

Read our new report on the 2016 state legislative sessions to learn more about how immigrant-inclusive policies became law this year.

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