Strange Neighbors

Strange Neighbors: The Role of States in Immigration Policy

Carissa Byrne Hessick
Gabriel J. Chin
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 304
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qg1sb
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  • Book Info
    Strange Neighbors
    Book Description:

    Since its founding, the U.S. has struggled with issues of federalism and states' rights. In almost every area of law, from abortion to zoning, conflicts arise between the states and the federal government over which entity is best suited to create and enforce laws. In the last decade, immigration has been on the front lines of this debate, with states such as Arizona taking an extremely assertive role in policing immigrants within their borders. While Arizona and its notorious SB 1070 is the most visible example of states claiming expanded responsibility to make and enforce immigration law, it is far from alone. An ordinance in Hazelton, Pennsylvania prohibited landlords from renting to the undocumented. Several states have introduced legislation to deny citizenship to babies who are born to parents who are in the United States without authorization. Other states have also enacted legislation aimed at driving out unauthorized migrants.Strange Neighborsexplores the complicated and complicating role of the states in immigration policy and enforcement, including voices from both sides of the debate. While many contributors point to the dangers inherent in state regulation of immigration policy, at least two support it, while others offer empirically-based examinations of state efforts to regulate immigration within their borders, pointing to wide, state-by-state disparities in locally-administered immigration policies and laws. Ultimately, the book offers an extremely timely, thorough, and spirited discussion on an issue that will continue to dominate state and federal legislatures for years to come.

    eISBN: 978-0-8147-6486-2
    Subjects: Law

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-18)
    GABRIEL J. CHIN and CARISSA BYRNE HESSICK

    In 2010, Arizona ignited a national controversy over state regulation of immigration. It did so by enacting S.B. 1070, a statute through which Arizona tried to encourage undocumented immigrants to “self-deport”—i.e., voluntarily leave the state—by creating an inhospitable environment.¹ While S.B. 1070 captured the nation’s attention, it was not the first state effort, or indeed the first effort in Arizona, to influence immigration policy or enforcement. In the five years leading up to S.B. 1070, various state legislatures introduced thousands of immigration bills and enacted hundreds.² Arizona in particular had previously enacted several immigration-related measures, including an initiative...

  5. I. THE RECENT SPATE OF STATE AND LOCAL IMMIGRATION REGULATION
    • 1 Measuring the Climate for Immigrants: A State-by-State Analysis
      (pp. 21-39)
      HUYEN PHAM and PHAM HOANG VAN

      In the fierce debate about subfederal immigration regulation, Arizona has become the focus of national attention. Its Senate Bill 1070, which gives police broad authority to detain people for immigration violations, has been described as “the nation’s toughest bill on illegal immigration.” ¹ And Arizona itself has been characterized as “the state most aggressively using its own laws to fight illegal immigration.”² Are these descriptions accurate? Is Arizona the most restrictive state in the realm of immigration regulation? How would such a measurement be made? And how do other states and local jurisdictions that have also enacted subfederal immigration regulation...

    • 2 How Arizona Became Ground Zero in the War on Immigrants
      (pp. 40-60)
      DOUGLAS S. MASSEY

      The nation’s current immigration crisis and Arizona’s controversial role in it didn’t just happen. Both outcomes are a direct result of poorly conceived immigration and border policies implemented by the United States over the past fifty years, which have created today’s large undocumented population. More than 60% of all unauthorized migrants in the United States today come from Mexico. The next closest country is El Salvador at 5%, followed by Guatemala at 4% and Honduras at 3% (Hoefer, Rytina, and Baker 2010). No other country accounts for more than 2%, which is the rough share comprised by Ecuador, the Philippines,...

  6. II. HISTORICAL ANTECEDENTS TO THE MODERN STATE AND LOCAL EFFORTS TO REGULATE IMMIGRATION
    • 3 “A War to Keep Alien Labor out of Colorado”: The “Mexican Menace” and the Historical Origins of Local and State Anti-Immigration Initiatives
      (pp. 63-96)
      TOM I. ROMERO II

      In the early months of 1935, the governor of Colorado, “Big” Ed Johnson, initiated the first of several measures intended to deter undocumented immigrant labor from Mexico from entering the state. Animated by speculation that an “alien menace” from Mexico not only exacerbated the economic crisis gripping the nation but also directly contributed to the financial meltdown several years earlier, Governor Johnson, himself the son of immigrants, felt the need to act in the face of what he perceived as a federal inability to control the nation’s borders.¹ First, Governor Johnson sent letters to the federal government demanding the deportation...

  7. III. A DEFENSE OF STATE AND LOCAL EFFORTS
    • 4 Reinforcing the Rule of Law: What States Can and Should Do to Reduce Illegal Immigration
      (pp. 99-129)
      KRIS W. KOBACH

      In the 2007 state legislative session, something truly extraordinary happened. For the first time ever, legislators in all fifty states introduced bills dealing with illegal immigration. A whopping 1,562 illegal immigration bills were submitted, up from 570 in 2006.¹ Of the bills submitted, 240 were enacted into law, up from 84 in 2006.² The vast majority were designed to discourage illegal immigration in one way or another. This legislative surge continued for several years thereafter.

      It has been often said but seldom demonstrated so clearly: every state is a border state now. It is undeniable that the urge to reduce...

    • 5 The States Enter the Illegal Immigration Fray
      (pp. 130-164)
      JOHN C. EASTMAN

      “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” These iconic words from Emma Lazarus’s famous poem, penned to help raise funds for the construction of the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal in the 1880s, are widely believed to reflect the purpose of the Statue of Liberty, beckoning an open-borders U.S. immigration policy to the world. Yet that version of the Statue of Liberty story is anachronistic, driven more by Lazarus’s poem and the chance location of the Statue near the immigrant processing center that opened on Ellis Island in 1892 than by the Statue’s original purpose....

  8. IV. A CRITICAL EVALUATION OF THE NEW STATE REGULATION
    • 6 Broken Mirror: The Unconstitutional Foundations of New State Immigration Enforcement
      (pp. 167-197)
      GABRIEL J. CHIN and MARC L. MILLER

      The mirror-image theory of cooperative state enforcement of federal immigration law proposes that states can help carry out federal immigration policy by enacting and enforcing state laws that mirror federal statutes. The mirror-image theory provided the legal foundation for Arizona’s controversial and sweeping Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act—better known as SB 1070.¹

      The rejection inArizona v. United States² by the United States Supreme Court of all of the Arizona provisions that were claimed to mirror federal law sets the stage for challenges and further policy twists in other states that enacted similar and in some...

    • 7 The Role of States in the National Conversation on Immigration
      (pp. 198-228)
      RICK SU

      What is the role of states in immigration policy and enforcement? Though this question has long been an issue of concern for jurists and policymakers, developments in recent years have made it all the more pressing. One reason is the sheer volume of immigration-related activity on the state level; since 2005, more than four hundred state bills concerning immigration have been enacted to diverse effect. Another reason lies in the increasing severity of the state response, especially with states like Arizona and Alabama competing to pass the “toughest” laws on immigration.

      Immigration is, of course, a national issue and a...

    • 8 Post-Racial Proxy Battles over Immigration
      (pp. 229-258)
      MARY FAN

      Amid economic and political turmoil, anti-immigrant legislation has flared again among a handful of fiercely determined states.¹ To justify the intrusion into national immigration enforcement, the dissident states invoke imagery of invading hordes of “illegals”²—though the unauthorized population actually fell by nearly two-thirds, decreasing by about a million people, between 2007 and 2009 as the recession reduced the lure of jobs.³

      Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070—recently invalidated in part by the U.S. Supreme Court in Arizona v. United States⁴—led the charge.⁵ By preelection-year summer 2011, several states enacted laws patterned after Arizona’s controversial Senate Bill 1070, including Alabama’s...

  9. About the Contributors
    (pp. 259-262)
  10. Index
    (pp. 263-266)