Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1969133
 


 



Immigration and National Security: The Illusion of Safety Through Local Law Enforcement Action


David A. Harris


University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

December 6, 2011

Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law, Vol. 28, 2011
University of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-27

Abstract:     
Despite efforts to reform immigration law in the 1980s and the 1990s, the new laws passed in those decades by the Congress did not solve the long-term problems raised by undocumented people entering the United States. The issue arose anew after the terrorist attacks of September, 2001. While the advocates for immigration crackdowns in the 1980s and 1990s had cast the issue as one of economics and cultural transformation, immigration opponents after 9/11 painted a different picture: illegal immigration, they said, was a national security issue. If poor farmers from Mexico and Central America could sneak into the U.S. across the southwestern border, so could potential terrorists. This "re-branding" of illegal immigration gained significant traction on the national level, but resulted in no federal legislation. The immigration debate has now moved to the state level, with the focus on state laws such as Arizona's SB 1070. These state laws have brought about something long sought by immigration opponents that they failed to attain in the national debates: local and state law enforcement agencies are now obligated to question people they stop about immigration status. While national security has not been the primary motivation of state lawmakers, the ironic result of these state laws will be a decrease in security against terrorists who might try to penetrate the land borders of the U.S.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 18

Keywords: immigration law, reform, immigration enforcement, national security, terrorism, illegal immigration, legislation, border protection, Mexico, Arizona SB 1070, police power, police discretion, stop and frisk, reasonable suspicion, U.S. Constitution, local law enforcement

JEL Classification: K14, K32, K39, K42, K49

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: December 23, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Harris, David A., Immigration and National Security: The Illusion of Safety Through Local Law Enforcement Action (December 6, 2011). Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law, Vol. 28, 2011; University of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011-27. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1969133

Contact Information

David A. Harris (Contact Author)
University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )
3900 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 736
Downloads: 128
Download Rank: 132,990

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo1 in 2.328 seconds