Racial Profiling Legalized in Arizona
20 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2012 Last revised: 25 Apr 2012
Date Written: April 16, 2012
In 2010, Arizona enacted S.B. 1070, which legalizes racial profiling in that state, and effectively converts local law enforcement officials into de facto U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. This article argues that the statute is unconstitutional because it violates the Fourth Amendment, is void for vagueness, and violates the Supremacy Clause. S.B. 1070 also suffers from practical deficiencies in that it will harm communities and increase harassment of Latinos. In addition, it runs afoul of universally recognized human rights. Other states have passed laws similar to S.B. 1070. The constitutionality of S.B. 1070 is currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, which will issue a decision by the end of its 2011-2012 term. The Court is reviewing an opinion by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturning some provisions of S.B. 1070 as violative of the Supremacy Clause.
Keywords: S.B. 1070, racial profiling, Arizona immigration law, immigration enforcement, immigration status, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Governor Jan Brewer, preemption, federalism, Supremacy Clause
JEL Classification: K14, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation