Texas’ Immigration Crackdown Recalls Arizona’s Divisive ‘Show Me Your Papers’ Law

Texas’ Immigration Crackdown Recalls Arizona’s Divisive ‘Show Me Your Papers’ Law


The Supreme Court's decision Tuesday allowing Texas to arrest and deport immigrants resonated deeply in Arizona, which passed its own divisive law. crackdown on illegal immigration more than a decade ago.

Arizona's effort, which became known as the “show me your papers” law, unleashed a torrent of fear and anger after its passage in 2010 and shook the state's politics in ways that still reverberate, offering a lesson in what could happen in the future. Texas.

The law required immigrants to carry immigration documents and empowered police and sheriff's agencies to investigate and detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. It made undocumented immigrants afraid to drive or leave their homes. It sparked boycotts and angry protests. A politician reaction removed from office the Republican architect of the law. Legal challenges gutted important provisions of the law.

The measure also spurred a new generation of Latino activists to organize, register voters and run for office, seeding a political movement that has helped elect Democrats across Arizona and transform a once-reliable Republican state into a battleground. purple politician.

“It made me realize what my position is in the United States, what my parents' position is,” said Valeria García, 21, an undocumented activist who was brought to Arizona from Mexico when she was 4 years old and now specializes in political science and borders. She studied at Arizona State University. “That was a political awakening.”

Immigration attorneys and immigrant children who grew up under the law, Senate Bill 1070, said it created widespread fear and uncertainty in Latino communities across Arizona. Some families hastily left the state. Some stopped going to work.

“It really caused a chilling effect throughout the state,” said Delia Salvatierra, an immigration attorney in Phoenix.

The Supreme Court shot down parts of Arizona law in a 2012 decision that declared that the federal government, and not the states, had the power to set immigration policy. In 2016, Maricopa County voters ousted Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the staunch opponent of illegal immigration who had been a strong supporter of a state crackdown.

Now, with the number of illegal border crossings reaching record levels, Republicans who control the Arizona State Legislature have again pushed for tough new measures. Earlier this year, they passed the “Arizona Border Invasion Act,” a bill similar to the Texas law that would have allowed state and local authorities to arrest and deport immigrants who cross into Arizona illegally. It was vetoed by Gov. Katie Hobbs, a Democrat.

Some who lived through the previous law say the scars are still there. Denise Garcia, who was born in Phoenix to parents from Chihuahua, Mexico, was still in elementary school when the law went into effect. She vividly remembers how her family changed her routines to hide from the authorities and she became afraid to leave the house. She said several immigrant friends from her neighborhood returned to Mexico. She said life felt like a blur of fear.

“Are my parents going to be deported?” she said. “Am I going to return to an empty house?”


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