Since its enactment in April, the Arizona law that gives local and state police the ability to arrest and detain people they suspect to be undocumented immigrants has spurred a whirlwind of discussion and activism concerning immigration policy and race relations.
With the specter of racial profiling and civil rights violations looming, a coalition of civil rights groups and activists around the country has condemned the law (SB 1070). The National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) are among groups that have called for an economic boycott of Arizona.
Diverse interviewed three prominent Mexican-American academics about the law, its impact on Arizona colleges, and what they hope to see in real immigration reform moving forward.
Dr. Roberto Rodriguez is an assistant professor in the Department of Mexican American and Raza Studies at the University of Arizona. In his nationally syndicated “Column of the Americas,” he compared Arizona to the apartheid South Africa. Dr. Josephine Mendez-Negrete, an associate professor of bicultural-bilingual studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio, is the editor of the journal Chicana/Latina Studies. Dr. Devon Peña, the chair of NACCS and author of its statement against Senate Bill 1070, is a professor of anthropology and Chicano studies at the University of Washington.
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