The Rise of Anti-immigrant Policies: An Analysis of Three State Laws and Implications for Social Work

Susanna Jones, Rich Furman, Melody Loya, Alissa R. Ackerman, Nalini Negi, Doug Epps, Gladys Mondragon


This article examines United States immigration policy in three states: Arizona, Alabama, and Indiana. All three states have varying rates of Latino immigration and a complex set of socioeconomic and cultural factors; yet nonetheless, all have participated in the criminalization of undocumented immigrants through state-level legislative action. First, this article explores Latino migration to the United States and its relationship to the forces of globalization. Second, we discuss the consequences and impacts of racialized and decentralized immigration policy. Third, we detail the history and background of each state law and its economic and social costs. Lastly, we conclude with implications of these policies on the lives of undocumented immigrants, social welfare policy, social work and transnational practice, and social work education.


undocumented immigrants, criminalization of immigrants, anti-immigrant legislation, Arizona SB 1070, Alabama HB 56, Indiana SB 590

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