Deep Impact: Three Mexican-American Scholars Discuss Arizona's Immigration Law and Its Ramifications on the State's Colleges and Universities

By Rogers, Ibram | Diverse Issues in Higher Education, May 27, 2010 | Go to article overview

Deep Impact: Three Mexican-American Scholars Discuss Arizona's Immigration Law and Its Ramifications on the State's Colleges and Universities


Rogers, Ibram, Diverse Issues in Higher Education


Since its enactment last month, 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 calling 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 University of Texas at San Antonio, is the editor of the journal, Chicana/Latina Studies. Dr. Devon Pena, the chair of NACCS and author of its statement against SB 1070, is a professor of anthropology and Chicano studies at the University of Washington.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

What do you think about the new immigration law passed in Arizona?

Rodriguez: I look back at the Japanese-Americans who were put into concentration camps during World War II. I think it is very similar. That is, we have an opportunity to take a moral stand to prevent something wrong from happening. Today, there's a consensus among everybody in this country that what happened to the Japanese was wrong, but nobody stood up while it was happening. This is what's happening here in Arizona. We can see a law that will legalize racial profiling.

Mendez-Negrete: It has taken us back to Jim Crow days. Except that this is targeting international citizens who have no choice but to migrate, in our global economy to make a living and to survive, to places such as ours that rely on the labor of people who can't find work any place else. It's not just the undocumented immigrants who are targeted. It's also people who look like them and have indigenous connections to the Americas.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Pena: When we talk about this notion of the ecology of fear, what we are talking about is a political and civic climate that the politicians are deliberately stoking and aggravating that creates an environment of intolerance, fear, insecurity and hatred that is directed at anyone who appears foreign or that appears to be illegal--whatever that means.

Why do you think this new law was enacted?

Rodriguez: You would have to know the politics of Arizona. This is the same state that questioned President Barack Obama's citizenship, birthplace and his legitimacy. The politicians here are extreme right. We can sugarcoat it, call it something else, but there's a vicious anti-Mexican sentiment here in Arizona.

Mendez-Negrete: There are historical ebbs and flows of both derision and need of Mexicans to come and work the most difficult, the most life-depleting employment. When we see them as the cause of difficulties, we want them out. And so we resort to nativist thinking and exclusionary laws that keep them out of the nation even though the nation needs them.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Pena: It is a sort of cultural war if you will. And this is why SB 1070 is part of a package of other bills that have been passed including one that would abolish ethnic studies because allegedly it promotes resentment toward the racial groups and because it encourages Mexican-Americans to try to secede from the union. Another law would require school districts to terminate teachers who teach English with a foreign accent.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Deep Impact: Three Mexican-American Scholars Discuss Arizona's Immigration Law and Its Ramifications on the State's Colleges and Universities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.