This article argues that Arizona’s immigration law, Senate Bill (SB) 1070, marks a turn toward austerity as the basis for immigration policy—a turn that was made possible, in part, by the economic crisis and state budget crises taking place in 2010. The anti-immigrant discourses of Governor Jan Brewer and State Senator Russell Pearce linked crackdowns on immigration to a larger rejection of the maternalist, welfare state as not only impractical, but dangerous. The insertion of this austerity logic into immigration policy divides between citizens who deserve scarce resources and noncitizens who do not, supposedly in the interest of “the economy.” These distinctions are based primarily on the presumed economic ineptitude and illegitimacy of immigrant families. Last, the article explores how austerity logic traveled from Arizona to other states and argues for non-economistic responses to this surge of legislation and austerity policy more broadly.


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pp. 98-120
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