Anthony Riggins, J.D.


Education: Bachelor of Science in political science (August 2010)

Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Kansas City

McNair Project: The Constitutionality of the Arizona Immigration Law (2010)

Mentor: John Fliter, Jr., Ph.D.

Recently Arizona has passed a very divisive Immigration law; (Arizona SB 1070) that many supporters feel is needed and many opponents believe is illegal. The law orders immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there's reason to suspect they're in the United States illegally. The Arizona law gives local police greater power to check the immigration and citizenship status of people they stop. From the time of the bill’s passing the new law has caused Federal and State governments to examine immigration and the need for reform. The purpose of this report is to review and provide a brief history of US immigration law and Supreme Court cases, discuss the provisions of SB 1070, and evaluate the constitutionality of the law. The report will also focus on examining if the bill promotes racial profiling. The bill raises difficult issues of federalism, race, and interaction with existing law. The bill creates many new crimes and duties, some of them previously unknown not only in Arizona but also in federal or state law. Through Congressional acts and Supreme Court case precedents it is clear to see that the federal government is responsible for immigration. Many states are making the call for immigration reform and Arizona a state with a large amount of illegal immigrants took it upon itself to increase their immigration laws. States cannot mandate new laws or crimes concerning matters of immigration otherwise not given to them by the federal government.