Arizona: The Key Players in the Anti-Immigrant Movement

May 12, 2012

For the full comprehensive report, see Arizona: The Key Players in the Anti-Immigrant Movement (PDF).

The creation of SB 1070, Arizona's strict anti-immigration law, evolved in an atmosphere of anti-immigrant sentiment and rhetoric. A number of figures have been played a key role in making Arizona the center of the anti-immigrant movement in the United States. They include:

  • Russell Pearce: Former Arizona State Senator and co-author of SB 1070. Pearce has been the driving force behind a number of anti-immigrant initiatives in the state.
  • Kris Kobach: A lawyer and anti-immigrant activist who co-authored SB 1070. Kobach has been involved in helping locales across the country draft anti-immigrant legislation through his work with anti-immigrant organizations.
  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio: The sheriff in Maricopa County, Phoenix, since 1992, Arpaio is known for implementing law enforcement policies that have targeted Latinos.
  • J.T. Ready: A neo-Nazi who murdered four people and then killed himself in May 2012, Ready carried out border vigilante activities along the border with Mexico up until his death. He was also active in a number of anti-immigrant groups in Arizona.
  • Glenn Spencer: The head of American Border Patrol, an anti-Hispanic hate group, based in Arizona. Spencer does regular surveillance of the border with Mexico. He has strived to gain mainstream acceptance as an expert on immigration.