Framing the Strain, Resource Mobilisation, Attrition through Enforcement, and the ‘Nativist Trio’: The Goal, Players, and Fallout of Arizona’s Movement Against Irregular Migrants

By Christian Rojas Gaspar.

Published by The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

This research analyses the anti-immigration movement that swept across Arizona from 2004 to 2011. Through an analysis of financial records, media reports and anti-immigration legislation, the article sheds light on the following: (1) what the movement was about; (2) who its key proponents are and their role through a lens of social movement formation theories; (3) the ramifications the movement has had on irregular migrants; and (4) the role of the state in immigration enforcement. The goal of the movement was to forward an agenda of attrition through enforcement as the only approach to deal with irregular migrants. The key proponents behind the movement are the “nativist trio” composed of Dan Stein, Dr. Kris Kobach and Mark Krikorian, members of various interest groups that have provided a large amount of resources to mobilise individuals. Further, their role can be explained through a lens of relative deprivation, framing, and resource mobilisation. As a result, irregular migrants have been the subject to high numbers of arrest and prosecutions by state officials in Maricopa County. The movement has been responsible for creating an environment that fosters public assistance in the enforcement of immigration law, and in late 2004, favoured border vigilantism. Finally, if one accounts for the heavy assistance of the nativist trio, then the state is but a proxy that forwards an agenda on behalf of other individuals. In the end, the lack of federal action in the realm of immigration has fostered an environment where restrictionist groups have thrived on the frustrations of the state and the general public.

Keywords: Attrition through Enforcement, Arizona, SB 1070, Illegal Immigration, Social Movements, Framing, Relative Deprivation, Resource Mobilisation

The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp.25-39. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 224.207KB).

Christian Rojas Gaspar

Master of Arts Candidate, Sociology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Holds an M.A. in Sociology from Queen’s University in Canada. His research is in the areas of homeless street youth and their criminal behaviours, and irregular migration.