The State of Arizona | Collection

Expand/Collapse The State of Arizona | Collection


This collection features resources developed for the Emmy-nominated film,The State of Arizona. Through film clips and discussion questions, students will learn about SB1070, a controversial law passed by the Arizona Senate in 2010, also known as the “papers please” law. The law ignited a national maelstrom. Supporters call it a common sense law-enforcement tool; opponents feel it will inevitably lead to racial profiling. Mixing in interviews with footage of heated protest rallies and television coverage, the film tells the stories of Arizonans on all sides of this divisive issue — activists, politicians, Latino immigrants, ranchers, controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the newly empowered Tea Party movement, for whom illegal immigration is a flashpoint subject — depicting a state and its people testing the edges of our democratic values.

  • The State of Arizona | Film Discussion Guide

    This discussion guide provides background on federal and state efforts to control immigration, immigration facts, suggested questions for discussion, and resources for further reading and inquiry.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Clip 1 | The State of Arizona | Preview

    This topical documentary captures the explosive emotions and complex realities behind Arizona’s headline-grabbing struggle with illegal immigration. Tracking the year after Arizona passes SB1070, its controversial “papers please” law, the film tells the stories of Arizonans on all sides of this divisive issue and depicts a state and its people testing the edges of our democratic values.

    Grades: 7-13+
  • Clip 2 | The State of Arizona | A Wall Goes Up

    Rudy Peña, a fifth generation of Mexican descent, reflects on a surprising divide within the Latino community. He talks about his family history and how he feels ostracized by newer Mexican immigrants because he doesn’t speak Spanish and doesn’t feel the way they do.

    Grades: 7-13+
  • Clip 3 | The State of Arizona | Salvador Reza Tracks Sheriffs Pulling Over Latino Drivers

    In this excerpt from the Independent Lens documentary The State of Arizona, activist Salvador Reza, a founder of the Puente Movement, tracks the Sheriff department pulling over and interrogating Latinos on suspicion of being illegal immigrants. Reza and his associates use cameras to film the activity, while he also talks about SB1070 being the “287(g) [Agreement] on steroids.”

    Grades: 7-13+
  • Clip 4 | The State of Arizona | Russell Pearce Rallies a Crowd

    In this excerpt from the Independent Lens documentary The State of Arizona, State Senator Russell Pearce rallies an outdoors pro-SB1070 crowd, citing murders along the border and how he feels he has the Founding Fathers on his side. Meanwhile, frustrated anti-SB1070 activists like Jorge Martinez meet to discuss strategy.

    Grades: 7-13+
  • Clip 5 | The State of Arizona | Sheriff Joe Debates Journalist During Fast Food Bust

    In this excerpt from the Independent Lens documentary The State of Arizona, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks to reporters during a raid of a fast food restaurant checking for illegal immigrants, where he’s challenged by a journalist about the operation. Meanwhile, patrons debate whether or not illegal immigrants should be allowed to work there.

    Grades: 7-13+

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