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Introduction

We analyzed and coded editorial cartoons on immigration and undocumented workers in the United States, specifically focusing on Arizona’s immigration policies. We found that the issue of illegal immigration has been a controversial topic for decades and it is becoming even more so with the introduction of state-level immigration laws such as Arizona’s SB 1070.

Through studying and researching the context and issues behind each cartoon, we found it interesting how prevalent racial profiling was in the cartoons as well as in the actual Arizona immigration policies.

It was startling that police officers could have the right to make stereotypical judgments about people and act upon those judgments by demanding proof of their citizenship.

We found numerous stories and articles regarding the controversy surrounding immigration policies. The stories offered real examples of immigrants who were directly affected by the U.S. immigration laws as well as Arizona’s strict policies.

Overall the cartoons conveyed the message that immigration policies are crucial to keep illegal immigrants out of the United States. Arizona especially feels that these policies should be extreme and heavily enforced. The cartoons framed the immigrants as illegal aliens willing to do anything for the chance at a better life.

The overall tone of the cartoons was negative toward Arizona’s policies. Some cartoons supported the immigrants, however most of the cartoons we found portrayed immigrants as an undesirable addition to the United States. There also seemed to be a tone of disagreement concerning the Supreme Court’s decision to veto certain provisions of the Arizona immigration law.

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