Thu Mar 26 2015   
Bacon Immigration Law Program

The Impact of SB 1070 on Arizona's Youth

In the spring of 2011, one year after the Arizona state legislature passed the controversial state law SB 1070, the Bacon Program in partnership with the Southwest Institute for Research on Women, set out to research the impact of SB 1070 on youth in Arizona. The law, designed to reduce the size of Arizona's undocumented immigrant population through aggressive state enforcement of federal immigration laws, has never been fully implemented due to a court injunction. However, there is no question that SB 1070 has had real effects on the state. The Bacon Program and SIROW sought to understand the impact of the law on youth, in particular, because these effects were not as immediately visible as the economic impact of the law's passage, but have potentially equally significant implications for the future of the state.


The result of this effort is "Left Back: The Impact of SB 1070 on Arizona's Youth." This report, based on over 70 interviews in seven different schools in Pima County, summarizes the perspectives of teachers, parents, and students themselves on how young people have been impacted by the law's passage.


Left back Report

The report's findings reveal a disturbing picture of youth destabilized, disillusioned, and disadvantaged by the passage of SB 1070. Their communities have been frayed by the departure of family members and friends. Their educations have been undermined by, among other factors, decreased school enrollments and the distress left in the wake of those departures. Many young people and their families also maintain a powerful mistrust of the public institutions around them, especially police, but also often extending to schools.






The key research findings are listed below and discussed in detail in the body of the report.


Social Disruption: SB 1070's passage led a significant number of immigrants to leave and/or debate leaving Arizona. These departures, both anticipated and actual, had a range of consequences for those left behind, including the loss of friends and family, social and academic problems, anxiety-related health effects, and loss of trust in schools. Findings of the report include:



Institutional Mistrust: SB 1070's passage and signing reinforced and deepened an existing mistrust of institutions in the immigrant community. This mistrust reshaped people's daily routines and reduced their civic and social engagement. It extended not just to law enforcement but also, at least in some cases, to schools as well. Findings of the report include:



These and other impacts of the law are discussed in detail in the body of the report.


For the press release, click here.
For the Executive Summary and Full Report, click here.

For more information, please contact:

Nina Rabin at (520) 621-9206, or

Tomas Lopez at (347) 743-9909,


Last Updated: 09/19/2011