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The subject of international immigration has been a topic in which anthropologists have historically shown great interest. Especially since the 1970s and 1980s anthropologists in the United States have studied the dynamics of immigration and the patterns of adaptation of immigrants from around the world. In order to understand patterns and processes of immigration and emigration, it is often necessary to look at the "atmosphere" of anti- or pro-immigrant sentiment in the receiving area. Propositions initiated and passed, and laws suggested in legislatures, whether on the state or federal level in the United States, reflect biases for or against immigrants. Sometimes, however, legislation is contradictory, or seemingly so. Seemingly contradictory polices become less paradoxical if it is remembered that many immigrants are welcomed because they are cheap labor and because they fill jobs in what one author has called "the underbelly of the American dream" (Annerino 1999:26)--jobs to which natives are not attracted to because they are dirty, dangerous, and/or underpaid. In the following pages I will look at the anti-immigrant legislation in Arizona, as well as an apparently pro-immigrant initiative in order to show how capitalist economies are more ready to accept immigrants if they can avoid paying the "social wages" of unemployment and retirement benefits and medical and educational costs of immigrants' dependents. Anthropologists working with immigrant populations might wish to explore whether the same constraints are apparent in the group(s) they work with. Between 2004 and June, 2005, the Arizona legislature sponsored 20 anti-immigrant bills (Veranes and Navarro 2005). More were to be introduced in the following years. Seemingly in contradiction, in early 2008 the legislature was also considering a guest-worker program due to the shortage of labor.

June 22
Institute for Ethnographic Research
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

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