Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Andrew Busch

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2021 Marisa D. Mestichella


This thesis explores whether state overreach in federal immigration law contributes to worsening human rights abuses in the United States. In doing so, it examines whether certain laws, Proposition 187, SB 1070, and HB 56, were examples of state overreach of federal immigration law, followed by testing the provisions of each law against a human rights framework. It also examines the types of human rights abuses that occurred following the passage of the laws. The findings show an overarching trend that these laws create a stigma toward immigrants that results in increased human rights abuses against immigrants. The most common abuses observed were a lack of due process and lack of equal protection. These findings are supported by Meredith Brown, a local immigration lawyer in the state of California, and Bill Holston, the executive director of the Human Rights Initiative in North Texas, respectively.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.