The State of Arizona

Cast of Characters

  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio

    Sheriff Joe Arpaio

    is the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona (county seat: Phoenix), and oversees one of the largest sheriff's departments in the nation, consisting of 900 deputies and a law enforcement posse of thousands of volunteers. Arpaio’s job also includes management of the Maricopa County jail, among other duties. His outspoken stance in favor of strong immigration law has made him a favorite of Tea Party activists and immigration restrictionist voters, but has also landed him in hot water with a long list of controversies, and led to him being successfully sued by the Justice Department for civil rights violations. Yet he remains popular with many local voters, having been elected six times.

  • Jorge Martinez

    Jorge Martinez

    is an undocumented businessman and homeowner who has lived and worked in Phoenix, Arizona for more than 15 years. Jorge owns an ice cream truck that he operates with his partner, Amparo Mendez.

  • Amparo Mendez

    Amparo Mendez

    is Jorge Martinez’s companion of over 15 years; they operate the ice cream business together.

  • Joey Mendez

    Joey Mendez

    is Jorge Martinez and Amparo Mendez’s son. He’s a typical American teenager, except that his father lives under the specter of deportation.

  • Alfredo Gutierrez

    Alfredo Gutierrez

    is a former Arizona state senator, Vietnam vet, successful businessman and longtime activist, he was first elected to the state senate at age 25 and served as the majority and minority leader. He wrote a book, To Sin Against Hope: Life and Politics on the Borderland.

  • Duncan Blair

    Duncan Blair

    is an organic cattle rancher in Patagonia, AZ, along with his wife Susan Blair. His ranch runs along the U.S./Mexico border and he has a unique, complex perspective on border problems as he sees many drug traffickers and undocumented immigrants come across his lands.

  • Carlos Garcia

    Carlos Garcia

    heads up the immigrant rights organization, Puente Movement, seen in the film. Formerly an undocumented immigrant, he was adopted as a child and became a US citizen. His son, Chimal, is also seen in the film, riding in the back of their car.

  • Russell Pearce

    Russell Pearce

    is an American politician and former Republican Arizona state senator who authored SB1070. He proudly descends from pioneer stock, admires John Wayne and is passionate about his country. While serving as president of the Arizona State senate, he was successfully recalled from office.

  • Kathryn Kobor

    Kathryn Kobor

    is a 60-something grandmother and an avid and active supporter of SB1070, Russell Pearce and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. She has appeared at many an immigration law rally with homemade picket signs.

  • Salvador Reza

    Salvador Reza

    is a founder of the Puente Movement. A powerful immigrant rights activist, he has made it his mission to document the stops conducted by Sheriff Arpaio’s deputies.

  • Scott Smith

    Scott Smith

    is a former businessman and the Republican mayor of Mesa, Arizona who in the film describes Arizona as “having two seasons, heaven and hell.” As of September 2013, Smith also serves as president of the United States Conference of Mayors.

  • Kyrsten Sinema

    Kyrsten Sinema

    was an Arizona State Representative at the time of filming and is currently a member of the US House of Representatives for Arizona's 9th congressional district as a Democrat. She is also the first openly bisexual member of Congress and currently the only avowed atheist.

  • Jennifer Allen

    Jennifer Allen

    Jennifer Allen was the director of the immigrant rights organization, Border Action Network, based in Tucson, AZ, for a decade before stepping down in 2011. She has also served as the interim director of the Arizona chapter of the Southern Border Communities Coalition.

  • Carlos Clark

    Carlos Clark

    is a deputy sheriff of Santa Cruz County. He patrols in the area of the Nogales, AZ border and sees a lot of the undocumented immigrants who come across the border through that corridor.

  • John Kavanagh

    John Kavanagh

    is a Republican Arizona state representative who in the film explains a bill he co-sponsors that would challenge the 14th Amendment on citizenship.

  • Steve Smith

    Steve Smith

    is a Republican Arizona state representative serving District 11 and former state senator for District 23 who, in the film, tells us that 30 other states have adopted or are trying to adopt Arizona-like immigration legislation.