The article that I chose for my fallacy assignment is: “Arrest Everybody” by Jacob Sullivan. This article is an editorial article discussing Arizona’s immigration reform law. The article is addressing the specific law that requires police to investigate the immigration status of people they encounter during their daily police duties. Sullivan is arguing that Arizona’s new law is encouraging police to imitate or emulate other officers and gives them an excuse to hunt for illegal immigrants.
I found two fallacies in this article. The first fallacy is the slippery slope fallacy. Sullivan is arguing that this law will encourage Arizona police to emulate Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and use any excuse such as a broken taillight, or “walking while Latino” to pull over or detain an immigrant, search the person and vehicle, question their immigration status, and then arrest the person in question. This is a very slippery slope indeed.
The second fallacy is the fallacy of composition. Sullivan is assuming that all Arizona police officers will be just like Sheriff Arpaio and use the law to “seize upon any excuse to hunt for illegal immigrants.” Sullivan quotes Arpaio as stating that “I wish Phoenix police would arrest everybody, even if they’re not sure” (J., 2010). Sullivan uses this reasoning to conclude that all Arizona police are like Arpaio and will want to arrest everybody regardless of the law.
I think that Sullivan intentionally committed both fallacies’ in his article. The slippery slope fallacy was used to raise the question of where do you draw the line with immigration reform laws, and how do you go about enforcing those laws? Sullivan used to fallacy of composition to push us further down the slippery slope that he created with the title “Arrest Everybody”. Sullivan made crafty use of both fallacies in his argument and article. References
Boss, J. (2012). Critical Thinking And...
References: Boss, J. (2012). Critical Thinking And Logic Skills For Everyday Life. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Boss, J. (2012). Informal Fallacies. In J. Boss, Think Critical Thinking And Logic Skills For Everyday Life (pp. 131-163). New York: McGraw-Hill.
J., S. (2010, August/September). Arrest Everybody. Reason, p. 8.
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