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‘Sanctuary cities’ bill ready for debate on House floor

A sweeping illegal immigration bill is set for debate on the House floor after receiving approval from a committee along a party-line vote Feb. 24.

The bill, H2632, has three main components: preventing cities and counties from keeping police departments from enforcing federal immigration law, allowing illegal immigrants to be charged with trespassing and curbing the solicitation of day labor.

Sen. Russell Pearce, who is sponsoring an identical measure in the Senate, said it is imperative that Arizona get a grip on the illegal immigration problem that is damaging communities across the state.

“The greatest threat we have to some of our neighborhoods is the illegal alien invasion,” he said.

Those who oppose the bill said it is too broad because it would require all law enforcement officers to verify the immigration status of people they come in contact with if the officer has “reasonable suspicion” to suspect the person may be in the country illegally.

It would also make it a misdemeanor for any Arizonan to “conceal, harbor or shield” an illegal immigrant. If someone commits a crime while transporting a person they know is in the country illegally, their car would be impounded and they would face six months in jail and a fine of at least $1,000.

Human traffickers transporting 10 or more illegal immigrants would face felony charges, up to two years in prison and fines for each person transported.

Jennifer Allen, executive director of the Border Action Network, said the requirements will slow down government services and create a culture of fear.

“What that means is costly delays,” Allen said. “It’s requiring everybody in our state to target everyone.”

Mary Alvarado, a representative of the League of United Latin American Citizens, told the House Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee that the bill reminds her of Jewish persecution during the World War II era.

“It’s Nazi-istic in nature,” she said.

That comment angered some on the panel, including Rep. David Gowan.

“I take offense at the Nazi talk. This is a country of laws,” the Sierra Vista Republican said, noting enforcing existing federal laws was nothing like Nazi Germany.

The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police opposed the measure, even though many law enforcement unions and advocacy groups supported it.

John Thomas, a lobbyist for the Association of Chiefs of Police, said rural communities would be harmed disproportionately if residents are allowed to file lawsuits against cities or counties that do not enforce of federal immigration law. Many of those communities are small and do not have the ability to defend the suits, much less pay court costs and hefty fines if they lose.

“They may not have an attorney,” he said. “They barely have (enough) police.”

He suggested changing the bill to allow such suits to only be filed by county attorneys or the attorney general.

Pearce rejected that idea and said it won’t lead to rampant lawsuits. He said a measure with similar language, which was approved by voters in 2004 to restrict public assistance to illegal immigrants, has not resulted in lawsuits.

“Nobody’s sitting around, waiting to sue the government,” he said.

The bill, which was sponsored by Gowan, was approved by a 5-2 vote. One lawmaker, Kearny Democrat Barbara McGuire, voted present. After a check for constitutionality, the bill will be ready for a floor debate.

18 comments

  1. Ever notice that any law, policy or effort to enforce our immigration laws are alway characterized by the pro-amnesty open borders crowd as, unconstitutional, like those used by Nazis against Jews during WWII, racist, bigoted, xenophobic, nativist, or haters of brown people.

    Just remember when politicians or the media talk about “free trade” or “we are in a global economy,” they are telling you they want cheap labor and a poor standard of living for you and your family. When they tell you we are “a nation of immigrants” so you have to accept 12-20+ million illegal aliens and tens of millions of legal immigrants, they are telling you they want cheap labor and a poor standard of living for you and your family. When they say you are a bigot, a xenophobe, a nativist, or a hater of brown people if you oppose amnesty and want our laws enforced, they are telling you they want cheap labor and a poor standard of living for you and your family. When they say illegal aliens only do jobs American citizens won’t do, they are telling you they want cheap labor and a poor standard of living for you and your family. Whenever they talk about the terrible situation the illegal aliens face, or their condition is not their fault, or wouldn’t you do the same thing in their situation, they are telling you they want cheap labor and a poor standard of living for you and your family. The plain fact of the matter is that any law or policy that uses foreign workers whether they are located in other countries or here in the US to produce the products and services we use must of necessity drive down incomes for US citizens.

    The 21st Century will be one of too many people chasing too few resources. The question you have to ask yourself is do you want to compete with another 100 or 200 or 300 million immigrants, legal and illegal, for diminishing resources that will be available to the US. If you do, then you should support amnesty for illegal aliens and our current policy toward legal immigration. If you don’t, then you should join NumbersUSA.org and work to defeat every amnesty proposal put forward by the open borders pro-amnesty crowd. It’s your choice!

  2. Correct me it I’m wrong, but isn’t it against the law already? I guess this is just another Federal Law that is not ENFORCED!

    Illegal aliens are destroying this Country, and one would have to be almost blind not to see this. How much longer do we have to support these illegal aliens? How much longer do we have to school their illegal alien children? How much longer are we going to let them have our jobs? How much longer are we going to put up with all the crime, stolen identities, forged documents, fake green cards? How much longer are we going to allow these illegal aliens to send money out of this Country and bring our Country down? Oh, amnesty will correct all this. WRONG! Nothing will change except we wouldn’t be able to call them illegal aliens any more. Let’s get rid of these illegal aliens! Let’s get them back to their own Country where they belong!

    I’m from Delaware, and we are pressing to get the Oklahoma State Illegal Immigration Law, HB 1804. passed here in Delaware. Three years ago we had about 32,000 illegal aliens here. Today we have about 68,000 illegal aliens here. We have had it! We want our State back!

  3. Anyone ready to stand up and demand these illegal alien advocates, including the corrupt politicians and law enforcement that enable them, immediately stop insulting our intelligence? It has already been decided that those who are here illegally, and those who harbor/aid and abet these illegal aliens are in violation of our laws.

    While I commend Russell Pearce for his continued efforts to return law and order to AZ, I would strongly recommend we first enforce existing laws and a) demand law enforcement purge the state of all illegal aliens and b) commence proceedings for removal from office for any/all elected or appointed officials who have enabled this invasion, charging them with dereliction of duty and prosecuting those who blatantly aid and abet illegal aliens, starting with those who seek to turn our towns/cities into a clone of the corrupt and lawless towns and cities in third world countries which the illegal aliens left prior to illegally entering our country.

  4. I find it amazing that in watching the Health Care Summit today, that I have yet to hear anyone mention the astronomical costs to the American taxpayer for the health care of illegal aliens. There are many other costs, the education of their children, the incarceration of the many criminals who “break and enter,” the loss of American jobs, welfare, food stamps, rent subsidies and on and on. But since they are talking today about one of the major burdens to us, just think of the “anchor” babies born daily who’s mothers rush across the border at the first sign that birth is imminent. They not only get a free “jackpot baby,” at the cost of almost $9,000.00 each. Multiply that by millions. Then when the little “citizen” is 18, he can sponsor his 50 closests relativ This is unthinkable and it contines daily. Our country is filled with low-skilled, poverty-stricken, poorly educated people who will eventually vote for the ones who made this possible. Ain’t democracy great?

  5. Excuse me, Sanctuary cities are a direct violation of United States Immigration Law. What exactly is meant by sanctuary anyway. There is no war in Mexico or south of the border. Mexicans aren’t being persecuted in Mexico. American taxpayers are being persecuted by their politicians. Illegal immigration, is nothing more than a humungous distribution of money scheme, from what’s left of the American middle class to the illegal foreign nationals. This persecution business and the people who bring it up, have their thinking a bit inverted.

  6. Kudos to those lawmakers to have the sense and vision to restore our nation and to honor its’ existing laws. Keep these people in office and takes the names of those who vote against this bill and vote them out of office.

  7. WHAT CAN YOU DO TO STOP ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION??? Sign up with: http://www.fairus.org/site/PageNavigator/action/

  8. It’s common knowlege that in our early history, immigrants were needed to build a new American country, and they all obeyed the laws and made the effort to become American citizens and INTEGRATED into our society – those early immigrants were good for this Country!

    The current crop of illegal millions flooding in every year and displacing American workers by doing their jobs for a fraction of the salary the American worker was getting paid, are doing nothing for this Country!
    They usually don’t care about learning our native language or even integrating into the whole.

    What their presence does do, however, is chip the well earned standard of living base we’ve worked a century to establish, out from under us – and our children will have it that much harder to succeed than we do now!

    I have yet to see how America is better off with a tidalwave of illegal aliens and immigrants being allowed to come here! We have finally reached the point where this Country can no longer absorb the influx of those constant millions of people coming here, and for every dollar they take from our economy, they put some American family breadwinner somewhere in this Country in deeper financial jeapordy .

    In this depressed economy, and it seems to be an enduring one, I don’t see how having unemployed Americans competeing for scarce jobs with millions of illegal aliens can be viewed as being good for ANYBODY except, obviously, the illegal aliens!

    This “Sanctuary” bill is hopefully the first of many in this Country, and I think it is about time our Legislators started worrying about US citizens for a change instead of the assumed rights of a segment of the population that, with their very first act in this Country, broke the law by coming in without legal authorization – and still continues to do so every day they remain here!

  9. Just a last comment, in another day and age, before we had so many fifth columnists in the U.S. like Jennifer Allen and Mary Alvarado, these two and people that work subversively to damage the laws that Americans voted on, would be prosecuted and jailed for outright treason against the U.S. citizenry.

  10. Mary Alvarado, a representative of the League of United Latin American Citizens, told the House Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee that the bill reminds her of Jewish persecution during the World War II era.

    “It’s Nazi-istic in nature,” she said.
    —————————————————————————————–
    So, since Mexico’s immigration laws are a lot more strict than the immigration laws of the United States, and because of the fact that sanctuary cities don’t exist in Mexico, this must mean that Mexico’s immigration laws are Nazi-istic in nature and they must remind Mary Alvarado of Jewish persecution during the World War II era.

  11. ……..”It’s nazistic in nature”, Mary Alvarado,, …”It’s causing services to be slowed down”, Jennifer Allen.

    I see. Now were back to being in cloud-cuckoo land again, are we?

    The creativity shown by the people quoted above in advocating for border criminals and open borders is admirable, but the poet Goethe wrote that “NOTHING IS AS FRIGHTFULL AS CREATIVITY(imagination) WITHOUT TASTE.

  12. While I commend and continue to admire State. Sen. Pearce for taking the lead in this important bill, I am disappointed that it doesn’t go far enough. Did you see how little jail time there would be for human smugglers? Just TWO years for smuggling 10 or more illegals? Why not for transporting ANY number of illegals? They’re called “coyotes”, btw and they’re armed criminals. And a misdemeanor for shielding, harboring an illegal alien? Maybe I’m asking for too much…

  13. This is great legislation. It is a shame that Arizona is forced to do this due to the deliberate lack of enforcement by our Federal government.

  14. “Mary Alvarado, a representative of the League of United Latin American Citizens, told the House Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee that the bill reminds her of Jewish persecution during the World War II era.

    “It’s Nazi-istic in nature,” she said.”

    It’s always the same with these racists. They have no valid arguments to answer lawbreaking behavior with, so they resort to name calling.

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