A sweeping immigration enforcement bill that would require police officers to enforce federal immigration laws and make all illegal immigrants criminal trespassers was slated to be voted on in the House today, but the effort stalled when Republican support started to slip.
Rep. David Gowan, a Sierra Vista Republican, said he only learned about the concerns of some Republicans minutes before the bill was set to go to the House floor for debate and a vote.
“We just had some issues within the (Republican) caucus,” he said. “I need to go find what those issues are.”
Gowan is the sponsor of the bill that was held, H2632, though the lawmaker behind the legislation is Sen. Russell Pearce, a Mesa Republican. Pearce’s bill, S1070, has already passed the Senate. The House had planned to amend Gowan’s measure to make it identical to Pearce’s, then substitute S1070 for H2632 on the floor vote.
That would allow S1070 to go straight to the desk of Gov. Jan Brewer, who is expected to sign it.
Gowan didn’t indicate which Republicans had problems, nor what those problems were. He said he hoped to get the bill to the floor “as soon as we can,” though he didn’t say when that might be.
“I want to make sure I’m very solid (on votes) before we go to the floor,” he said.