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2 lawmakers question details of immigration bill

A proposal at the Arizona Legislature that would draw local authorities deeper into the fight against illegal immigration has been met with skepticism by a pair of lawmakers who questioned whether it would violate freedom of association rights.

Their questions arose last week over a provision that would make it illegal for people to transport illegal immigrants if the drivers of vehicles know their passengers are in the country illegally and if the transportation furthers their illegal presence in the country.

Two lawmakers questioned whether a driver who brings people to church or parents who give rides to their child’s friends would be committing a crime if their passengers were illegal immigrants. “It is basically asking Arizona citizens to check your friends’ papers,” said Republican Rep. Adam Driggs of Phoenix, an attorney who has expertise in immigration law.

The proposal also would ban so-called soft immigration policies at local police agencies, create the state crime of willfully failing to complete or carry an immigrant registration document, and prohibit people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day-labor services on street corners.

The bill won approval in February from the Senate, but its momentum has slowed in the House. It’s not clear whether the questions raised by Driggs and others will hurt the bill’s chances of becoming law.

Supporters of the proposal said the criticism made by Driggs is incorrect and that the bill will be changed in the coming days to respond to those concerns. “This is overreaching on their part,” said Republican Rep. Russell Pearce of Mesa, the bill’s sponsor.

Pearce said the change would specify that drivers would be committing the crime of transporting illegal immigrants if they furthered the illegal presence of their passengers and if the drivers were engaged in criminal activity.

Republican Rep. Cecil Ash of Mesa, who raised the question about transporting people to church, said he will vote for the bill if it’s changed to ease his concerns.

Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Phoenix, an opponent of the measure, said there are a fair number of lawmakers from both parties who have objections to the bill, but she doesn’t know if those concerns were enough to sink it.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

4 comments

  1. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada will be seeing the door in the midterm elections. Unless of course the huge influx of illegal immigrants who live in Nevada vote for him? You might take a look at Nevada’s budget deficit, that is hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s near bankruptcy, such as California. Nevada during the construction boom was overrun, with foreign nationals competing for work with US citizens-residents. Illegal immigrants have bled dry the welfare system in Nevada, California and every other state. No AMNESTY. It will be like a signal across the world, before millions more try to reach America before its signed into law. In addition, the new legalized immigrants can being in more family members, that could collapse welfare for our own people who live in poverty. Any new immigration enforcement law is compromised from its inception. Already Arizona politicians are looking for some loophole to crush the states rigid law. Arizona should enforce its laws, because Washington is not going to? The lawmakers are in the pay of lobbyists and this might be the same for state representatives as well. Learn more of the truth at NumbersUSA

  2. This bill attempts to ignore the Bill of Rights. With its passage, Arizona will continue to wither and die in the sun continuing on its path to become a ghost town with millions of foreclosures, empty commercial buildings and weed patches for what used to be a shopping mall because it has no leadership that understands the unintended consequences of racially motivated legislation that ignores 28% of Arizona’s population that consumes, pays taxes and contributes to what used to be the best economy in the nation. I call Arizona’s economic situation “Russell’s Recession.” I’m sure he would wear it with pride. Who cares about a floundering economy when there are only white faces among us…BTW NumbersUSA and FAIR are John Tanton’s creations. There is no truth at NumbersUSA, only Aryan nation thinking and white supremacists posing as “Americans”.

  3. Both Britannicus and Leslie Johnson are exagerating the issue from opposite viewpoints. Especially Leslie Johnson is blaming the entire national recession on Immigration enforcement, Quite a stretch! At any rate theire are elements in the bill that make it problematic…mainly the part about transporting illegals. But still we need to do something. Our country cannot continue to absorb thousands monthly and continue to be viable. Overpopulation is rampant in the areas where immigrants come from and they continue to produce new people. Birth control is at the crux of the issue and secondly some way to get these people to pay into our social welfare system so that our healthcare systems (particularly in the border states) and, to a lesser extent, our food stamp and other welfare programs have enough money to be viable. There’s no question that the bulk of these immigrants work fairly hard. Its the costs they generate in health care and social services that are most problematic. And even there hard work doesn’t compensate adequately for this.

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