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Sweeping immigration bill passes House; draws protests

The Arizona Interfaith Network and the Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform criticize S1070, the wide-ranging illegal immmigration bill set for debate April 13. (Photo by Josh Coddington)

The Arizona Interfaith Network and the Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform criticize S1070, the wide-ranging illegal immigration bill set for debate April 13. (Photo by Josh Coddington)

The House voted April 13 along party lines to approve an immigration bill that will significantly change the way local law-enforcement agencies pursue those who are in the country illegally.

The Senate must now approve amendments made to S1070, before it will be transmitted to Gov. Jan Brewer for a signature.

The bill’s supporters say it will “take the handcuffs off our law enforcement agents” by ending the sanctuary-city policies that shield illegal immigrants from law enforcement, and by creating a new state trespass law that applies to anyone in violation of federal immigration status.

Several lawmakers took time to explain their support or opposition to the bill during the third read, pointing to fixes the bill received recently or the particulars that could potentially cause problems in the future.

Rep. Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, called the bill a red herring, saying that the real solution to the problem of illegal immigration rests with federal immigration policy and increased border security.

“This bill does nothing,” Campbell said.

Declarations of support for the bill ranged from cautious to laudatory.

Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, disagreed with Campbell, saying the fights against illegal immigration must be waged on three fronts: Border security has to be increased, jobs and benefits must not be available and internal enforcement must be ratcheted up.

Kavanagh said S1070 is a major achievement in internal enforcement.

Those opposing Sen. Russell Pearce’s immigration crackdown bill listed their concerns earlier in the day on the Capitol lawn, just hours before the House was slated to debate and vote on the bill.

The Arizona Interfaith Network, a group of local clergy, and the Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform (AZEIR) pointed out the problems they saw in the bill, highlighting the precarious position this puts law enforcement and local governments into, as well as what they see as a disregard for humanitarian rights.

David Selden, an employment attorney, said the fundamental problems with the bill are that police throughout Arizona will have to abide by a policy of racial profiling, at the risk of bringing lawsuits to his or her agency.

“The only real winners here will be the lawyers,” Selden said of the bill’s impact.

Sheridan Bailey of AZEIR said the bill would put Arizona in uncharted territory for immigration law, and said the results will be disasterous on a personal and community level.

“This community is not a laboratory for experimental immigration law and social engineering ideas,” Bailey said.

Bailey said the immigration bills Pearce has authored over the years rely on mob rule and intimidation to rally support. He went on to read a psychological profile of Hitler from the 1940s, and asked whether it reminded the crowd of “certain politicians” in the legislature.

“All it takes is six moderate Republicans to stand up to this bill,” Bailey said.

Connie Andersen, a representative of the Arizona Interfaith Network, said later that her organization does not support the statements of Mr. Bailey regarding Hitler or social engineering.

5 comments

  1. ANY LAW THAT IS PASSED IN THE STATE WILL BE FOR POLITICAL REASONS ONLY. FEDERAL LAW WILL SUPERSEDE, THE STATE LAW. QUEST WORKER PROGRAM WILL PART OF SOLUTION. REMOVING LEGITIMATE WORKERS FROM ILLEGAL MIGRATION WILL ALLOW THE BOARDER PATROL TO FOCUS ON THE DRUG AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING TRADE. THIS BILL SHOULD BE TITLED “NO POLICEMAN WITH TIME TO FIGHT CRIME

  2. Well as I see it, someone needs to come down on these illegals coming across for whatever reason. Seems like the fat cat cigar smokin pukes in D.C. won’t do anything about it, so why not the border states?? We need two fences, 100 yards apart with nothin in between. Shoot anyone caught in between the fences, comin or goin.

  3. True Immigration enforcer

    What is it with the Republicans in Arizona? They spend money on creating laws that will eventually be overturned by the feds, and they’ll scream: the feds are un-American! And the Tea Party members believe what they say. What am I talking about?

    Federal Immigration and Nationality Act
    Section 8 USC 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv)(b)(iii)

    “Any person who . . . encourages or induces an alien to . . . reside . . . knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such . . . residence is . . . in violation of law, shall be punished as provided . . . for each alien in respect to whom such a violation occurs . . . fined under title 18 . . . imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.”

    In other words, if you, a small business or a multinational corporation hire an illegal, you go to prison and are fined. And if enough businesses are fined and the CEO are imprisoned, guess what? They won’t hire any illegals. And that means more jobs for U.S. citizens! This bill was passed by the Republicans when Bush was in office too!

    Why are the Republicans in AZ Showboating? They’re wasting your tax money folks and it’s fine time the Tea Party members stand up to the party of NO and tell them to enforce what President Bush created.

  4. True Immigration enforcer

    @Fitzhugh Havens Says:

    //Well as I see it, someone needs to come down on these illegals coming across for whatever reason. Seems like the fat cat cigar smokin pukes in D.C. won’t do anything about it, so why not the border states?? We need two fences, 100 yards apart with nothin in between. Shoot anyone caught in between the fences, comin or goin.//

    They did! But the Republicans in AZ won’t tell you:

    Federal Immigration and Nationality Act
    Section 8 USC 1324(a)(1)(A)(iv)(b)(iii)

    “Any person who . . . encourages or induces an alien to . . . reside . . . knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such . . . residence is . . . in violation of law, shall be punished as provided . . . for each alien in respect to whom such a violation occurs . . . fined under title 18 . . . imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.”

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