Democratic lawmakers in Arizona plan to propose a repeal of the state’s 2010 immigration enforcement law but concede that the bill won’t go far at the Legislature.
The Arizona Republic reports that Democratic state Sen. Steve Gallardo, of Phoenix, plans to file a bill this week that would be the first legislative attempt in Arizona to do away with the law.
A federal judge has blocked enforcement the law’s most contentious sections, such as a requirement that police, while enforcing other laws, question people’s immigration status if officers suspect they are in the country illegally. But the judge allowed other sections to take effect, including a ban on blocking of traffic when people seek or offer day-labor services on streets.
Democratic opponents of the law are emboldened by the recall of the law’s author and a flagging public interest in immigration enforcement laws.
Gallardo said he knows the bill likely won’t get far, but he believes support for measures that attempt to deter illegal immigration by criminal enforcement has declined both in the Legislature and throughout Arizona.
“Look at the image this has provided to the state of Arizona,” he said. “This is a black cloud that continues to hang over it. Some of the (legislative) members would agree that it might be best to pull the plug on it.”
Republican Rep. John Kavanagh, of Fountain Hills, a key backer of the law, said the law is more popular than ever.
“Clearly, this is nothing more than a political ploy to garner voter approval,” Kavanagh said. “It has zero chance.”
Republican Sen. Frank Antenori, of Tucson, who voted for the law, said it’s unlikely any committee chairman would give a proposed repeal a hearing.
“I don’t give it much of a chance,” he said.
More than two dozen states considered bills last year similar to Arizona’s immigration law. Four passed them.
Arizona Republicans are expected to propose at least a few new immigration measures this session, such as a bill that would require public schools to keep track of their numbers of illegal-immigrant students.