Sitting as the lone proponent of Senate Bill 1070, former Arizona lawmaker Russell Pearce today defended his landmark legislation against U.S. senators and a table of fellow witnesses all allied against the illegal immigration bill.
Sen. Sylvia Allen says she’s sick and tired of excuses when it comes to solving the illegal immigration problem.
“Everybody just wants to sit around and gripe about it, complain about it, blame the federal government for it,” Allen said. “But when it comes to saying, ‘What can we do as a state to really try to solve the problem?’ Now it’s all the reasons why we can’t solve this problem.”
Mesa Republican Bob Worsley admitted today that he likely made a mistake when he deleted his written criticisms of the state’s illegal immigration laws shortly after announcing he was running for the state Senate. But far from back-peddling, Worsley, who is running against former senator and immigration hawk Russell Pearce, said he believes the state suffers from immigration fatigue and should redirect its energy toward improving the economy.
A new report by the federal government estimates that the number of illegal immigrants living in Arizona has fallen by 200,000 since 2008.
Experts say the primary factor behind the exodus was a lack of jobs during the recession, but also noted that tighter border enforcement and tough immigration laws were contributing factors.
Hours after announcing he was running for a legislative seat that pits him against immigration hawk Russell Pearce, a prominent Mesa businessman deleted his comments from a church website that were critical of Arizona’s controversial anti-illegal immigration laws.
After nearly two hours of contentious debate, the House Military and Public Safety Committee passed a bill that would provide money for a volunteer militia charged with helping to secure the Arizona-Mexico border.