Home / courts / Activists: Immigrants treated unfairly in ID cases

Activists: Immigrants treated unfairly in ID cases

Bipartisan group proposes Arizona immigration plan

(AP Photo/Matt York)

Activists accused the Maricopa County attorney’s office Friday of bringing excessive charges against illegal immigrants arrested for identify theft crimes, arguing that college students found with fake IDs at bars are held to a different standard.

Under state law, illegal immigrants found with fake Social Security or ID cards could face felony charges of forgery and false identity that bar them from posting bail.

In contrast, college students found with fake IDs often have the document seized before being released.

The charges against illegal immigrants are an “unconscionable application of the law,” attorney Antonio Bustamante said during a news conference organized by the League of United Latin American Citizens outside Superior Court.

The activists demanded less severe penalties, saying the arrests can result in months of jail time.

Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for County Attorney Bill Montgomery, dismissed the allegations, noting college students with fake IDs are not defrauding anyone, while illegal immigrants often use fake documents to obtain jobs and file false tax documents.

“That is just so bogus,” Cobb said. “They are not defrauding anyone. They are just lying about their age and are charged as such.”

Bustamante and other immigration lawyers argued that illegal workers should be charged with a lesser felony that would allow them to post bail and remain at home while waiting for the criminal case to move forward.

“Evenhanded justice is all we are asking for,” said lawyer David Cutrer, who recently represented a man charged with forgery after being arrested during a job-site raid. The 72-year-old warehouse worker spent six months in jail waiting for his trail to begin, Cutrer said.

The immigration attorneys said they called attention to the issue after Tempe police put out a press release this week boasting of college bar raids that resulted in the seizure of more than 1,700 fake IDs used by minors in 2012.

“We say, ‘oh, they are just kids being kids,'” Cutrer said, noting that illegal immigrants are not afforded the same treatment.

In 2006, Arizona voters approved a law that denied bail to illegal immigrants charged with serious crimes.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


  1. It is shameful the way Arizona handles the immigrant community. This is NOT a “compassionate conservative” state.



    While every petition, fax, email and phone call against the amnesty is important, signing this petition is by far the most important single thing one of your friends or relatives can do.

    The reason is that signing this petition puts a person into an email system at NumbersUSA that will alert them every time one of their elected officials needs to hear something specific about immigration. Nobody else but NumbersUSA runs a customized grassroots mobilization system like this that constantly gathers information on Capitol Hill about your Members of Congress and then lets you know what they are doing, saying and thinking about immigration policy.

    The New York Times and other mass media have repeatedly stated that NumbersUSA’s mobilization network led the efforts that defeated the close-call amnesty efforts of 2007 and 2010. But the forces for open borders are far more powerful today. Please help us by passing along this Petition to everybody on your e-mail list.


  3. numbersusa = Profiting From Human Misery


    “But human beings matter little in the corporate state. We myopically serve the rapacious appetites of those dedicated to exploitation and maximizing profit. And our corporate masters view prisons—as they do education, health care and war—as a business. The 320-bed Elizabeth Detention Center, which houses only men, is run by one of the largest operators and owners of for-profit prisons in the country, Corrections Corporation of America. CCA, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, has annual revenues in excess of $1.7 billion. An average of 81,384 inmates are in its facilities on any one day. This is a greater number, the American Civil Liberties Union points out in a 2011 report, “Banking on Bondage: Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration,” than that held by the states of New York and New Jersey combined.

    The for-profit prisons and their lobbyists in Washington and state capitals have successfully blocked immigration reform, have prevented a challenge to our draconian drug laws and are pushing through tougher detention policies. Locking up more and more human beings is the bedrock of the industry’s profits. These corporations are the engines behind the explosion of our prison system. They are the reason we have spent $300 billion on new prisons since 1980. They are also the reason serious reform is impossible.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Check Also

(Deposit Photos/Focus Pocus Ltd.)

Ducey signs bill barring cities from taxing sugary drinks

The proposal doesn't specifically mention taxes on sugary drinks, only saying any tax on food products must be uniform. But testimony from a supermarket industry lobbyist industry made it clear that's what the bill is all about.