Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Congress must act now to protect Dreamers

Heartless decision to end DACA deals devastating blow to families, economy

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX The Senate Democratic Caucus released the following statement on President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA):

Senator Lupe Contreras, Senate Democratic Whip (LD19):
"Right now, there are more than 51,000 young men and women in Arizona who have DACA status, and 800,000 nationally. While they have yet to earn citizenship, they are still as American as you and me. They were raised here and went to school here. They are our neighbors, our coworkers and our friends. Many of them are our best and brightest students who hold the promise of becoming innovative leaders in business and in our communities. Revoking DACA recipients' place in our country is a soulless act that will rip loving families apart and requires a willful ignorance to the critical roles they play in our society and economy."

Senator Martin Quezada, Senate Democratic Whip (LD29):
"Over the past week, the Trump Administration has made it clear: there is no place for Latinos in his America. From the pardon of disgraced former sheriff Joe Arpaio to declaring war on law-abiding DACA recipients and the business community, the President has shown that his America is narrow-minded, and beneath the country we aspire to be."

Senator Catherine Miranda (LD27):
"Here we are once again playing defense on threats to our community. We are here to stand up against the President's hateful decision to end DACA. I call on employers of all DACA recipients to stand up for your loyal employees and step up to put pressure on Congress to immediately begin work on comprehensive immigration reform. Our business leaders need to come together to make sure America continues being the land of opportunity, especially for some of our most talented and innovative minds. Over forty percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. The America we love embraces that entrepreneurial spirit, but the repeal of DACA sends the opposite message. I trust our businesses value their employees and will do what is best for their business and for Arizona."

Senator Robert Meza (LD30):
"President Trump’s repeal of DACA is yet another disgraceful attack on our nation’s immigrant community. For the President to promise to treat DACA recipients 'with heart' and then turn around and tear apart loving families is simply inhumane."

Senator Juan Mendez (LD26):
"The young men and women who currently have DACA status enrolled in the program because it was the right thing to do and they had trust that the federal government would honor its agreement with them. But now that trust has been shattered by proponents of racist, nativist protectionism all because Congress failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform with permanent legal protection for DACA recipients. Congress must immediately pass the DREAM Act with a veto-proof majority to put protection of DACA recipients into permanent federal law, immune from the impulses of a bigoted executive branch."


Senator Jamescita Peshlakai (LD7):
“The termination of DACA not only immediately hurts our DACA recipients, but negatively impacts our state and national economy. These are people who have volunteered and even given their lives to protect our country in the military. This is also another blow to indigenous people in the United States because many recipients are of indigenous descent, whose forebears inhabited these lands before international borders were ever drawn. This move further tarnishes the spirit of the nation and is contrary to everything our country stands for. I support DACA and stand in solidarity with our Arizona recipients.”

Senator Sean Bowie (LD18):
“Over 51,000 young people in Arizona are currently protected by DACA. Arriving in the country as children, they have worked hard, passed background checks, and received permission to live and work in America. These young people are contributing to our economy, going to school, and strengthening our communities. They are a testament to the values and the ideals of our country, and protecting them is more important than ever. I stand with the hundreds of elected leaders from around the country asking President Trump to work with Congress to sign into law the bipartisan DREAM Act, so our young people no longer have to live in fear of being separated from their families and our communities.”

Senator Steve Farley (LD9):
"It's been five years since DACA was implemented through executive order because of Congress' refusal to address immigration reform. In that time, DACA recipients have earned degrees and jobs, bought houses and cars,
and paid their taxes. With this decision, they will lose their ability to make payments on their houses and cars, pay taxes and they will lose their jobs and the state's economy will lose an estimated $1.3 billion per year. Those first recipients are now in their early- to mid-thirties and have children who now may be forced to rely on government assistance if their parents are deported. To support the decision to end DACA is to support destroying families and support delivering a devastating blow to the economies of our state and our nation."

Senator Katie Hobbs (LD24):
"Since appealing to his humanity clearly does not resonate with this president, let's appeal to what he holds most dear - his popularity. According to a poll from late April, the vast majority of Americans - 78% - support DACA recipients' right to stay in the United States. In fact, 48% of Republicans surveyed would allow them to become citizens and another 24

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Senators Hobbs, Otondo named Champions of AZ Cities & Towns

Eleven Democratic senators named Friends of AZ Cities & Towns

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senate Democratic Leader Katie Hobbs (LD24) and Senator Lisa Otondo (LD4) were named Legislative Champions, and 11 Democratic senators were named Legislative Friends, by the Arizona League of Cities and Towns during their annual convention held recently in Oro Valley. Senators Hobbs, Otondo and their colleagues received the awards in recognition of their outstanding public service and dedication to local governance.

Democratic senators named Friends of Arizona Cities and Towns are:

Senator Sean Bowie
Senator David Bradley
Senator Olivia Cajero-Bedford
Senator Lupe Contreras
Senator Andrea Dalessandro
Senator Steve Farley
Senator Juan Mendez
Senator Robert Meza
Senator Catherine Miranda
Senator Jamescita Peshlakai
Senator Martin Quezada

“Arizona’s cities and towns are where Arizonans live their lives, go to work and raise their families. They provide the services that keep us healthy and safe and they bring us together as a community to make Arizona a great place to live,” said Senator Hobbs. “It is truly and honor to be recognized by our cities and towns as a champion for our local governments and their residents and I will continue to represent their vital interests at the legislature.”


“I am deeply honored to receive this award from the Arizona League of Cities and Towns and I'm proud to represent such a diverse district that reaches from the suburbs of Phoenix and Tucson to the farmlands, tribal lands and border towns of southwest Arizona," said Senator Otondo. "I work hard to ensure every community in my district, no matter how large or small, has a strong voice at the state Capitol and this award shows that their interests are being heard.”

Monday, August 21, 2017

15O backpacks with school supplies donated to local elementary school students

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Catherine Miranda (LD-27) was busy last Thursday morning, August 17, distributing “sackpacks” and school supplies to students at C. J. Jorgensen and Lowell Elementary schools. The donation of the colorful “sackpacks” was made possible by the Office Depot Foundation and the National Foundation for Women Legislators, which selected two elected women in Arizona to distribute the “sackpacks” and office supplies to children. Photos of the event are attached to this email.

“This donation makes a world of difference to children of disadvantaged families who normally cannot afford them”, said Senator Miranda. 


“We are very grateful to the Office Depot Foundation and the National Foundation for Women Legislators for this generous donation. This is another example of our community coming together to help those in need.”



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Senator Peshlakai welcomes completion of school lead testing

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Jamescita Peshlakai released the following statement as the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) nears completion of its statewide Public School Drinking Water Lead Screening Program.

Background:
ADEQ has coordinated with multiple state and local agencies, public water systems and public schools to proactively conduct a six-month, fast-track screening program for the presence of lead in school drinking water. More on the program and test results can be found here: http://azdeq.gov/LeadScreeningProg
Sen. Peshlakai

"ADEQ has kept me apprised of any samples collected from our community schools that have tested positive for lead and I want to assure parents that remediation is currently in process and every effort to keep our children safe is being made."

This effort by ADEQ to rapidly and comprehensively test for lead in our schools is a successful program and I appreciate their focus on keeping our kids learning in a safe environment."

I will continue to monitor the final test results as they come in and look forward to Arizona's students starting the new school year with clean, safe water in their schools."

Sen. Miranda to receive Exemplary Leadership award from Valle del Sol

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Senator Catherine Miranda (LD-27) has been selected to receive the 2017 Profiles of Success Exemplary Leadership Award from Valle del Sol in recognition for her service to the Latino community.
Sen. Miranda

Valle del Sol's Profiles of Success Hispanic Leadership Awards recognize Latino leadership and service in the Valley. Senator Miranda will receive the award on September 8th, 2017, during the 27th Annual Hispanic Leadership Awards Celebration at the Phoenix Convention Center. The event, which draws more than 1,400 attendees, also kicks off National Hispanic Heritage Month in Arizona.

"What I do is not for a day such as this. However, I am honored and dedicate this recognition to the community I serve. Thank you Valle del Sol for your leadership that makes all of the difference," said Senator Miranda.

Funds raised from this event will support Valle del Sol's mission of investing in health and human services to strengthen families with tools and skills for self-sufficiency and by building the next generation of Latino and diverse leaders. More information on the event can be found here: valledelsol.com/profiles

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Senator Bowie named legislative 'Arts Champion'

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX Senator Sean Bowie has been named a 2017 Arts Champion by Arizona Citizens for the Arts for being a strong supporter of the arts and advocating for a $1.5 million appropriation to the Arizona Commission on the Arts for grants to nonprofit arts and culture organizations across Arizona.

Sen. Bowie
Senator Bowie and ten of his legislative colleagues were chosen “for ensuring that critical funding for arts and culture will benefit the entire state of Arizona,” said Catherine “Rusty” Foley, executive director of Arizona Citizens for the Arts. “Those vital dollars will be invested in local nonprofit arts and culture organizations which will reinvest the funds in local economies all around the state.”

"As someone who grew up in Chandler and Ahwatukee participating in theatre and music programs, it is a huge honor to receive this award from the Arizona Citizens for the Arts. The arts community is a critical part of the community and economy in my district, and I will always advocate for additional support to strengthen our local arts programs."


About Arizona Citizens for the Arts

Arizona Citizens for the Arts, a 35-year-old 501 c3 organization, acts as the eyes, ears and voice of the nonprofit arts and culture sector in Arizona at the State Legislature, in local city halls and partnerships with business and community leaders involved in building and supporting quality of life in Arizona.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tuition ruling will be devastating for Arizona's Dreamers

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Today, Arizona State Senator Catherine Miranda expressed her deep concern regarding the recent ruling by the Arizona Court of Appeals that DACA recipients are not in this country legally and are, therefore, not eligible for in-state college tuition.

Sen. Miranda
Judge Kenton Jones argued that despite the fact that in 2006 Arizona voters approved Prop 300, which establishes that in-state tuition is reserved for those with "lawful immigration status", DACA is not a law and the legal status of those in the program has never been approved by Congress. Thus, since the Court does not consider "Dreamers" to be state residents for purposes of Prop 300, more than 28,000 current DACA beneficiaries in Arizona may be required to pay burdensome out-of-state tuition.

Arizona attorney Danny Ortega, who represents DACA recipient students said he was, “very disappointed in the decision because it will triple the students’ tuition costs and likely force many of them to not pursue their education. At this point, we urge the Maricopa Community College District to appeal the Court’s decision and we stand ready to continue the fight for justice in education.” 

Senator Miranda stated:

"I stand with DACA recipients and will continue to fight for justice for them,” said Senator Miranda. “For Arizona's Dreamers, our state is their home. They are decent, hard-working students who every day contribute to our society in positive ways. They love this country and have worked hard all their lives to one day have an economic impact in their community,” she continued.

“This ruling will not only impact the more than 2,200 DACA students currently attending our universities and community colleges. It will also impact those who are studying hard and saving up to enter college in the near future, but who may now be forced to put those plans aside. Our nation is strengthened by its diversity. Let us all work together and continue to reinforce our democracy by supporting those who seek a brighter tomorrow and are motivated by the dream of greater opportunity."