Monday, April 19, 2010

Republicans pass hostile immigration bill

STATE CAPITOL, Phoenix – Today, Republicans voted to pass an immigration bill that does not address the true immigration problems Arizona currently faces.

“SB 1070 is exactly why the federal government must act on immigration reform,” said Garcia. “We cannot have states creating a jigsaw puzzle of immigration laws. This bill opens the doors to racial profiling with the provision that allows an officer to ask for citizenship papers from someone who only looks illegal.”

“This bill does not solve our immigration problems and only exacerbates the state’s fiscal crisis by increasing incarceration costs and law enforcement training costs,” said Rios. “SB 1070 is an unfunded mandate to our police departments by turning police officers into ICE agents and opening departments to lawsuits allowed by this bill.”

“Point blank, Arizona needs to stop passing laws that make legitimate businesses not want to come here,” said Lopez. “We need to target the illegitimate businesses that are easing the tide of illegal immigration just as we saw ICE do last week.”

Over the weekend, numerous editorial boards and columnists blasted the hostility of the bill and compared the bill to California’s unconstitutional Proposition 187 of 1994, which caused national outrage.

Some headlines from over the weekend:

· Arizona Republic, Robert Robb: Illegal-immigration bill isn’t solution
· East Valley Tribune, Mike Sakal: Police unions: Immigration bill taxes officers
· The New York Times, Editorial: Arizona Goes Over the Edge
· The Los Angeles Times, Editorial: A hostile Arizona: The state's harsh anti-immigration bill goes too far. What's needed is national reform.
· San Jose Mercury News, Ruben Navarrette: Where’s the Arizona I once knew?

Selected provisions in the bill:

· Requires an officer to make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of a person where reasonable suspicion exists that a person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States. The bill is silent on what constitutes “legitimate contact” or “reasonable suspicion.”

· Allows any legal resident of this state to sue any official or agency of the state or political subdivision that adopts a policy or practice that limits or restricts the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law. Permits a civil penalty between $1,000 and $5,000 per day that such a policy exists and allows the court to reward costs and attorney fees to the prevailing side.

Specifies that people who transport, attempt to transport, conceal, harbor, or attempt to conceal or harbor a person who enters the United States in violation of the law are guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1000.

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