Immigration: Arizona Debates Anti-Immigrant Bill

Thousands marched on Washington this past weekend to demand that the administration turn its attention to immigration reform, in order to ensure that the basic human rights of immigrant workers and their families in the United States are upheld. But, meanwhile, legislation is quietly making its way through the Arizona State Legislature which would make the status of immigrants in the state far worse than under current law.

A proposal being debated in the Arizona House today (HB 2632) contains many of the same provisions that sparked widespread protests in 2008. Undocumented immigrants would be charged with trespassing, and law enforcement officials would be required to determine the immigration status of anyone they come in contact with during an investigation.

A number of pro-immigrant groups have launched opposition campaigns to HB 2632, among them the Tucson-based Border Action Network, which deemed the legislation “the most far-reaching anti-immigrant bill ever introduced in the Arizona Legislature.” The Bishops of the Arizona Catholic Conference pointed out in a statement:

“We are concerned that the present language of these bills does not clearly state that undocumented persons who become victims of crime can come forward without fear of deportation. Anything that may deter crimes from being reported or prosecuted will only keep dangerous criminals on the streets, making our communities less safe.”

If signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer, “the bill also would make Arizona the only state to criminalize the presence of an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants through an expansion of its trespassing law.” An identical bill (SB 1070) has already passed through the Arizona Senate, and a House vote is expected this week.

This would undoubtedly act as a foil to any kind of sweeping immigration reform that the administration may attempt to address in the coming months. The nation must now turn its eyes to Arizona; the battle for a more just immigration policy will need to be fought on a more localized level before it can be tackled by the Obama administration.

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7 Comments

Filed under Crime, Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Politics

7 responses to “Immigration: Arizona Debates Anti-Immigrant Bill

  1. Delaware Bob

    What a FANTASTIC idea! I hope it passes and all States pick up on it. It’s time to free our Country of all these illegal aliens. Our Federal Government has just completely falid us on stopping this illegalimmigration. Look at that demonstration on Sunday in Washoing, D.C., DEMANDING we give them amnesty! Yes, DEMANDING! Who the helldo these people think they are? It’s time to get them back with their families where they belong.

  2. Delaware Bob

    I hope this law passes and can be picked up in all 50 States. Our Federal Government has FAILED us BIG TIME in protecting us from this ILLEGAL ALIEN INVASION.

    Illegal aliens are destroying this Country, and one would have to be almost blind not to see this. How much longer do we have to support these illegal aliens? How much longer do we have to school their illegal alien children? How much longer are we going to let them have our jobs? How much longer are we going to put up with all the crime, stolen identities, forged documents, fake green cards? How much longer are we going to allow these illegal aliens to send money out of this Country and bring our Country down? Oh, amnesty will correct all this. WRONG! Nothing will change except we wouldn’t be able to call them illegal aliens any more. Let’s get rid of these illegal aliens! Let’s get them back to their own Country where they belong!

    You go, ARIZONA!

  3. Dancer_galore

    Well clearly Delaware Bob has some severe delusions about Arizona and this bill’s costly, detrimental effects to the rest of the state, not to mention the devastating effect this will have on communities when all of their local Police Officers are too busy enforcing what should be federal laws to take care of general public safety.

    You go, Border Action Network. It’s nice to hear of some morally conscious, rational people in that backwards state of yours.

  4. AZLegislation.com was present at the House Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee today as they passed an amended version of the bill with a vote of 5-2. SB1070 now goes to the House Committee of the Whole House of Representatives.

    The proponents of SB1070 were there in force today!

    Discuss the most important political topics of today on AZLegislation.com

  5. Brenda

    I think it is so sad to see that this country has worked so hard to fight against racism and towards human rights, and then Arizona does this ? Have we not learned from the past? To be honest Mexico did own Arizona before the United States and therefore Mexicans have always been here since before Arizona became a state. Not only did we kick them off their land but now we are arresting them and anyone who is seen with them. This is just crazy. First the African American as slaves, then the stealing land from the Native Americans, and now this ?

    I do not believe any law official should be given the power to racial profile anyone. This is just promoting racism and hate.

    • Julie an ETH student

      Brenda, Yes I agree. The Law will only promote racial and ethnic profiling. There has to be a better solution. Resources could be spent in more beneficial areas than policing, processing and detaining immigrants. Have we overlooked the fact that immigrants along with forced labor helped build our country from the days of colonialism?
      Functionalism requires equality not oppression.
      hmmm….?

  6. Pingback: Can Arizona’s Immigration Law Withstand Legal Challenges? « DC Progressive

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