Immigration enforcement bill clears early hurdle

by Jacques Billeaud

A proposal that would draw local police officers deeper into the fight against illegal immigration cleared its first hurdle Tuesday at the Arizona Legislature.
The bill would criminalize the presence of illegal immigrants in the state by expanding Arizona’s trespassing law to let local authorities arrest those who sneak into the country. It also would prohibit cities from restricting the flow of information on a person’s immigration status and allow people to sue local officials who limit their police officers’ ability to fully enforce federal immigration law.

“The only impediment to enforcing our laws (and) protecting our citizens is the political decisions by local politicians who refuse to protect their citizens,” said Republican Rep. Russell Pearce of Mesa, who proposed the bill.
The Senate appropriations committee approved the bill on an 8-3 vote.

Although immigration has long been considered the sole responsibility of the federal government, Pearce and other advocates for tougher border enforcement have said for several years that local authorities could help lessen border woes in Arizona, the busiest illegal entry point into the United States.

Many local police bosses in Arizona have resisted that push, saying it would detract from their traditional roles in investigating thefts, assaults and other crimes and would jeopardize the trust they have built in immigrant communities.

Under the trespassing proposal, a first offense would be a top-tier misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. Subsequent violations would be a felony that would carry a penalty of up to 2 1/2years in prison.

The trespassing bill is similar to proposals vetoed in 2006 by then-Gov. Janet Napolitano. At the time, the Democratic governor said she opposed automatically turning all immigrants who sneaked into the state into criminals.

The bill also aims to prevent cities from discouraging their police officers from inquiring about people’s immigration status in cases where the government is determining their eligibility for public benefits or confirming the identity of people who are arrested.

The proposal would let a person file a lawsuit to challenge officials who adopt policies that limit full enforcement of federal immigration law. If a judge decides a city or town is in violation, the court would be required to order the municipality to pay a civil penalty up to $5,000 for each day the policy remains in effect.

Jennifer Allen, director of the Border Action Network, an immigrant rights group based in southern Arizona, said she opposes the bill because it would lead to racial profiling and take away the discretion that local police and politicians have in confronting what they deem priorities in their communities.

Meanwhile, the state House gave final approval Tuesday to a bill that would prohibit cities, towns and counties from having policies intended to prevent the full enforcement of federal immigration law. The proposal, approved on a 38-21 vote, now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Republican state Rep. John Kavanagh of Fountain Hills, a former police officer who voted for the bill, said politicians shouldn’t tell any officers to turn their backs on law violators. “The police should be unhandcuffed and be allowed to do their jobs,” Kavanagh said.

Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Phoenix, an opponent of the proposal, said the standards set by the bill might leave police departments that are making sensible decisions vulnerable to punishments.

“I don’t think there’s enough flexibility in this bill,” Sinema said.


Immigration enforcement bill clears early hurdle — 9 Comments

  1. Las Vegas, NV The Clark County Sherrif does very little to enforce the immagration laws. I hope he will be voted out of office, and Harry Reid has on several occasions called and interupted Deporting procuders. I think Harry should be charged with “OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE’. In the mean time the ILLEGAL MEXICAN WORK FORCE is still hanging out in front of Home Depot, Star Nursury, and U-Haul truck rental, while the local Law Enforcement drive right by. The State of Nevada will not check at the Clark County Schools the Students, Parents have any right to be in the United States. So the Mexicans get a FREE Education, FREE Medical at UMC. (University Medical Center) and in a lot of cases, Food Stamps, and TANF. ICE? Where are they while this is going on? Harry Reid, John McCain, Nancy Pelosi should be considered traitors to the United States. Immgration Reform should start with English as the spoken language in the United States. No more Voter Sample Ballots written in Spainish. Then Cancell all “Permanat Residant Alien Cards”. The Hispanic Community has Perfected the art of Fogery, I.D. Theft. Go to Broad Acres Swap Meet, and pick up a Birth Certificate/Social Security Card for about $300. Nevada should learn from the example from Arizona, Clark County Sherrif should take lessons about Law Enforcement from the Sherrif in Phoenix, AZ.

    • I work for the Law and closely with pocile, so I feel somewhat qualified to answer your question (and hope what I write is not too deep ). By your premise that illegal really does mean illegal, the same can be said of any criminal in any country. However, people still break the laws and get away with them. Two murderers can commit the same crime, yet depending on various factors (judge, attorneys involved, mental status of the defendant, the type and manner in which evidence is presented and a slew of other variables even including the controversial yet very real issue of race) one can receive a lesser sentence than the other or even be cleared of all charges! People like myself (the advocates if you will) that request the EVIDENCE such as pocile reports, attorney’s findings, internet links and so forth are the ones who have inside knowledge regarding the subject and wish to verify fact from fiction a practice I adhere to regardless of the subject. To take your question one step further, many of us are advocates because we feel that yes, there is a downside to immigration. However, let us look at it on a case-by-case basis as we would any other issue involving the legal system as Madam Justice is supposedly blind. Otherwise, why should one murderer be sentenced to life and the other only 15 years?

    • Contact the your local police saoitn and ask for a background check (if you call it a police certificate they don’t know what you are talking about). They should be able to refer you. If not contact your attorney general’s office. Most states will have to mail you specific finger-printing cards. Then! call your local police station in canada, if that is where you are. They will refer you to the office that does the actual fingerprinting. Then send the finger printing cards the fees and the letter back to the office in california. They should send a letter explaining instructions on where to send the fingerprint index cards. I went through this in Ohio, it is a lot of phone calls and tedious work. I had to call 3 police stations and none of them knew what I was talking about. I finally called the attorney generals office and the secretary was extrememly helpful. Just have to go through the paces my friend and make those 500 phone calls. Good luck.

      • My solution would inlvvoe land mines.But a good defense must be deployed in depth. It’s a myth that most of them sneak across the border. Many come here legally and overstay their visas. Illegal immigration has to be attacked from the border all the way to the hotel rooms and restaurant kitchens. We should send foreign countries a bill for every illegal in our prisons.The fact that we hire them to do our cooking, cleaning, and yard work means we need them. I say we trade hard working immigrants for welfare recipients, one-for-one. The fact is that rich kids in Marin aren’t going to work at the McDonalds. I just wish the immigrants would learn English! I’m tired of them fracking up my order. I guess “mocha” does sound a little bit like “Coke” but when I order a Number 1 meal and get a Quarter Pounder instead of a Big Mac, there’s a problem. How do you mess up “one”?I like having them around. It makes the salsa crowd much more interesting. The latinas who don’t look like a basketball with legs are pretty hot.

  2. Isn’t it funny.
    When the average American citizen is pulled over by the police, when driving a vehicle, they always ask for identification and then you’re license and registration.
    Why can’t Mexicans do the same thing unless they have something to hide!
    If they are asked to show identification, then they cry about being profiled.
    Sounds so familiar with the blacks too.
    They get busted with drugs and it’s always somebody elses and they don’t know how it got in their pants pocket.
    lol. Busted Mutha fucka’s.

    • Crosstown traffic (accidents)There you are, icihnng along in rush hour traffic, minding your own business maybe slightly distracted about what’s for dinner tonight and it happens. Bump. You didn’t catch the guy in front of you stopping in time, and you kissed his back bumper. Or maybe it was the other way around. You both pop out of the car and he starts begging you not to call the police, not to report the accident. Well? Do you have to?Finders Free Legal Team Super Happy Fun Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer. I don’t play one on TV or the movies. I’m just a guy who is good at research and likes to write.Simple, yet not simpleLike so many things, this one has a simple, yet technically not simple answer. Let’s start with the simple one:It depends.Each state is different. requires traffic accidents on a California street/highway or private property to be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days if there was an injury, death, or property damage in excess of $750. states if the property damage of any person is $1,001 or more, all the involved drivers are required by the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law to report the accident, and that if a person is injured or killed, you are required by the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law to immediately notify the police. All the involved drivers and the police must file an accident report with the DMV. Failure to do so is a crime.And so on and so on. Each state has their own laws governing the reporting of traffic accidents, and seeing as they can change from time to time, I don’t feel comfortable listing more than a few examples here. Your best bet is to check your particular state’s department of motor vehicles website for the exact law. It’s also, by the way, a good idea to know this beforehand, so you’re not standing on the side of the road furiously Googling on your smartphone.The good simple adviceThe only way to be 100% safe is to report any accident to the DMV, at the very least. That little scuff that might not look like anything on the bumper may hide a damaged part and cost $2000. A day later, your neck may begin hurting and you do end up injured.Another reason to report the accident, specifically getting the police involved, is if there is any question of fault or any mitigating factors you’d like your insurance company to consider as they determine who is going to pay for all this, a police report will hold a lot of weight. They’re the experts at reconstructing a crash they’re trained for it. If there’s going to be any question of whose fault it was, it’s not a bad idea to get the police involved.

    • You definitely sohuld have put some bait in your most recent media-related post, maybe something like: like noble immigrants struggling to evade the INS, bloggers struggle to get acceptance from bigger media sources.

  3. Be very careful in Arizona were you apply for a job. They take your application and then hire an illegal for less money using your information. This happened to a friend of ours. He applied for a job and a year later got a letter from IRS saying that he worked at this company were he had put in an application and owed a bunch of money in unpaid taxes.. They gave his social to a illegal mexican. Our friend knows who the guy is but the police and ICE (what a joke) told him there is nothing he can do. Well I have a few ideas!!

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