The killing of a rancher near the U.S.-Mexico border enraged supporters of a bill in the Arizona legislature that would allow police to arrest migrants for trespassing in the state.
Tag: trespassing law against undocumented immigrants in Arizona
The Obama administration will continue to push for immigration reform until it’s done, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said Thursday, according to local media.
Dozens of human rights activists set out in a caravan from Phoenix to Washington D.C. to call attention to the criminalization of immigrants in Arizona.
PHOENIX, Arizona — A wave of bills aimed at criminalizing undocumented immigrants in Arizona have failed in the state legislature. Divisive budget discussions and a split in the Republican Party, which holds the majority in the legislature, have been cited as reasons for the defeats. But local human rights activists, who organized opposition to the bills, are taking some of the credit as well.
Arizona has been called a “laboratory for anti-immigrant laws” for the rest of the nation. In 2007, the state adopted one of the country’s toughest employer sanctions laws for companies that knowingly hire undocumented labor.
But this year saw the failure of some 27 bills aimed at clamping down on immigrants. “We did extremely well this year, dealing with the anti-immigrant legislation, it’s the most successful year we had,” said Democratic legislator Ben Miranda, who voted against the proposals.
He credits the defeat, in part, to the split between Republican legislators and Gov. Jan Brewer over budget issues.
As divisive budget discussions were coming to an end a flood of anti-immigration bills were introduced, with Republican State Sen. Russell Pearce at the helm of the effort.
Pearce introduced 17 of the bills, ranging from a proposal to eliminate what he called “sanctuary policies” that keep local police from inquiring about a person’s immigration status to a measure requiring school districts to ask their students about their immigration status.
By Valeria Fernández, FI2W contributor
PHOENIX, Arizona — Undocumented immigrants in Arizona could face jail terms for simply being in the state under a series of bills gathering momentum in the state legislature.
A bill approved Wednesday by a Senate committee (SB 1175) would allow any police officer to arrest an undocumented immigrant under charges of trespassing on state land. Those jailed would have to pay the cost of their own incarceration.
“If this bill passes, it would be the first state in the nation making illegal presence a crime,” said Alessandra Soler-Meetze, Executive Director of the Arizona Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “The implications are tremendous. What it means is that anyone who is in this country without proper documentation is going to be charged and arrested.”