Arizona Contemplating Even More Extreme Anti-Immigraton Measures
As if Arizona hasn’t caused itself enough trouble by anti-immigration laws that have attracted both condemnation and lawsuits, lawmakers are pushing for even more extreme measures (h/t Political Wire). These measures, like the one before it, are being heavily promoted by Republican State Senator Russell Pearce (pictured).
Illegal immigrants would be barred from driving in the state, enrolling in school or receiving most public benefits. Their children would receive special birth certificates that would make clear that the state does not consider them Arizona citizens.
Some of the bills, like those restricting immigrants’ access to schooling and right to state citizenship, flout current federal law and are being put forward to draw legal challenges in hopes that the Supreme Court might rule in the state’s favor.
ACLU of Arizona Executive Director Alexandra Soler Meetze says this creates a “papers, please society,” and a new crime: “driving while undocumented.” Rev. Javier Perez, a Roman Catholic Priest, says, “Denying citizenship to children because they have parents without documents is crazy.”
The measures would compel school officials to ask for proof of citizenship for students and require hospitals to similarly ask for papers for those receiving non-emergency care. Illegal immigrants would be blocked from obtaining any state licenses, including those for marriage. Landlords would be forced to evict the entire family from public housing if one illegal immigrant were found living in a unit. Illegal immigrants found driving would face 30 days in jail and forfeit the vehicle to the state.
Statistics show the influx of illegal immigrants into Arizona is down. Sadly, fear is up.Click here for reuse options!
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