Tuesday, February 22, 2011

First SB1070...Now SB1611

From an Arizona Interfaith Network press release (2/23/11):

AIN Decries Last Minute Omnibus Attack Bill

Yesterday’s sudden introduction of a 30-page anti-immigrant Omnibus bill further threatens to polarize the state, tear at its social fabric, and damage economic recovery.

Senate President Russell Pearce overrode Senate Rules to spring a new 30 page bill on his Senate colleagues, immediately assigning it to Senate Appropriations to be heard today. SB1611 immigration omnibus roles into one bill all the various bills from this session and the last several sessions designed to require proof of citizenship for all services in Arizona. This bill would expand government scrutiny over every interaction between Arizona residents in public and in private, turning officials and business leaders into immigration officers and tearing apart our social fabric.

The surprise move leaves no time for critical debate and discussion. SB1611 is the 22nd bill on a 24 bill Appropriations Committee Agenda. Not only have Senators had only 24 hours to review the bill, but Senate Research has yet to issue a Fact Sheet, which most legislators use to understand a bill.

"This last minute omnibus bill is an end around on democracy, hiding from the real debate and deliberation. It's a bad sign for how business is being conducted at the Capitol and will have social and economic consequences" said Tom Donovan, Valley Interfaith Project Executive Team Member.

This bill further distracts the Legislature from its true priorities. While Arizona faces its worst fiscal deficit in its history, and with unemployment and foreclosures soaring, Senator Pearce is allowing his obsession with immigration to divert attention from the state’s economic and fiscal recovery.

The Senate Judiciary Committee did not have the votes to move SB1308 and SB1309, the two bills challenging the 14th amendment, thus requiring him to move these non-money bills to his Appropriations Committee.


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