Man Eegee has an excellent round-up of local immigration news coming out of Arizona. The anti-immigrant legislation seems to be coming out fast and furiously in the Grand Canyon State. Most of these stories rarely make the national news, but from what I've been seeing lately, the anti-immigrant movement has been concentrating on the local and state levels all over the country to get their legislation passed. Man Eegee gives us a good example of what's going on in his part of the world.
Immigration News from the Front Lines
Living in the Borderlands of the Southwest U.S. provides an interesting outlook on the immigration battles being waged in Washington, D.C. There are currently two dueling bills in the Senate alone, both with Arizona lawmaker-support. President Bush has taken a somewhat moderate position on any future reform packages, but it is clear that many members of his base are not willing to budge from their hardlined stance.
Here on the homefront, the state legislature has been working to actively encroach on the rights of undocumented immigrants. The ideological split is decidedly conservative, so it is frustrating for me as a Latino liberal to read the headlines whenever they decide to combat their fear of the eeeeeevil aliens crossing the border.
For example, yesterday a bill was passed that would allow local law enforcement agents to get in on the human round-up action
The Arizona Senate approved a bill yesterday that would expand a trespassing law so local authorities could arrest illegal immigrants.
Supporters say the approach would help communities catch illegal immigrants who manage to slip past federal authorities in Arizona, the busiest illicit entry point along the nation's porous southern border.
It's not easy maintaining a cool temper when you stop to realize that you are a member of the only group of people who are actively hunted in the United States. Hunted!
This follows on the heels of two proposals passed on Wednesday that will increase penalties for employers who hire undocumented immigrants
A committee of the Arizona Legislature approved two proposals Wednesday that would create a state law prohibiting employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.
Some advocates for lessening Arizona's role as the nation's busiest illegal entry point said employers are fueling the problem by giving construction, agricultural and service industry jobs to immigrants.
Illegal immigrants account for 10 percent of all Arizona workers and more than 4 percent of all workers in the U.S. economy, the Pew Hispanic Center estimates.
While both state proposals would prohibit illegal hirings, the key distinction between the two is that one bill would protect businesses from prosecution if they trained their human resource employees to comply with federal hiring rules and if they followed other requirements.
To read the complete roundup from Man Eegee click here