State Capitol News
Tue November 24, 2009
AZ cities sue to block immigration law
By Howard Fischer
Phoenix, AZ – Governor Jan Brewer lashed out today at cities for suing to
overturn a new law on illegal immigration.
The fight is over a lawsuit filed Monday by the League of Arizona
Cities and Towns challenging some provisions in budget
legislation approved earlier this year. One section spells out
what documents people who want public services need to provide to
prove they are in this country legally.
"At a time when Arizona is suffering from budget deficits of
unprecedented proportions, the state is struggling to meet the
basic needs of its citizens, it is outrageous and shocking that
the League of Cities and Towns would challenge legislation
designed to protect the very entities that it was intended for."
But Ken Strobeck, the league's executive director, said the
governor isn't telling the whole story. He said lawsuit was filed
because the measure was approved in a special session called to
deal with the budget. He said its unconstitutional for lawmakers
to take up other issues at the same time. Anyway, Strobeck said,
it's already illegal to provide public services to illegal
immigrants. This measure goes further.
"This section exposes cities and towns to a new private right of
action related to the provision of public benefits to citizens
and exposes are personnel to new criminal penalties. That's what
this is all about."
The state Supreme Court is expected to decide next week whether
to consider the cities' complaint.