State Capitol News
Thu December 3, 2009
Court upholds illegal immigrant reporting law
By Howard Fischer
Phoenix, AZ – The state Supreme Court won't block enforcement of a new state
law that requires public employees to report illegal immigrants.
The law says any public employee who fails to report discovered
violations of federal immigration statutes can be sent to jail
for up to four months. It also allows state residents who
believes public workers aren't following the law to file suit.
But the justices of state's high court said Wednesday the League
of Arizona Cities and Towns, which asked that the law be struck
down, had not shown that the issue merited being taken directly
to them. Ken Strobeck, the league's executive director, said he
did not know if his organization will try again, this time filing
the case in county court.
"We haven't decided what our next steps will be at this point. We
are shocked and disappointed at the decision of the court. But we
haven't had time to consider what our next steps will be."
Strobeck said cities aren't in favor of providing services to
illegal immigrants. He said the challenge was brought because
those changes, along with new restrictions on the right of cities
to hike impact fees on developers, were enacted during a special
legislative session in August to deal with the budget.
The league contends that makes any law not related to state taxes or
spending unconstitutional. Republican lawmakers disagree, saying
every policy change they make has budget implications.