State Capitol News
Wed October 21, 2009
Pearce pushes for stricter immigration laws
By Howard Fischer
Phoenix, AZ – A proponent of stiffer immigration laws announced today he is
relaunching his effort.
Sen. Russell Pearce has been unsuccessful in the past in his bid
to enact measures allowing those in this country illegally to be
prosecuted under state trespass laws, whether through lack of
votes or a gubernatorial veto. A similar fate has befallen
another bill to prohibit cities from having what he called
sanctuary policies limiting police from enforcing federal
immigration laws. Pearce rejected arguments by some police chiefs
who say that goes too far because crime victims and witnesses
won't come forward for fear of being deported.
"If I've got a gang shoot-out and the victim's an illegal, the
shooter's an illegal, the witnesses are illegal, I don't question
anybody. That's the dumbest thing in the world that one can do."
He said the bill give discretion to officers on the street to
decide when to ask someone their legal status and when not. A
third bill would enhance the state's employer sanctions law,
letting prosecutors subpoena documents and testimony to make
their case against companies. Pearce said he hopes to get the
measures adopted by lawmakers in January. But Pearce said he also
is launching an initiative drive to put the issues on the
November ballot just in case the bills fail.
"The citizens will have the last say. I guarantee you, the
citizens will have the last say on this. And we'll take back
America one state at a time."