Arizonans await Governor Brewer’s signature on SB 1070

By Linda Bentley | April 21, 2010

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'If you come to America and youíre here illegally, guess what? There is no catch and release'

PHOENIX – Now that SB 1070, which requires local law enforcement agencies to fully enforce federal immigration laws, has passed both the House and Senate, Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, who sponsored the bill, says the law will bring Arizonans less crime, lower taxes, safer neighborhoods, shorter waits in emergency rooms and smaller class sizes.
The bill is now sitting on Governor Jan Brewer’s desk awaiting her signature.

While illegal immigration and open borders advocates claim the bill would force racial profiling, Pearce just shakes his head and says, “Illegal is not a race.”

The bill would require law enforcement to make reasonable attempts to determine a person’s immigration status if reasonable suspicion exists that the person is in the country illegally.

It also makes it a crime for a person who knows or recklessly disregards a person’s illegal status to conceal, harbor or shield an illegal alien. However, the law provides exceptions for providing emergency services to illegal aliens.

SB 1070 makes it a state crime to work or solicit employment in Arizona as well as “willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document.”

During a news conference on Monday, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeau said the violent crimes perpetrated by illegal aliens in Arizona have reached “epic proportions.”

Babeau said the problem is “out of control” and stated, “If you come to America and you’re here illegally, guess what? There is no catch and release. You should be detained for 14 to 21 days and then formally deported. You come back … You’re going to prison. That’s what we’ve got to do.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., claims to have changed his stance since pushing amnesty legislation a few years ago, although many find his sudden shift from pushing guest worker programs and a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens to addressing Arizona’s porous border simply a campaign tactic.

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., who now says he too supports placing armed troops on Arizona’s border with Mexico and, during his and McCain’s announcement of a 10-point plan to secure Arizona’s southern border, including the deployment of 3,000 National Guard troops, he said every one of the recommendations came to them from people who are on the front line.

However, Kyl has never been at the forefront of the battle to seal our borders.

Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever said Arizona’s porous border is not just a state problem but a national security issue, since terrorists can slip through just as easily as human smugglers and drug dealers.

Pearce said, “Amidst growing frustration that federal laws aren’t being enforced against illegal aliens and the crimes they commit,” SB 1070 will “stop practices that hurt Arizonans, like sanctuary cities and catch and release policies,” adding, “Illegal is illegal.”