They say it's time to renew the debate; GOP says law stays
A coalition of Democratic state senators and representatives has introduced a bill in each house of the Arizona legislature to repeal Senate Bill 1070, the 2010 law allowing state enforcement of certain aspects of federal immigration law.
Sen. Steve Gallardo (D-Phoenix) and Rep. Sally Ann Gonzales (D-Tucson) say SB 1070 essentially legitimized racial profiling against people of color; Gonzales, an American Indian, says "people like me" have also been targeted by law enforcement because of the color of their skin.
The two say the law has also hurt tourism in our state and made Arizona the laughingstock of much of the rest of the country.
Sen. Gallardo says even assuming his bill would never pass, it's time to have a discussion on how SB 1070 has hurt Arizona: "What are we afraid of when it comes to at least having a discussion about Senate Bill 1070? What are we afraid of?"
In response, state rep. John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills) says the US Supreme court has found certain parts of SB 1070 constitutional, but the majority of the law stands. He says once the nation's high court rules on one final aspect of the law, state lawmakers will "ministerially" remove the voided portions of SB 1070 from state statutes so that the heart of the law will remain in effect.
Kavanagh says "We had a debate on SB 1070 before it passed." He says it's one of the most popular and effective bills ever passed in Arizona, and there's no reason to repeal it.
PHOTO: Sen. Steve Gallardo (far right) and Rep. Sally Ann Gonzales (at podium) are joined by other Democratic legislators to discuss the SB 1070 repeal proposal.