PHOENIX, AZ - In an unprecedented turn, ten Republican state legislators broke party lines to help defeat five anti-immigrant bills heard in the Arizona Senate. Among the bills heard were SB1308 and SB1309, two bills that would redefine Arizona citizenship and attempt to challenge birthright citizenship as defined by the United States Constitution; SB1405, which would require hospital officials to acquire immigration status before providing care; SB1407, which requires schools to collect immigration data on students; and finally SB1611, Senate President Russell Pearce’s expansive 30 page immigration omnibus bill.
Advocates were joined by thousands of Arizonan’s speaking against the legislation. Earlier this week, businesses leaders from across Arizona joined in condemning state immigration legislation with a strong letter to Sen. Pearce. The group of 60 CEOs and organizational leaders cited the untold consequences that anti-immigrant policies have on local businesses and Arizona tourism.
“These are major wins for the fight for a better Arizona,” said Jennifer Allen, Executive Director of Border Action Network, a human rights organization in the state. “Faith leaders, business owners, law enforcement, health care workers, school and university employees and everyday community members are speaking out and pushing back, and we will continue to put pressure on the legislature.”
“These bills are a waste of our time, our money and our resources,” Allen continued, “and it’s time for our legislators to focus on making Arizona strong, and to implement the real solutions for our state and our children’s futures: health care, jobs, education and public safety.”
Border Action Network formed in 1999 and works with immigrant and border communities in Arizona to ensure that our rights are respected, our human dignity upheld and that our communities are safe and healthy places to live. We are a membership-based organization that combines grassroots community organizing, leadership development, policy advocacy and litigation.