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- 03-13-2012, 01:49 PM #1
ARIZONA - Lawmaker says she’s dropping illegal immigration-reporting bill
Lawmaker says she’s dropping illegal immigration-reporting bill
By Ivy Morris
PHOENIX – Leaders of border communities have persuaded a lawmaker to withdraw legislation that would have required the state to alert the public to dangers caused by illegal immigration.
Rep. Peggy Judd, R-Willcox, made the decision after meeting Monday with a group including the mayors of Nogales and Douglas and a representative of a produce-growers organization.
Judd had said the measure would reduce misinformation, but the leaders argued it would instead stoke unfounded fears about crime in border communities.
“Sometimes you put something in an agenda and you get reminded that some thing’s wrong,” Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino said. “If you feel uncomfortable with what they do, you pull it or you strategize and bring it back. There’s no problem in saying that there’s something wrong.”
HB 2586, which was awaiting a vote by the full House, would have applied to an area within 62 miles of the border with Mexico as well six miles into Mexico. It called for Arizona Department of Homeland Security to monitor international, federal and state sources and share information about dangerous conditions through means including email and social media.
The bill prompted emergency meetings in Nogales and Bisbee. The mayors of Nogales, San Luis, South Tucson and Douglas sent letters outlining their concerns, as did community groups.
Judd’s hour-long meeting with the group ended with her asking who opposed the bill. Hands shot up around the room.
“OK, I get it,” she said.
Judd said later that she didn’t intend to harm anyone and was focusing on security rather than the economic impact of the legislation.
“It’s a different kind of animal,” Judd said. “These people say, ‘My community, my livelihood, our livelihood!’ when other people are thinking about welfare and defense.”
Rep. Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix, who signed on as a co-sponsor, said she was told the bill did something else.
“I would not have signed up for a bill that does what this bill does,” she said in a telephone interview. “This is like the whole headless bodies-in-the-desert comment. People are afraid to visit these great communities along the border that are safe.”
Douglas Mayor Michael Gomez said the information Judd wanted to publicize is already published in FBI Uniform Crime Reports.
“When they want to know what’s happening in our areas, call the cities; get information from there and we’ll let them know the truth,” he said. “All this is going to do is lead to a lot of innuendos and misinformation.”
source: Lawmaker says she’s dropping illegal immigration-reporting bill – Cronkite NewsU.S. Constitution - Article IV, Section 4: GUARANTEES AMERICA FROM INVASION!
- 03-13-2012, 04:50 PM #2Rep. Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix, who signed on as a co-sponsor, said she was told the bill did something else.
- 03-14-2012, 07:28 AM #3
Bill warning of immigrants abandoned amid criticism
Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services | Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 12:00 am | Comments
PHOENIX - Verbally battered by border community officials, a Southern Arizona lawmaker is abandoning her proposal to warn area residents and visitors about dangers from illegal immigrants.
Rep. Peggy Judd, R-Willcox, said Tuesday that she made changes to both narrow the scope of her legislation as well as who would get the warnings. But she said a meeting with area mayors and tourism officials on Monday resulted in a unanimous consensus.
"They came to the meeting and they said 'no,' " she said, preferring no legislation at all. "Unfortunately, no citizens were represented."
Judd said she believes they are out of step with area residents who have told her they still want the warnings. But she said the failure of her measure means they will have to instead pressure local law enforcement agencies to provide the information HB 2586 would have made available at a single location.
The legislation, which had gained preliminary House approval, would have required the head of the state Department of Homeland Security to monitor intelligence from various sources to determine if they indicate "any type of warning about dangerous conditions in regard to illegal immigration activities."
What caused the concern is the proposal permitted the agency director to disseminate that information "in a manner that will immediately warn the public of the danger." That could include not only telling the local media, but everything from Facebook and Twitter to direct emails to those who have asked to be notified.
There were also complaints the legislation would have provided the alerts only to dangers within 62 miles of the Mexican border.
Judd said she removed that reference to the border region. She also narrowed the kind of alerts that would be provided to only illegal drug and human trafficking.
And Judd said she offered to limit the notification to only those who specifically register with the state to be informed.
"So it would never be on a tourism website or a Realtor website," she said. "It wouldn't be given out freely like that."
But Jim DiGiacomo, executive director of the Green Valley-Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce, said none of that made the measure any better.
"The damage has been done," he said, just through Judd's introduction of the measure. DiGiacomo said the best course of action was to bury the measure permanently.
He said the area needs to maintain its relationships, "including with our friends in Mexico."
"We have to continuously defend against the negatives regarding travel checkpoints," DiGiacomo said. He said Judd's legislation only made matters worse.
"We understand there's a lot of responsibility and pressure on our representatives," he said. "We commend them for that commitment."
"However," he continued, "homework needs to be done, because if you don't know the area, you don't know what has happened."
Douglas Mayor Michael Gomez said the legislation just amounted to another hit on Southern Arizona, which already has been "battered" by other negative news, including the murder of rancher Rob Krentz.
"It has never been proven it was done by a Mexican illegal," he said. And he said there has not been a homicide in Douglas in seven years.
But Gomez said the idea of the border as a violent place has persisted.
Judd said given the continued opposition, she would not pursue the plan.
But the first-term lawmaker said local residents believe the need for information remains.
"If they feel like they need it, they're going to have to go to their own local governments and own local tourism and say, 'You know what? We've got to have this information to keep our families safe when we're going from Point A to Point B in Arizona,' " she said.
Judd said that can be critical for those traveling in the area.
"It may be awesome in Nogales," she said. "But when I go to visit my grandma in Tucson, I would like to have this information."
On StarNet: Keep up with immigration- and border-related developments at azstarnet.com/border
"We understand there's a lot of responsibility and pressure on our representatives. We commend them for that commitment. However, homework needs to be done, because if you don't know the area, you don't know what has happened."
Jim DiGiacomo, executive director of the Green Valley-Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce
Read more: Bill warning of immigrants abandoned amid criticismThe price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Plato