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  1. #1
    Senior Member mapwife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Sanctuary cities may lose Fed funds under new bill

    'Sanctuary policies' may cancel aid to cities
    By Howard Fischer
    Capitol Media Services
    Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.15.2006
    PHOENIX — Arizona cities and counties that tell police not to arrest people for violating federal immigration laws could lose millions of dollars of state aid under legislation given preliminary approval Tuesday by the House of Representatives.
    With virtually no debate, lawmakers said state shared revenues would be denied to any community that has "any sanctuary policy." That would range from programs that actually give aid to illegal immigrants or any "restricted enforcement" by police of federal laws making it a crime to be in this country illegally.
    Tucson gets about $102 million from state sales and income taxes, or 10 percent of its total budget. Pima County gets about $92 million from state sales taxes, nearly a fourth of its operating budget.
    Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, said the bill is primarily aimed at cities like Chandler, which has a written policy that police cannot ask about immigration status even if they stop and ticket the person on traffic charges, or even on some misdemeanors, and bars them from contacting immigration officials.
    Pearce said many cities have similar — if less far-reaching — policies that police cannot stop people to determine their immigration status. And many communities, he said, bar officers from making arrests if the sole offense is being in this country illegally.
    The Tucson Police Department does not prohibit officers from asking a person about immigration status, although that's not a question they always ask.
    "We do have a policy that officers cannot stop a person just on the suspicion that a person is here illegally, but if we find that a person is here illegally during the course of an investigation, we do contact Border Patrol," said Sgt. Mark Robinson, a Tucson police spokesman.
    Added Lt. Vicki Reza, a department spokeswoman, "We teach our officers to gain the elements of a crime and to conduct a thorough investigation. It might be that a person's immigration status doesn't have anything to do with the incident."
    The Pima County Sheriff's Department also does not have a "sanctuary policy," said Deputy Dawn Barkman.
    "It is within our right to ask about immigration status, and there are certain times where that is necessary information," she said.
    Deputy County Administrator Martin Willett said the wording of the law is too vague to tell how Pima County might be affected, or if it's affected at all.
    Rep. Linda Lopez, D-Tucson, said she believes the legislation will encourage communities to actively discriminate against illegal immigrants — or at least start asking people about their immigration status — to ensure they don't lose state revenues.
    She acknowledged there are Arizonans who want to do what they can to reduce the number of illegal immigrants and want the police involved in that. "But I also understand that's not their responsibility," she said, saying that is the role of the federal government.
    Pearce said nothing in his proposal would affect the ability of individual police officers to use their own judgment to decide whether to make an arrest. But he said policies directing officers not to enforce certain laws are quite another thing.
    Pearce said he also believes cities cannot tell officers not to inquire about the immigration status of a witness or victim. "You have no right to decide that you won't enforce the law," he said. But Pearce said if his bill becomes law, "I suppose that will be litigated."
    Pearce said officers would still need probable cause to stop someone in the first place.
    Lopez questioned how police would have reason to even raise the residency question.
    "How do you take a look at somebody and say, 'The way you're dressed or the color of your skin makes me believe maybe you're not here legally, so now I've got to ask," Lopez said. And that, she said, promotes discrimination against Hispanics.
    Pearce disagreed.
    "If I come across you, you don't speak English, you don't have a driver's license — don't you think there's a point that I start being a little suspicious?" he asked.
    Rep. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, said the legislation will force police officers to spend time enforcing federal immigration law instead of protecting neighborhoods.
    Pearce, however, said working to deport illegal immigrants is consistent with that mission.
    "Sanctuary policies kill Americans, kill police officers every day," Pearce said, by allowing "violent criminal aliens" to remain in communities because police don't ask about their legal status.
    "The largest and most violent gangs in America are made up of illegals."
    On StarNet: Should police officers be required to determine someone's immigration status during routine stops? Vote at border
    Illegal aliens remain exempt from American laws, while they DEMAND American rights...

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Rep. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, said the legislation will force police officers to spend time enforcing federal immigration law instead of protecting neighborhoods.
    Enforcing immigration laws not only protects "neighborhoods" but the entire country.

    The whole state of Maine will go under if this passes. I wonder what Senators Snowe and Collins (both GOP with strrrrrrrrong RINO streaks)
    will come down on this in the Senate.

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