I don’t know where to start, so here’s a link to the bill itself. It conflicts with federal law (at this point nearly all of our legislation does) on a few points and is absolutely ridiculous. People will have to prove “lawful presence” to:
- Enroll their kids in school
- Live in a public housing project. This doesn’t apply only to people applying for public housing (which as far as I know you already have to provide proof of lawful presence) but to people who just might come live with you. Given the state of our economy I think this is rather harsh.
- Get the title and registration of a vehicle
- Enroll in a community college or state university. This bill doesn’t exclude you from getting any aid or in state tuition break (prop 300 already tossed that out) but prevents you from even enrolling.
- Seek medical treatment at a hospital
- Get married (This is an update of his failed 2008 House Bill 2631 preventing those who could not provide proof of US citizenship from getting a marriage license. Both people would have to produce proof of citizenship to marry.)
Additionally, this bill forces school employees, hospital officials, and public housing authorities to act as immigration enforcement. And they don’t want it. So many teachers, doctors, and renters voiced their opposition to SB 1611 but the legislature doesn’t care. This travesty of a bill will pass the Senate.
This is what Feathered Bastard observed at the committee hearing:
When Pearce described 1611 — which makes it a crime for illegal immigrants to operate motor vehicles, prevents the undocumented from registering their vehicles, mandates that schoolchildren prove they’re in the country legally or be reported to the cops, blocks those here illegally from attending community colleges, and on and on — as an assortment of “cleanups,” Sinema called him on it, numerous times.
Sinema said she counted in the bill “19 pieces of legislation that you’ve introduced over the years that didn’t pass,” adding that it was “more than just some cleanups.”
She got Pearce to admit that the bill had been slapped together at the last minute.
“This was written in a very few hours on Friday afternoon,” Pearce admitted more than once, almost apologetically, as Sinema pointed out its foibles in extreme detail.
One egregious example concerned the community colleges. Students would have to provide one of a list of documents to prove lawful status, such as a foreign passport with a visa.
Sinema pointed out that 36 countries have agreements with the United States that do not require their citizens to have visas while in the U.S., including Canada and Australia. Pearce had no answers.
Instead, he blathered on ad nauseum with a bunch of his pet lines, like, “Enough is enough,” “Stop the invasion,” “The laws must be enforced,” and “You can’t continue to break our laws.”
Those last couple are pretty amusing, actually, considering the fact that Pearce’s son Joshua is currently cooling his heels in county jail for, um, breaking the law. But hey, that’s different, right?
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