Thursday, April 22, 2010

GOP repeatedly ignored House Democrats’ immigration bills

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Before Republicans passed another controversial bill that fails to solve the immigration problem in Arizona, they blocked House Democrats’ proposed real immigration solutions.

Republicans repeatedly ignored bills that directly addressed violent crime and immigration in Arizona:
· HB 2201 (misconduct involving weapons; fraudulent transactions): Gives authorities better tools to combat weapons trafficking and increase public safety by making it a felony to purchase weapons under false pretenses. Sponsor: Lujan

· HB 2149 (drop houses; human smuggling): Combats the use of drop houses and human smuggling across the border. Sponsor: Sinema

· HB 2354 (forgery; human smuggling; classification): Makes it a Class 3 felony if a person commits forgery in connection with purchase, lease or renting of a dwelling used as a drop house. Sponsor: Sinema

· HB 2148 (human trafficking; violation): Provides law enforcement with more resources to prevent human smuggling in Arizona by clarifying and expanding the definition of trafficking. Sponsor: Sinema

· HB 2152 (human trafficking; liability; victim services): Deters human smuggling by allowing victims to collect damages from traffickers. Sponsor: Sinema

· HB 2151 (human trafficking coordinating council): Establishes a council to collect and organize data on human trafficking in Arizona in order to offer better, more effective solutions. Sponsor: Sinema

“Republicans have failed to deal with crime and violence along the border,” said House Democratic Leader David Lujan. “We need tough immigration reform that cracks down on human smugglers, the illegal sale of weapons to drug cartels and other violent criminals, and we need to give law enforcement the real tools they need to secure our borders.”

The only bill Republicans supported and that was signed into law last week was Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema’s House Bill 2763, substituted by Senate Bill 1059, that eliminates a requirement to prove that the trafficked individual be obtained “for transport” to qualify as being trafficked for sex or labor. The bill gives police more tools to arrest criminals who traffic people for sex or slave labor.

“Phoenix is the kidnapping capital of the nation and we should do everything we can to make sure law enforcement can do their job and protect our kids and neighborhoods,” Sinema said. “Democrats support making sure police have the real tools they need to go after violent criminals. It’s time Arizona actually works toward real solutions, not unconstitutional bills that force law enforcement to go after janitors and landscapers instead of the real problem — violent human, drug, weapon and sex traffickers that infiltrate our cities and towns.”

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