Tuesday, June 08, 2010

SB 1070 failing to solve state's real problems

by Kyrsten Sinema - Jun. 8, 2010 12:00 AM
Special for the Republic

Arizona House Speaker Kirk Adams wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post, reprinted June 1 in The Arizona Republic ("Arizona faced with battle vs. ignorance," Opinions) that people aren't taking the time to read the facts about SB 1070 - Arizona's new immigration law - but he failed to discuss the real facts about the new law.

Adams left out the most important point of all: SB 1070 fails to solve Arizona's real immigration problems - crime and violence along the border and in our neighborhoods.

But it's typical of Adams and his Republican friends in Arizona who consistently have failed to crack down on the violent and criminal acts that accompany illegal immigration. Their patchwork policies do nothing to solve the real problem that Arizonans experience every day.

Adams failed to point out that the new law will do nothing to stop the coyotes, human traffickers and drugs and arms dealers that cross our border every day.

Adams didn't mention that the new law is an unfunded mandate and gives police no resources or funding to implement the new law. Gov. Jan Brewer and Republicans took police officers off the streets when they massively cut public-safety funding this year.

Law enforcement also can be sued if they don't enforce the law and no doubt will be sued if they do. The law actually ties the hands of police officers instead of enabling them to protect our communities.

We need tough immigration reform on the national level 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 tools they need to secure our border. We also need to sanction employers who hire illegal immigrants and require immigrants to pay back taxes, learn English, pass a criminal background check and then get on a path to legalization.

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. We also need to make sure those who are here legally are treated fairly and respectfully.

Arizona's economy cannot handle the expense of a law that does not provide a real solution to the problem. We need to focus on laws that actually do something to combat the violence.

For example, my bill that was signed into law, House Bill 2763, substituted by Senate Bill 1059, cracks down on human smuggling. It eliminates a requirement to prove that a 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.

It's time to get to work and deal with the real immigration problems in Arizona.

SB 1070 fails to do any of that.

Kyrsten Sinema is assistant House Democratic leader in the Arizona House of Representatives.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/2010/06/08/20100608sinema08.html#ixzz0qHqjaTFV

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