• Arizona House Democrats

PRESS RELEASE: House Democrats Statement on Stopping Divisive SB1070 Copycat

Updated: Mar 5




PHOENIX, State Capitol - House Democratic Leader Charlene Fernandez released the following statement today on the announcement that a referendum called for by Gov. Ducey and introduced by House Republicans today banning so-called "sanctuary cities" would not be heard in a scheduled committee hearing on Friday. If passed, HCR2036 would have gone before voters in the November election.


"It was a prudent decision to stop this needlessly divisive referendum in the House Judiciary Committee and remove the target from the backs of Arizona's Latino community," said Fernandez. "Thank you to all the many community members, business and advocacy organizations and out Democratic caucus members who spoke up to the Governor and Republican leaders. Your voices were heard loud and clear! Arizona does not want a police state, we have moved upward and onward from the shameful legacy of SB1070. But we also know that dead bills and referendums have a way of re-emerging at the Legislature, so we must stay vocal and stay vigilant until this session ends."


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Democratic lawmakers, Latino civic engagement and civil rights organizations and business leaders stepped up last week, worked together, and stopped an effort by Gov. Ducey and Republicans to reboot the notorious Senate Bill 1070 debate for the 2020 election on Feb. 21. Mirror bills HCR 2036 and SCR 1007 were a cynical effort to ban already banned sanctuary cities while scapegoating and putting a target on the backs of the Latino community. With public pressure mounting and Republican support wavering, an expected contentious House Judiciary Hearing on Friday instead turned to a celebration when the Governor and HCR 2036's sponsor Rep. T.J. Shope pulled the plug.

​Rep. Raquel Terán, D-Phoenix, expressed pride outside the House to a gathered crowd of activists from LUCHA and other civic engagement organizations, lawmakers and media:

"Ten years ago, we were sitting here at this lawn, and we said SB1070 was going to be the end of divisive anti-immigrant legislation and today we proved that we keep our promises. Trying to put anti-immigrant legislation back on the ballot was an attempt to divide Arizona, an attempt to try to stifle our efforts. But we are here, we are not going anywhere, and we are going to continue to build political power."

House Democratic leader also thanked the coalition that came together to oppose the measures and urged vigilance since there are still problematic, anti-immigrant bills still alive in the legislature, especially House Bill 2598, another unnecessary ban on sanctuary cities.

"It was a prudent decision to stop this needlessly divisive referendum in the House Judiciary Committee and remove the target from the backs of Arizona's Latino community," said Fernandez. "Thank you to all the many community members, business and advocacy organizations and our Democratic caucus members who spoke up to the Governor and Republican leaders. Your voices were heard loud and clear! Arizona does not want a police state, we have moved upward and onward from the shameful legacy of SB1070. But we also know that dead bills and referendums have a way of re-emerging at the Legislature, so we must stay vocal and stay vigilant until this session ends."