When it comes to SB1070, Arizona's anti-illegal immigration law, Ahwatukee Foothills leaders remain divided over whether it is necessary to protect residents, or motivated by hate.
The law's supporters include Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, whose district includes Ahwatukee. DiCiccio said he was disappointed in U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton's decision to strike down several of the most controversial portions of the law last week. The law's remaining provisions took effect last Thursday.
DiCiccio said the federal government has failed in its obligation to protect Arizona residents from the negative effects of illegal immigration.
"The federal government struck down any opportunity for the state to try and handle it, even though the federal government walked away from it," he said. "They said, ‘You can't do anything to defend yourself, and we're not going to offer you any solutions.'"
The law isn't perfect, but it was a positive step, DiCiccio said.
"I never thought SB 1070 was going to solve everything," he said. "But it was an extra tool in the tool box for police officers to use."
State Rep. John McComish, whose district includes Ahwatukee Foothills, said the judge's decision was bound to be appealed either way.
"We knew one side or the other would take it to court," McComish, a Republican, said. "What we have tried to do is what the federal government is supposed to do."
On the other hand, CJ Briggle, chairwoman of the Legislative District 20 branch of the Maricopa County Democratic Party, said it's her opinion that SB 1070 is harmful to the state.
"The original 1070 is divisive, extremely unfavorable to our economy, and driven by hate," she said. "There's nothing in it I can stand behind."
She praised the judge's decision to bar implementation of portions of the law.
"I believe it halted the momentum of hate," Briggle said. "I don't think it eliminated it."
State Rep. Rae Waters, a Democrat representing Ahwatukee Foothills, said the issue of illegal immigration ought to be discussed reasonably, without having to seek a judiciary-imposed solution.
"I think everyone needs to just calm down," Waters said. "I don't think we should be resorting to lawsuits, on either side of the aisle."