SB 1070 a year later

When Arizona's illegal immigration measure became law last year, legislators across the nation noticed its popularity and clamored to enact their own versions of SB 1070.

But before lawmakers could get to work, they took notice of the aftermath: Boycotts. Protests. Pushback from big business. A court ruling that put key provisions of the law on hold. Even Arizona's Legislature rejected five new illegal immigration bills.

It all took a toll.

One year after SB 1070 was signed, 11 of the 22 states with similar bills ended up rejecting the proposals. The surviving bills are struggling in some states. Georgia's legislature passed a bill that awaits the governor's signature, and bills stand a chance in a few other states.

That's far short of the unstoppable wave of new laws predicted by the National Council of La Raza, which called for a boycott of Arizona.

"It really hasn't been as fast and furious as we would have expected," said Elena Lacayo, the group's immigration field coordinator. "A lot of people are coming out of the woodwork, especially the business and faith and law enforcement community."

One roadblock was a U.S. District Court ruling that stopped four key provisions, saying the law incorrectly pre-empted powers reserved to the federal government. Appeals could carry on for years and cost millions. Some lawmakers said they want to let the courts sort out the provisions of SB 1070 to avoid a protracted and costly fight of their own.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform has helped Arizona defend itself and argued the state has powers to augment federal enforcement.

While disappointed in the legal setback, the group says states should feel comfortable with other measures to discourage illegal immigration.

"There's more than one way to skin a cat," communications director Bob Dane said. "One of the strongest tools in your toolbox at the local level - and you won't run into legal obstacles - is requiring employers in your state to use E-Verify, making sure that employees are legally authorized to work."

Dane also blamed big business for lobbying against tough measures so it could keep a cheap workforce.

Despite many bills failing this year, he sees momentum building for tougher laws because of high unemployment while large numbers of illegal immigrants continue to enter the U.S. Dane also sees action shifting to the states after Congress has repeatedly failed to secure the border and address other longstanding immigration matters.

He notes research by the National Conference of State Legislatures, which reported the number of immigration bills at state legislatures jumping from about 300 in 2005 to more than 1,400 last year.

"I think the process is speeding up," Dane said. "We're evolving from a sanctuary mentality to a fix-it mentality and the economy is pushing it this way."

The journey of various illegal immigration bills has resulted in some surprising outcomes.

Ultra-conservative Utah gave police powers to verify immigration status in certain cases when people are arrested, yet it also created a guest-worker program.

The business and faith community pressed for the worker provision, which critics said amounts to amnesty.

The fate of immigration bills will be decided within weeks in most states as legislatures are nearing the end of their sessions.

The states where bills are most likely to advance now are Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina and Alabama.

Other heavily Republican states have put the brakes on illegal immigration bills, or at least some components like making it a crime for undocumented immigrants to be in a state.

A 1070-inspired bill seemed a slam-dunk in Kansas, whose Secretary of State Kris Kobach helped draft SB 1070. But the bill died in a legislative committee.

"I think that's significant that it's Kansas and it's not California," Lacayo said. "It's a middle-America state and they said no in a really big way. And it's the home of Kris Kobach."

The court ruling against some of SB 1070 and the response from the business community have stared to swing the pendulum the other way in the immigration debate, said Martine Apodaca, communications director for the National Immigration Forum. As time passes, it's getting tougher to pass the immigration bills, he said.

"I do think the momentum isn't on their side," Apodaca said. "It's failed in more places than it's succeeded."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6548 or ggroff@evtrib.com

(1) comment

Brittanicus

If you want to see the 14.5 trillion dollar US deficit reduced, we must enforce our immigration laws. In 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act was a zero-tolerance policy that was subverted by business interests. We cannot afford any more half measures, from the ongoing resistance of politicians like Senator Harry Reid (D-NV in the growing reaching empowerment of the TEA PARTY. Illegal Immigration is an incendiary issue, caused over decades of Washington lack of sympathy to US worker, with estimates of 20 million foreign nationals feeding of the welfare system they have—NOT--attributed too? The worst issue is the instant baby citizenship law, which has become a perpetual foothold for hundreds of thousands of illegal families annually and probably the most fiscally of expenditure for taxpayers. Our overcrowded through k-12 schools are suffering, with hospital emergency rooms not far behind.

For the price of an airline ticket or dodging the US border patrol they arrive here with many afflictions, knowing from distant dialogue, that American physicians must treat you under the law. Arizona Policing laws (SB1070) subject to rejection by the Supreme Court in the future have dealt a sharp blow to the radical Leftists, that evidence is proving the laws are having a positive effect. Huge numbers of illegal unwelcome persons are moving out to places unknown. Interesting enough that I read an article that even though radical activists are boycotting Arizona in hope of eroding their commerce, the reverse has happened. Average Americans have seen through Obama's Department of In-Justice and streamed into the State, guaranteeing high concentrations of tourists. The Dept of InJustice elevated by Obama's Liberal Progressive-Marxist Czars to attack Arizonans policing laws through the mostly Leftists courts, but an intense silence has reigned about Utah's unconstitutional push for a Guest worker program. Arizona has a high foreclosure rate, but it was caused by the real estate crash, not boycotts. In fact it seems Canadians escaping from the cold weather swept in, brought properties and even my Ex-wife portends to buy a home there.

So the State of Arizona has made a roundabout turn, and the State is thriving and the populations of economic illegal immigrants are leaving for new turf. With malleable States nearby like Sanctuary California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado this is their final destination. These have been economic aliens and they have already devastated some of the Border States, with public service opportunities. President Obama held a meeting with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Trumka, leader of the AFL-CIO and a host of open border organizations and business lobbyists at the White House.

Little is known because the conference was closed to the press media, reassured it will lead to a dead end. Their evident reason to be there is to push for a mass amnesty, even at a time when 10 million Americans are still unemployed. Most people have no conception of these ramifications of a full volume amnesty, better dive into the web pages of NumbersUSA or Judicial Watch. You are assured this is only two of a nationwide grassroots revolution of pro-sovereignty entities, whose main issue is the illegal alien occupation. But even more so join a local TEA PARTY because under no circumstances will any kind of amnesty be passed. Only if President Obama successfully is reelected will this matter come up for a vote and the TEA PARTY will fight this pretense tooth and nail. You break the law; you must pay a penalty for it. Another amnesty no matter the fact will just attract more and more foreign nationals across our borders or to our shores. We need to expand the E-verify programs and make it mandatory for businesses and in addition the feds need the same permanency for Secure Communities, to fingerprint every alleged criminal that is processed through police stations.

The border is a volatile sticking point on illegal immigration, which other than around most cities and towns there is no real fencing. Its still is wide open to the drug cartels, the people smugglers and possible terrorist incursions according to Rancher Jim Chilton as stated this in his testimony. In a letter he drafted and claimed to the Department of Interior (DOI) and U.S. Department of Agriculture conference in Washington, that there was no border fence along 50 miles of his land. It should prove to all Americans, that there really is no serious attempt, to stop the inroad movement of foreign nationals no matter their intent? If there was illegal trespassing on sovereign land would be a felony, like Mexico and other countries.


Janet Napolitano should take a trip to the ranchers land, and then declare the border was secure. What a sickening joke. One thing is for sure, the promise to the people from the TEA PARTY is that their Senators and Congressman enact bills, to build the Double Layer Fence and restrict any new laws on immigration. Illegal immigration has many financially unexposed branches, that many remain hidden from public view. Importation of less than perfect professional skills is another form of visa fraud as a demand for cheap labor. For years, a million or more semi-skilled labor has been arriving through stealth amnesties. Attn: Our election system has been compromised, as in 4 States voter fraud has been detected from mostly non-citizens, so we must look towards some form of federal and State oversight. Absentee Ballots are the easiest method to cheat the registration system and could cause a massive change of direction for American Democracy.

And Remember buy AMERICAN. Or soon your job may disappear? Elect Donald Trump! He is a billionaire and owes nobody in either party favors. He will stop the Chinese ripping us off. We owe them just this year 300 Billion dollars. He will negotiate the Free trade Agreements, as they unfair to American industry, draining billions of dollars in inferior goods. It will end Communist Buildup a military on our dollars. He will remove the tax incentives to move businesses into Mexico or overseas such as Maytag. We should give visas to the highest representatives of skilled workers, who will never use welfare, and put the enforcement brakes on impoverished illegal foreigners once and for all.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.