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New state legislation targets undocumented residents

No one can ever accuse the Arizona legislature as being soft on immigration. Lawmakers recently passed one of a trifecta of laws that will impact those accused of entering the United States illegally.

The state senate passed "Grant's Law" last month, a bill introduced by the Republican senator of Maricopa, Steve Smith. If signed into law, the state Arizona courts would be required to impose the most stringent penalties possible on illegal immigrants, denying them parole once they are convicted of serious crimes.

The inspiration for the bill was last year's tragic death of Grant Ronnebeck, a clerk at a convenience store who was shot to death by an illegal immigrant who was free on probation. The alleged motivation of the shooter was that the clerk took too long to get the man a pack of cigarettes, a news outlet reported. When the senate approved the bill, the victim's father was present.

Sen. Smith said, "It's a good first step in the right direction of protecting families like his." Sen. Martin Quezada, (D) of Phoenix called the proposed legislation discriminatory and unnecessary, protesting that it was "political . . . grandstanding."

Smith's second proposal involves banning so-called "sanctuary cities" from receiving funds from the state of Arizona. Another Democratic senator from Phoenix, Catherine Miranda, called it toxic to the state's national reputation, and that it would "jeopardiz[e] our economy."

Last month, protesters gathered at the state capitol to denounce the passage of legislation aimed at targeting illegal immigrants.

Protests are a valuable tool for fighting unjust immigration policies, but they can only go so far. If you are experiencing problems with immigration laws, you may need professional legal guidance to avoid deportation procedures.

Source: Opposing Viewpoints, "Anti-Illegal Immigration Bill Passes In Arizona Senate," Robert Fowler, Feb. 24, 2016

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