“Everybody can agree that immigration is a serious problem in this country and it’s a problem that is felt more acutely in Arizona than in any other state in the nation. Every year hundreds of people die crossing Arizona’s parched deserts seeking better opportunities for themselves and their families,” said Sen. Gallardo.
“But along with these hard working folks come criminals who take advantage of them and bring violence to our state. It is the job of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute these criminals. But it is not the job of law enforcement to act as federal immigration agents. Unfortunately, we have seen in disturbing clarity what happens when they do.”
“In his zeal to gain media attention and pander to Tea Party extremists, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has ordered his deputies to practice exactly what 1070 would demand of all Arizona law enforcement officers. And what do we have to show for his immigration enforcement? We have Department of Justice charges of racial profiling. We have tens of thousands of criminals on our streets because warrants have not been served. And tragically, we have hundreds of sexual predators – including child molesters – also roaming free because Sheriff Joe was too busy asking innocent people to prove their citizenship.
“Today I am proposing a repeal of SB1070 because we cannot ask our hard working, loyal and dedicated law enforcement professionals across the state to play this Tea Party game. We cannot ask them to terrorize our ethnic minorities with random questioning because of their skin color. They must remain focused on preventing crime in our communities, keeping our streets and our families safe.”
“This misguided law has left a black mark on Arizona, harming tourism, business and our image to the nation and the world.”
“We must put pressure on Washington to come up with a real solution to the problem of immigration. We must support efforts to require undocumented immigrants to pay a fine and back taxes and pass a criminal background check to earn a path to legalization. We must do this to not only protect our communities, but to protect our law enforcement officers, to protect those who come cross the border in search of opportunity, and to protect our American way of life.”