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Arizona....battle ground state for immigration issues

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  • Al Soto
    Date: Sat, 3 Jul 2004 07:41:21 -0700 (PDT) From: Rosalio Munoz Subject: Anti immigrant intiative on Arizona Ballot, battle ground
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 6, 2004
      Date: Sat, 3 Jul 2004 07:41:21 -0700 (PDT)
      From: Rosalio Munoz <rosalio_munoz@...>
      Subject: Anti immigrant intiative on Arizona Ballot, battle ground
      state




      Arizona is a battleground state for the Presidential elections, this is
      like a replay of Californias Prop 187 that Republican Gov Wilson used
      for reelection in 1994, now it is a right wing tool to help elect Bush.
      This coupled with stepped up immigration raids especially in California
      is an indicator of anti immigrant, anti Mexican, anti Latino measures
      yet to come to destabilize the Latino community and its vote and and
      rally ultra right wing voteers injecting racism and intolerance vicously
      into the national elections.

      Arizona voters face crucial ballot issues
      Elvia D�az, Chip Scutari and Robbie Sherwood
      The Arizona Republic
      Jul. 2, 2004 12:00 AM

      An anti-illegal-immigration initiative that would affect all Arizonans
      who voted or sought welfare benefits may be headed to the Nov. 2 ballot
      after its supporters turned in more than 190,000 signatures Thursday.

      But the battle over the fate of Arizona's Clean Elections law is headed
      to court before it can go to voters in the form of an initiative.



      Related info
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      Protect Arizona Now, aimed at preventing voter fraud and denying
      public benefits to undocumented immigrants, will likely thrust Arizona into
      the center of the nation's debate over illegal immigration. Hours
      before Thursday's 5 p.m. deadline, Kathy McKee, state director of Protect
      Arizona Now, submitted 190,887 signatures to the secretary of state.

      McKee said she's confident election officials will find the 122,612
      valid signatures necessary to send the issue to voters.

      In November, Arizonans also will consider six legislative referendums
      and a salary increase for lawmakers.

      McKee noted that Protect Arizona Now targets welfare benefits.

      "We're mandated to educate children of illegal aliens in kindergarten
      through (Grade) 12," she said. "But we're not mandated to provide free
      breakfast, free lunch, after-school programs and many other things."

      The measure would require all Arizonans to provide proof of citizenship
      when registering to vote and when seeking state benefits. Voters would
      have to show identification when casting a ballot in person. Currently,
      Arizonans must fill out a form when registering to vote, affirming that
      they are U.S. citizens and Arizona residents.

      Critics of Protect Arizona Now say the measure could prevent
      undocumented immigrants from getting library cards, water or trash collection,
      among other things.

      A lasting impact Voters face a relatively light crop of ballot
      questions; a maximum of nine overall (10 in Maricopa County), the fewest since
      1996.

      The decisions will have a lasting impact, though, as the measures could
      continue funding for freeways and the Valley's light-rail system and
      allow public universities to retain some of the profits from their
      technological inventions.

      Voters will also decide if state lawmakers deserve a 50 percent raise,
      boosting their salaries to $36,000 from $24,000.

      And, ironically, Arizonans will have a chance to limit the initiative
      process.

      The ballot won't be set until Protect Arizona Now's signatures are
      verified. And the Clean Elections case should be heard over the next two
      weeks, with the losing side appealing to the Arizona Supreme Court.

      A group called No Taxpayer Money for Politicians, which opposes the
      Clean Elections law, wants to end the publicly funded campaigns and put
      that money into state coffers. The group filed 275,000 signatures last
      week, far more than needed.

      But the Clean Elections Institute sued Thursday, saying the measure
      violates the "single subject rule" because it would also get rid of public
      financing that would prevent the Clean Elections Commission from doing
      its voter-approved duties. The five-member commission uses public money
      to schedule debates, publish a voter guide and regulate
      campaign-finance laws.

      The suit also contends that petitions used to explain the purpose of
      the anti-Clean Elections initiative were "highly partisan" and "designed
      to mislead voters."

      Proponents of the anti-Clean Elections initiative say they aren't
      worried about the last-minute legal challenge.

      Transportation tax In Maricopa County, voters will consider Proposition
      400, which would extend the half-cent transportation sales tax for 20
      years to help pay for light-rail lines, new and improved freeways and
      other transit improvements in the Valley.

      The tax, set to expire next year, would generate $8.5 billion, more
      than half of the $15.8 billion local leaders are seeking to improve the
      Valley's transit system. Federal and state funds would cover the rest.

      Of the six legislative referendums, two would add restrictions to the
      initiative process. Lawmakers, mostly Republican leaders, complained
      throughout the recent revenue shortfall and budget crisis that
      voter-mandated spending for health care and education had tied their hands as they
      struggled to balance the state budget.

      One measure would require that if initiatives seek state money, they
      include a tax increase or some other funding source to cover the costs.
      That would prevent another initiative like 2000's Proposition 204, which
      provides health insurance for any Arizonans living in poverty. The
      measure quickly overwhelmed its funding source, Arizona's portion of the
      nationwide tobacco settlement.

      The other measure would move back the filing date for ballot
      propositions, by four months, to seven months before an election.

      Legislative pay raise Legislators had no say in putting a proposed pay
      raise for themselves on the ballot, but many are pulling for its
      victory. Voters shot down a $6,000 pay raise in 2000.

      Voters will have to wait at least another month to find out whether
      Protect Arizona Now has enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

      Alfredo Gutierrez, a former state legislator and co-chairman of the
      Statue of Liberty Coalition formed to defeat the measure, said the group
      is ready to raise roughly $2 million to fight the measure.

      "This isn't going to make the border any safer or secure," Gutierrez
      said. "It will simply harass innocent people. We're not talking only
      undocumented immigrants. Everyone would be required to carry proof of
      citizenship when seeking any public services."

      Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa and a leading supporter of Protect Arizona
      Now, said residents in Arizona and elsewhere are fed up with illegal
      immigration.

      "Americans want something done about the abuse, the fraud and illegal
      immigration," Pearce said this week. "This is simply allowing the voters
      of the state of Arizona to decide if their elections ought to be
      protected and if their welfare dollars ought to be protected."

      Hector Cabrera, a 42-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico who
      waits for work at a day labor center in north Phoenix, was dismayed to
      find out people like him will be the target.

      Cabrera said that he has never gotten any free government handouts but
      that he worries he and other undocumented immigrants will be caught in
      the public fight over Protect Arizona Now.

      "Most of us come here to work," Cabrera said. "We will keep coming as
      long as there is work for us."


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      The news is to be reported not to sway opinion. No more melodrama of constant entertainment trivia on news time. The founding fathers knew that government is always corrupt, that is why they gave us civil liberties. The people must lead to survive corrupt governments. Read the constitution. (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this includes information for research and educational purposes.) Al Soto (c) 2004



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