State Sen. Steve Gallardo, an opponent of Arizona’s new anti-immigration measures, leans on his desk in frustration as Sen. Russell Pearce, a proponent of the bills, stands in the background during debate Thursday.
Arizona lawmakers did a 180 on Thursday, voting to reject new anti-immigrant measures in a move ostensibly in response to the harsh economic realities of the state’s budget and unrelenting pressure by human rights groups. —JCL
The New York Times:
Arizona established itself over the past year as the most aggressive state in cracking down on illegal immigrants, gaining so much momentum with its efforts that several other states vowed to follow suit. But now the harsh realities of economics appear to have intruded, and Arizona may be looking to shed the image of hard-line anti-immigration pioneer.
In an abrupt change of course, Arizona lawmakers rejected new anti-immigration measures on Thursday, in what was widely seen as capitulation to pressure from business executives and an admission that the state’s tough stance had resulted in a chilling of the normally robust tourism and convention industry.
The State Senate voted down five bills that among other things sought to require hospitals to inform law enforcement officials when treating patients suspected of being in the country illegally and to prod the Supreme Court to rule against automatic citizenship for American-born children of illegal immigrants.