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AZ State Senator Russell Pearce Back to Flogging Immigration While Arguing: “I don’t make the law”

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 11/09/2010 at 2:44pm

Seth Hoy at Immigration Impact has a rundown on Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce’s costly immigration agenda, including scrapping the 14th Amendment:

A cog in the wheel of local enforcement legislation, Arizona state Senator and now Senate President-elect, Russell Pearce, predictably said he will continue his immigration crusade to repeal part of the 14th Amendment despite the looming state budget crisis. A recent article points out that Pearce, in the throes of last minute campaigning, pledged that he would make boosting Arizona’s flailing economy his number one priority instead of pushing yet another immigration bill. Not surprisingly, however, Pearce told reporters today that “he never promised the 14th Amendment bills wouldn’t be heard, only that he wouldn’t sponsor it.” Sound fishy? That’s because it is. Sponsor of Arizona’s controversial enforcement law SB1070, Pearce has a history of not only prioritizing immigration enforcement legislation, but accepting campaign contributions from the prison lobby who helped write it.
 
Conceding to Arizona Republicans who feared Pearce’s immigration enforcement fervor would top other state priorities should he be elected Senate President, Pearce pledged to put off the bill until 2012 and focus on “jump-starting the Arizona economy by working on an economic stimulus package consisting of tax cuts and incentives to create jobs.” Now, however, Pearce is walking back his pledge:

He is now telling reporters that he never promised the 14th Amendment bills wouldn’t be heard, only that he wouldn’t sponsor it. Instead, Rep. John Kavanagh will take the lead on the measure when the legislative session begins in January, and Pearce says he will do everything in his power to make sure it passes.

Ironically, even as he gets ready to do everything in his power to “make sure it passes,” Think Progress’ Andrea Nil reports that Pearce recently claimed, “I don’t make the law” when confronted by Dream Act supporters:

Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce (R), the sponsor of SB-1070 who was recently elected state Senate president, has pushed and authored a series of other lesser-known immigration laws in his state. One of those was Proposition 300 — a referendum approved by Arizona voters in November 2006 which forces undocumented Arizonans to pay out-of-state tuition and bars them from receiving financial aid.

Recently, two undocumented students confronted Pearce and asked him if he believed they should be punished for the sins of their fathers.

Pearce defended himself with these words: “Well, that’s not the issue. I don’t make the law. I will enforce the law.” Watch the video of the confrontation:

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