Currently, House Republicans are in the process of kicking the immigration reform can down the road, refusing to bring 11 million people out of the shadows or address their Latino vote problems because they’re still too afraid of their base to tackle legislation. As all of these commentators have pointed out, not taking advantage of 2014 to pass reform is a mistake — not least because the absence of federal action once again has Republican leaders pushing their own immigration “solutions,” and they aren’t pretty. Good luck to the GOP in attracting Latino voters with their elected officials championing these.
In New Mexico, Republican Governor Susana Martinez has been spending yet another legislative session trying to repeal the state law that lets undocumented immigrants there drive. On Capitol Hill, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) is trying to change federal policy in order to prohibit states from allowing immigrants students to pay in-state tuition for college. Apparently, conservatives love states’ rights, unless immigrants are getting something out of it, like the opportunity to educate themselves and achieve the American dream.
And now in Arizona, state Rep. Carl Seel — who supported SB 1070 — has introduced a new bill which would make it illegal for certain immigrants to use any public resources, including driving on public roads, using a public bathroom, or hopping on a city bus.
For the record, even notoriously anti-immigrant bills like SB 1070 or Alabama’s HB 56 — which had landlords evicting their tenants, parents pulling their children out of school, and families evacuating from the state — didn’t go that far.
Seel claims that the bill, even if it became law, would only affect about 5,000 people in Arizona, because it doesn’t apply to all undocumented immigrants, only those who’ve been through the court system and been handed a deportation order. But the bill would apply to people like Erika Andiola’s mom, Maria Arreola, who had a deportation order from 1998.
Luckily, Seel himself admits that HB 2192 is not a priority for state lawmakers and is unlikely to ever be discussed in session, let alone passed into law. But Arizona Latinos are certainly discussing the bill, as are immigration advocates and Latino leaders nationwide.
National Republicans could be known for helping to pass immigration reform that put 11 million immigrants on a path to citizenship. But apparently this kind of anti-immigrant persecution is what they’d rather have in the news.