April 20th, 2010
01:11 PM ET

Latino lawmakers urge veto of Arizona immigration law

Latino members of Congress Tuesday called on Arizona's governor to kill a state bill that would require police to determine whether a person is in the United States legally, arguing that it unconstitutionally authorizes discrimination.

"When you institutionalize a law like this one, you are targeting and discriminating at a wholesale level against a group of people," Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona, told reporters.

Grijalva and Rep. Luis Gutierrez, the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus's Task Force on Immigration Reform, said Republican Gov. Jan Brewer should veto the measure, which the state Senate approved Monday.

The bill would require immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there's reason to suspect they're in the United States illegally. It also targets those who hire illegal immigrant day laborers or knowingly transports them.

Grijalva, whose district runs from the Mexican border to the outskirts of Phoenix, said the legislation "is not just mean-spirited, it is directed at a specific population." And Gutierrez, D-Illinois, said the measure infringes on the federal government's authority over immigration laws.

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Filed under: Immigration • U.S.
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Donna

    Are these Latino congressmen working for the betterment of Arizona? I think not and they need to be replaced. These laws are to protect Arizona citizens. Since Arizona backs up to Mexico lets assume that most of the illegals in Arizona are from Mexico. I don't think the Constitution says anything about not stopping people who can or might be illegial. If you are not, carry your papers and be grateful you are here. When I travel outside the country I have to carry a passport to prove who I am and why I'm in a certain country. Maybe some day we won't have any illegals but until then all must suffer.

    April 20, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. James Parks

    I live in Tucson and Grijalva is my U.S. representative. Tucson has a huge population of Americans of Mexican descent, some whose families have been here longer than Anglos, and some more recent LEGAL immigrants. So who is going to be asked to "show their papers" - people who look like Mexicans, that's who. Citizens who have fought in our wars and whose family members have given their lives for our freedom. There are no truer American patriots than Mexican- Americans. I used to deliver pizzas in a heavily Hispanic part of Tucson, and in every home there was a picture of a family member in a Marine Corps or other military uniform. The Mexican-Americans here dislike illegal immigration as much as anyone else. Why should they have to "prove" they are Americans. If this law passes, it will certainly go to the Federal Courts - where it will certainly be declared unconstitutional. There are better ways to solve the problems of illegal immigration than harrassing true American citizens.

    April 20, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Yoli

    If people are here in the USA legally they should have nothing to worry about..show the Drivers License.. If they are not- then go back to your homeland– and come back here through the proper channels- I dont really care if you spent $3k on a coyote to get you here, or you crawled on your back over cactus or your here on a student visa or work visa that expired. Or if you have anchor babies- thats not my problem. MY PROBLEM is that I am supporting you and your family on my taxes, state funded measures and I contribute to and you collect SS or medical benefits or drive unlicensed or flee this country when you rape or kills omeone– oh ya then your countryis so great because of extradition laws.... these things–are things tha leave Americans high and dry when we actually need them –as an American citizen. If your gonna protest and waive a flag it better be the Stars and Stripes of America- and if your going to be a Citizen then love your home country but be respectful and humbled by your new HOME country- because the fact is THIS IS the greatest country in the world and you wouldnt be here illegally if yours wasnt such a crap hole. So do the right thing and become a citizen through the correct channels AND dont give me crap that WE owe you or your an immigrant yoru not- Your ILLEGAL– anyone ANYONE that comes to this country through illegal measure and methods is breaking our laws– and should not be rewarded with citizenship or anything else... the fact is- the only true immigrants are those that come here through correct measures and procedures and then and only then–are they called Citizens of the USA and have my admiration and respect. And for the record- My mothers family was here long before there was an America- and my fathers family was here through Ellis Island.

    April 20, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Phoenix

    So what about the NON Hispanic ethnicities that are in Arizona and other States illegally? They get a free pass because they don't have brown skin? Racism at it's finest!

    April 20, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. janet

    The latino reps in washington act like law doesn't apply to their race..They seem to be advocing only to keeping an open boarder and amnasty just for the millions of latino lawbreakers in our country. Supposed "lawmakers" such as these are acting like an inflitrate of our government. If the US rule of law meant anything to them, they would not be so outspoken against our laws. Law is law.
    Since illegal immagration is against the law, and it's mainly coming out of Mexico, brown people would be the obvious target. of course, DUH.

    Mexio does not tolerate illegal immagration either. It's the LAW

    April 20, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Carl

    Its bad enough the word 'Hispanic' sounds like too close and produces 'Panic'...And by combining the words 'Illegal' & ‘Alien' together in a sentence you just caused instant hysteria. Now folks are referring to Latinos as Terrorist! Get real people!...the Latinos would be the first ones to them out so they would get bad name (go figure). BTW, the all the 911 Terrorist came in through Canada. If every single immigrate looking person was stopped and deported, the way of life would certainly change around here...but less crime is not one of them. There would be plenty of jobs that nobody wants to fulfill, companies going out of business (which induces the increase of crime), the cost of groceries / construction would increase and work as efficiency would decrease. Sure they're bad apples in every bunch, but just because someone compares having a drivers license to being discriminated is lame and off point, doesn't mean everyone that hopes the bill goes through is a Pendejo.

    April 20, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Frank Alvarez Damiron

    NOBODY has the "right" to violate the laws of another country.Period. Most complaints about the USA daring to have immigration laws come from mexicans disrespecting this country by violating them with impunity... I lived as a LEGAL immigrant in mexico and can asure you that mexico enforces their immigration laws, including jail and deportation for working without the required permits( form FM-2 ), or owning real estate near the mexican shoreline,which will be confiscated without compensation. Similar laws apply to any involment in mexican politics and it makes no difference if you are brown,oriental, black, or as white as the mexican ruling class.

    April 20, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Carl

    I keep hearing we dont have the money to ship them back or build protection against them. This is the current estimate per year we spend on Illegal's in this country. Why allow them to have this when it can be put to communities around the US that truely needs it. I don't think any illegal unless they have a valid green card to utilize any of our federal or state funds.

    $11 billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each year by state governments.
    Illegal households only pay about one-third the amount of federal taxes that non-illegal households pay.
    Illegal households create a net fiscal deficit at the federal level of more than $10 billion a year. If given amnesty, this number could grow to more than $29 billion.
    $1.9 billion dollars a year is spent on food-assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC and free school lunches for illegal aliens.
    $1.6 billion is spent on the federal prison and court system for illegal aliens.
    $2.5 billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens.
    About 21 percent of the population of U.S. prisons is classified as “noncitizens” from Mexico, Colombia, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. About 5 percent is listed as “unknown.”
    Immigration costs like all “costs" come out of the "TAXPAYOR" hide. These costs represent additional money creation that dilutes all the savings and assets in America.

    April 20, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. David

    Strange...Why would people assume the illegal immigrant problem drain the economy or hurt taxpayers? Let's call it what it is first: we're talking about Mexicans crossing the border, not all illegal immigrants. WE need honesty in our discourse.

    So, They come and get hired. They work. Do you think they're all huddling in homeless shelters? They are helping small businesses stay afloat. They're washing dishes, cleaning houses, and paving roads in 100+ degree weather. They do need health care and services, but they contribute much more, and often perform jobs no one else wants – and will work them forever if you let them.

    I am not defending illegals in America – I just want to see a valid argument.

    April 20, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Aliens please come to Earth

    Great Law for Border states, the SW illegal Immigrants coming are coming in from you guessed it the only country to the south that touches our border. MEXICO, so yes most illegals out west are Mexican or of latino descent. It is safe to assume that Mexicans are not coming into Maine from Canada (not too many at least)... Instead of making a fuzz about it REQUIRE all citizens 18 and over to have a Arizona ID card that you can only get with a real brithcertificate or whatever. Which brings up a better point is having the entire country have a single ID like a passport card> The military does it. You can also institute your drivers license into it. A CAC card for all Americans. No racial profiling necessary. If you dont have it on you then you are subject to investigation (Black, White, Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern whatever). That is what we need. The database included will have your picture, but then again here we go and im sure Obama will love taking the power away fromt he state and federally instituting this, but hey it HAS to be done. And Laura, yes they will be targeting Latino because remember, mostly only white people choose to protect and serve so the police force is mostly white because mostly white people choose to defend this country. After 24 years in the military I met a handful of muslims and jews combined, there were plenty of latinos in but most were peurto rican not mexican-americans. Eventually DNA will be a requirement at birth for all Americans. Right or Wrong look at my name entered, these are Illegal Aliens but not from mexico from outer space to take me and Cindy Crawford away, we are all screwed....

    April 20, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. David

    I have a better idea!! Why not target EVERYONE, just for kicks. Make "routine" traffic stops on white people, asian people, black people, brown people, grandmas, grandpas walking on the sidewalks. EVERYONE must show their birth certificate, drivers license, an ancestry chart showing their ancestors have been here for at least 2 generations. Don't forget to pull those "routine" traffic stops on those really tan looking Caucasians too, they could be Argentenian and here illegally!! OR Why not wait til we have some really good METEOR SHOWERS, they say April is the peak season and get the REAL ALIENS to pull their UFO over during a "routine" traffic stop. GENIUS!!!

    April 20, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Martha

    Let me guess?? All those people on here that say "yes" and "enough is enough". You don't care of course because you know you will not get targeted. White skin, blond hair, blue eyes...ok you got lucky. What if you happen to have dark features and you are not Hispanic and you get pulled over like 20 times in one month, just because you fit the "target" and asked you for your ss# and birth certificate, after all you could have learned English while here illegally. I doubt you would be "OK" on agreeing "yes" to this stupid bill that makes no sense.

    April 20, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. weezy

    Know your history!! So many Americans have convenient memories.

    Other than the indigenous Native Americans and Mexicans, everyone else in this country is here due to force, war, attempted genocide, and denial of the rights of the original Americans land rights. With the exception of African Americans, who were forceably brought to this country, no one else has a moral leg to stand on.

    Everyone in the US other than those indigenous people have ancestry that came as immigrants. Remember that we profess to be a Christian nation, and allow humane decisions to rule our nation. There is no merit in creating such suffering to a hard working people and their families.

    April 20, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |

    How does Arizona plan to apply this to illegal’s from Thailand, Vietnam, Russia, Canada, Africa, South America, the British Isles and Europe? This will call for strict and blatant racial profiling. We sustain the illegal immigrant market with our deregulated free enterprise system. You complain about the feds like of involvement, any type of laws or provisions to regulate or monitor what happens in the American work place is seen as government interference. You can’t have it both ways. We show our true colors in times of economic despair.

    April 20, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Upset

    It depends on the definition of "reason to suspect". If the law was changed to say that physical appearance is NOT a reason to suspect, and police are liable for stopping anyone because of racial characteristics, dress, cleanliness, or type of vehicle, etc., then it might be okay. Does that make anysense?

    April 20, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
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