Controversial Arizona law keeping Phoenix out of sanctuary city headlines

Mar 29, 2017, 4:45 AM | Updated: Apr 5, 2017, 4:19 pm

For once, much to most people’s surprise, my beautiful and conservative-leaning state of Arizona isn’t in the headlines today pertaining to issues with illegal immigration.

Thankfully, we are giving the spotlight to states such as California, Illinois and New York as their major cities — along with hundreds of others across the country — gear up to do battle with U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, defiantly affirming their commitments to be known as sanctuary cities.

How did we dodge this bullet for once?

Ironically, I would have to say it is due to the very thing that threw us into the limelight and caused not only a national but international controversy, back in 2010: The passage of Senate Bill 1070, aka The Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act. At the time of passage, it was considered the strictest anti-illegal immigration measure in a long time.

The citizens of Phoenix have reason to thank former state Sen. Russell Pearce, who sponsored this bill, and governor Jan Brewer, who signed it into law, for giving us protection that has kept us from being in recent headlines. Both Pearce and Brewer became instant heroes by some and vilified by others for their hardline stance on protecting the citizens of Arizona.

When President Donald Trump followed through with his promise to crack down on illegal immigration — aimed at improving public safety by stripping federal funding from sanctuary cities that have vowed to protect this practice while putting their own citizens at risk — SB 1070 stood as a shield. It may have been a watered-down version of the law, but it still worked as a shield from angry immigration activists who demanded Mayor Greg Stanton and the city of Phoenix take this formal stand against Trump’s actions by declaring Phoenix as a sanctuary city this past February.

Fortunately, for Phoenix the measure was denied by Stanton and city attorneys who said Arizona’s tough immigration laws, such as SB 1070, prohibit the city from such an action.

Stanton and the majority of the Democratic city council would have loved nothing more than to proclaim Phoenix a refuge for illegal immigrants. Once again, a provision by Councilman Michael Nowakowski regarding the issue was sent to city attorneys to study whether the city can challenge state laws, specifically good old SB 1070.

Meanwhile, we Phoenicians can look on in astonishment as other city leaders put their citizens second to illegals, such as, mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, mayor Bill de Blasio of New York and mayor (Godfather) Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, as they stand firm in their unlawful defiance to fight any efforts by the Trump administration to cut federal funding proudly stating they will defy president Trumps “war on sanctuary cities.” These mayors have even gone as far as to call the penalties unconstitutional.

I am puzzled by these progressive leaders’ ability to sell their citizens on a concept that somehow, by being reprimanded for breaking federal laws, they are being treated unfairly and outside of constitutional protections.

It seems to me that the Constitution gets thrown around a lot by the left and is used as a weapon to convince unknowing Americans that illegal immigrants’ human rights must be defended from our laws even while putting their own rights and very lives at risk.

I certainly hope Stanton and Phoenix’s city attorneys continue to respect our federal and state laws that are in place to protect the citizens of Arizona. They should leave SB 1070’s remaining teeth in place so we can continue to stay out of the ugly immigration headlines of the day.

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Controversial Arizona law keeping Phoenix out of sanctuary city headlines