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Latino legislators pushing child protection, immigration issues

PHOENIX — Hispanic Arizona legislators laid out their goals for the year on Tuesday.

Members of the Latino Caucus held a press conference to announce that child welfare is the top priority in the legislature this year after Child Protective Services failed to investigate thousands of child abuse cases.

“The children of Arizona are our most vulnerable population. Plain and simple, it is our job to protect them,” said State Senator Anna Tovar. “Sadly, in this instance, we failed miserably, and it’s time to make this right.”

Tovar said she’s encouraged by Gov. Brewer’s plan to replace CPS with a cabinet-level agency but that she wants to hear more details of the plan.

Another top issue will be immigration.

Tovar and the other Caucus members want the state to approve driver’s licenses for people who were illegally brought into the country as children.

“They should be free to drive to a job that contributes to our economy and pay in-state tuition, should they pursue a higher education,” Tovar said.

Caucus members said they plan to push the federal government for comprehensive immigration reform and that they’ll block any attempt to overturn Arizona’s Medicaid program.

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