Immigration Revolution Brewing
By Pat Shannan
Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) has announced that nearly a dozen and a half states are now filing versions of Arizona’s S.B. 1070 law, designed to help local police enforce America’s existing immigration laws.
Various polls have indicated that close to 75 percent of the U.S. population supports Arizona’s move and wants their own states to do the same.
“Our national network of activists has been working overtime trying to help the state of Arizona and the brave Arizonans who have passed this bill,” said William Gheen, president of the activist group. “Arizona no longer stands alone, and we have now documented state lawmakers filing, or announcing they will file, versions of the Arizonan bill in 17 states. We will not stop until all states are protected from invasion as required by the U.S. Constitution.”
ALIPAC has documented that the following 17 states are taking a page out of Arizona’s book in response to citizen pressure: Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.
Gheen, who is a former campaign consultant, legislative assistant, state lobbyist and assistant sergeant-at-arms staffer in North Carolina, has turned his local experiences into a political battle plan.
He said, “The federal government has been hijacked by special interests that are neglectful of their duties and even hostile toward the rightful citizens of America. It is incumbent
upon our states to protect American lives, property, jobs, wages, security and health, when the Executive Branch fails to honor its constitutional responsibility to do so by enforcing our existing border and immigration laws.”
His organization had lobbied state lawmakers and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer urging the passing of S.B. 1070 that finally happened in April. However, some conservatives are concerned that the law may give police too much power that will result in a restrictive effect on the law-abiding citizenry.
Despite the pressure from Washington to backpedal on the state’s landmark immigration reforms, Mrs. Brewer swung another roundhouse right at federal statutes by signing into law new legislation affirming that nothing in state law requires businesses to provide “trained and competent” interpreters when a customer comes in speaking a language other than English. Small business owners cheered.
Assistant Attorney General Michael Walker said that has probably always been the law anyway, but the issue was forced by a lawsuit filed last year by a Spanish speaking woman against an Arizona optometrist because he would not allow the woman’s 12-year-old daughter to perform as an interpreter between doctor and patient.
The optometrist, Dr. John Schrolucke of Wickenburg, refused because he feared legal, insurance and medical problems if the underage child somehow misunderstood. Such a mistake could lead to a malpractice lawsuit.
He asked that the woman return with an English- and Spanish-speaking interpreter over 18 or, in the alternative, visit some Spanish-speaking optometrist.
Instead, the woman and her lawyer filed a discrimination lawsuit against the English-speaking optometrist. However, Arizona Attorney General Walker, after taking a year to decide, finally ruled the case was moot because no law had been broken.
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(Issue # 23, June 7, 2010)