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justashooter

pennsylvania says no to illegals

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pennsylvania lawmakers are watching the AZ debate, and will do an end run around any point that gains traction in the AZ case. tom corbett is gonna push them thru, whatever it takes.

Arizona law finds widened support

Corbett files brief in support of state's immigration stance

Sunday, July 18, 2010

By Tom Barnes, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG -- The new Arizona law designed to stop illegal immigrants from coming into that state has raised the hackles of President Obama and some Hispanic groups.

But the controversial measure is getting increasing support from many Pennsylvanians -- including some legislators of both parties -- as well as a majority of people surveyed in a new Quinnipiac University poll and Attorney General Tom Corbett.

Mr. Corbett, a Shaler resident and the Republican candidate for governor, joined the top lawyers from several other states last week in filing a legal brief in support of the Arizona law, which is set to take effect July 29 unless Mr. Obama is successful in a federal court challenge. The president contends that arresting and deporting illegal immigrants is the federal government's job.

Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman for Mr. Corbett, argued that the federal lawsuit "undermines the constitutional authority of all our states," a claim previously made by Mr. Corbett in a separate suit against President Obama's national health care law.

Joining Mr. Corbett in the pro-Arizona friend-of-the-court brief were attorneys general from eight other states, including Michigan, Texas and Florida. They argue that states have a right to protect their security in the face of inadequate action from Washington.

That brief by Mr. Corbett and other attorneys general was filed just after a new Quinnipiac poll came out, showing that 52 percent of the 1,367 Pennsylvanians surveyed approve of the Arizona law, while 27 percent oppose it. The rest were undecided.

Claiming the feds have dropped the ball, Arizona wants to give state and local police authority to check on the immigration status of persons who are stopped for traffic violations, such as speeding or running red lights, or suspected of other crimes such as burglary and robbery.

By a narrower margin, the new poll showed support for the idea that Pennsylvania should enact a similar law -- 47 percent statewide said the Legislature should pass such a law and 34 percent said it shouldn't. But in southwestern Pennsylvania, which has many conservative areas, the sentiment for a law like Arizona's was more pronounced -- 54 percent answered 'yes' and 23 percent said 'no.'

"Pennsylvanians like the Arizona law and don't like President Obama's decision to ask the courts to throw it out," said poll director Peter Brown. Referring to the 47 percent figure, he added, "A plurality of respondents would like to see a similar law in Pennsylvania."

Pennsylvanians who were polled were strongly opposed to the idea of an economic boycott of Arizona products or tourism. Some critics even think the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game should be moved out of Phoenix as a protest. But a whopping 82 percent of the people polled said a boycott is a bad idea, while only 10 percent favored the idea.

The poll results were cheered by House members on both sides of the aisle, among them Democratic Rep. Harry Readshaw of Carrick and GOP Rep. Daryl Metcalfe of Cranberry.

Referring to the 52 percent of respondents who liked the Arizona law, Mr. Readshaw said, "I think that's low for the 36th District," which he represents.

"It seems like at least 75 percent of the district residents I have talked with want to see us clamp down on illegal immigrants, especially those who would take jobs away from U.S. citizens or aliens who are here legally."

Mr. Readshaw has introduced House Bill 1184, which would require anyone seeking public benefits from the state, such as cash assistance, Medicaid or college tuition aid, to sign a sworn statement that they are a U.S. citizen or a legal alien. He said it's costing taxpayers millions of dollars a year to provide those benefits to illegals, who aren't paying taxes to the state.

The most outspoken pro-Arizona lawmaker in Pennsylvania is probably Mr. Metcalfe, who has introduced House Bill 2479 -- a measure similar to the Arizona law. He said it would "provide state and local law enforcement with full authority to apprehend Pennsylvania's estimated 140,000 illegal aliens" if they can't prove they are here legally. Once apprehended, they would be incarcerated and then deported.

His bill is stuck in the House State Government Committee, which is run by Rep. Babette Josephs, a liberal Democrat from Philadelphia, where the Arizona law isn't popular, according to the poll. Mr. Metcalfe, a conservative Republican, said that this fall he may try to get it released from the committee via a "discharge resolution" signed by 25 legislators, or might try to make it an amendment to another bill.

Mr. Metcalfe has been vocal on the issue of illegal immigrants, doing numerous radio and TV interviews, attending public meetings and even traveling to Phoenix in June for a rally in support of the Arizona law.

He thinks local and state police, not just federal authorities, should have authority to determine if someone who's been stopped for a traffic violation or some other charge has papers to prove he or she is in the country legally.

Mr. Metcalfe contends that states have little choice but to defend themselves against a tide of illegal immigrants because Washington has been "AWOL in fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities to protect American lives, property and jobs."

He didn't think the latest poll results were a surprise, because other polls have also shown Pennsylvanians don't want illegal immigrants taking jobs and using up public benefits.

"Americans across the country really do recognize that [illegal immigration] is an issue that must be addressed," said Mr. Metcalfe.

Two other bills related to illegal immigrants have been introduced by Rep. John Galloway, D-Bucks. The House has approved and sent to the Senate House Bills 1502 and 1503, which are aimed at removing immigrants from workplaces in Pennsylvania. They would penalize companies that hire illegal workers and bar them from bidding on state construction contracts.

Under the bills, an employer would have to determine if a worker was in this country legally by using the federal E-Verify system, which checks Social Security numbers.

To be sure, strong elements in Pennsylvania oppose the Arizona law, including Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat from Philadelphia who disagrees with Mr. Corbett's court effort in support of the Arizona law. In the Quinnipiac poll, 53 percent of Philadelphians didn't want Pennsylvania to pass a similar law, while only 22 percent did.

If an Arizona-type law is passed in Harrisburg, Rendell aide Gary Tuma said the governor would veto it because of constitutional concerns if it reaches his desk.

"The Rendell administration's position is that the federal government has the power, and should take the lead, in developing a 50-state solution to the immigration problem," Mr. Tuma said.

But Mr. Metcalfe noted that Mr. Rendell leaves office in January, and he is hopeful that Mr. Corbett will defeat Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato in November.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton agreed with Mr. Rendell, telling the Associated Press: "I don't think that 50 different immigration enforcement laws is the answer to our immigration troubles. I understand the frustration that many communities feel over the question of illegal immigration, but I don't think having a patchwork of state laws is the right way to go."

The American Civil Liberties Union also dislikes the Arizona law.

ACLU official Andy Hoover said he doesn't think such a "copycat law" will be enacted in Pennsylvania. He said past efforts to require state police to enforce federal immigration laws "have failed to gain traction in the General Assembly."

He fears that an Arizona-type law would encourage racial profiling and could result in police harshly treating some ethnic groups, such as Hispanics.

Such laws "are a prescription for racial profiling that will create a toxic environment that turns native-born citizens against anyone who looks or sounds foreign," Mr. Hoover said.

So far, seven lawsuits, including the one by Mr. Obama, have been filed against the Arizona law. A hearing was held by a federal judge in Phoenix last week on one of the suits, filed by an Hispanic group, and a hearing is set for Thursday on the federal challenge.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10199/1073578-454.stm

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10199/1073578-454.stm#ixzz0u4u85P7K


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Filed: Country: England
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton agreed with Mr. Rendell, telling the Associated Press: "I don't think that 50 different immigration enforcement laws is the answer to our immigration troubles. I understand the frustration that many communities feel over the question of illegal immigration, but I don't think having a patchwork of state laws is the right way to go."

It's not. Having the Federal authorities implementing a natiowide, coordinated immigration policy is the way to go. So why won't they? :angry:


Don't interrupt me when I'm talking to myself

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