Arizona continues to focus on catering to its rightwing ideological zealots rather than addressing its devastating revenue and economic crisis. The most recent example is Arizona Governor Jan Brewer calling the legislature into special session to revise Proposition 108, a controversial ballot measure that was ruled unconstitutional in its original form by the State Supreme Court last week.
When state governments make it nearly impossible to raise taxes to pay their bills, their creditors apparently get very nervous and increase their costs to borrow money. Both Arizona and California have seen their bond ratings downgraded -- and their borrowing costs likely increasing -- with analysts citing both states' tax limitation rules that require a two-thirds vote of their legislatures to raise taxes as one reason.
The Arizona Interfaith Alliance for Worker Justice,
a worker center in Phoenix, has seen a “huge spike” in wage theft --
violations of minimum wage laws -- since the passage of SB 1070,
Arizona’s anti-immigrant law. "Employers are even more brazen in their
mistreatment of workers," said Executive Director Trina Zelle in an interview with In These Times.
"Increasingly, 'Go ahead, try and make me pay you' is the response
workers hear when they confront their employers over unpaid wages."
As this Dispatch will detail, after considerable media hype about Arizona-style bills sweeping across the nation, the reality is that from from Nevada to Arkansas to Massachusetts to Kansas and Rhode Island,
anti-immigrant bills and ballot initiatives largely didn't move or
failed to make this fall's ballot. A key reason: most state leaders
and police chiefs recognize that requiring local governments to assume
immigration enforcement responsibilities from the federal government
will distract them from fighting violent crime and undermine trust with
local residents that are essential to successful community policing.
Reporting from Washington — The Obama administration launched its long-expected
legal attack on Arizona's strict new immigration law Tuesday, arguing
that only Washington can set the nation's rules for arresting illegal
Suman Raghunathan, PSN's Immigration Policy Specialist, joined State
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) and Laura
of GRITtv to discuss how progressive state legislators across the
nation are fighting back against draconian right-wing anti-immigrant
and advancing common-sense immigration solutions on both the state and
This morning, Jerry Fischer will get out of bed and get ready for the
day, like always. Then he'll spend hours dusting the house and vacuuming
rugs that likely don't need it. He'll clean the bathroom and empty the
trash and then will come the real highlight of his day.
Advocates demanding stricter rules against illegal immigration -- including those backing Arizona's new law clamping down on undocumented immigrants -- have long argued that state lawmakers have been forced to act because of Congress's reluctance to take the lead.
But with little sign that Congress will act on comprehensive immigration reform this year, advocates for immigrants are also taking matters into their own hands. Like their political opponents, they have turned to their state legislatures to fight back.
In states from Pennsylvania to Utah, a battle of bills has been taking place between those who want to reproduce the Arizona law, which hands police more power to detain anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally, and those who want to extend further rights to immigrants.