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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Tucson police said Wednesday they will no longer fully enforce the state's landmark immigration law that requires local police to check the immigration status of people they encounter while enforcing other laws.
PHOENIX -- Immigrants in this country illegally awaiting trial on criminal charges won't be getting out of jail, at least not yet.
A federal appeals court rejected a last-ditch plea by an Arizona prosecutor to salvage Proposition 100, potentially paving the way for dozens of people locked up while awaiting trial to now seek bail.
PHOENIX -- A federal appeals court rejected a last-ditch plea by an Arizona prosecutor to salvage Proposition 100, potentially paving the way for dozens of people locked up while awaiting trial to now seek bail.
As a parent of two Gilbert Public School students, I join with other parents, teachers and Gilbert Chamber of Commerce who fully endorse Charles Santa Cruz and Jill Humpherys for the Gilbert School Board. These two important candidates will bring an even-keeled approach to our board and will put our district back on the path supporting our public school system.
PHOENIX -- Calling it a violation of constitutional rights, a federal appeals court on Wednesday voided a 2006 voter-approved measure which denied bail to those not in the country legally who were arrested for other crimes.
Writing for the majority of the 11-member court, Judge Raymond Fisher said there is a presumptive right of those arrested to be released on bail. And he said the fact someone may have entered the country illegally is an entirely separate issue and irrelevant to the question.
"The Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments protect every person within the nation's borders from deprivation of life, liberty or property without due process of law,'' he wrote. "Even one whose presence in this country is unlawful ... is entitled to that constitutional protection.''
And Fisher said that, regardless of someone's status, there are "profound effects'' of pretrial detention, endangering someone's job, interrupting income and impairing family relationships. He also said it can affect someone's ability to assist an attorney in preparing a defense.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said he is studying the ruling. But he said the way it was argued in trial court by Andrew Thomas, his predecessor, may make it virtually impossible to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the decision.
Proposition 100 makes bail unavailable to those charged with "serious felony offenses'' if they are in this country illegally and if "the proof is evident or the presumption great'' that the person is guilty of the offense charged.
It was crafted by former state Senate President Russell Pearce -- at the time a state representative -- who argued that anyone who has crossed the border illegally probably has few ties to this country. That, he said, automatically makes them at greater risk of fleeing before trial.
Voters approved the measure on a 3-1 ratio.
"We do not question that Arizona has a compelling interest in ensuring that persons accused of serious crimes, including undocumented immigrants, are available for trial,'' Fisher wrote. But the judge said there was absolutely no evidence in the record that those in the country illegally are more likely not to show up for trial than lawful residents.
In a dissent, Judge Richard Tallman said that ignores the statements made during the 2006 campaign by Thomas, then the Maricopa County attorney, that "far too many illegal immigrants accused of serious crimes have jumped bail and slipped across the border in order to avoid justice in an Arizona courtroom.''
But Fisher said his colleague is wrong to rely on that statement, saying it's not substantiated. Anyway, he said, Thomas "is not a credible source.''
"He was disbarred in 2012 for using his office to destroy political enemies, filing malicious and unfounded criminal charges, committing perjury and engaging in a host of other crimes,'' Fisher said of Thomas.
Judge Jacqueline Nguyen, in a separate opinion concurring with the majority, went even farther. She said it appears lawmakers put the issue on the ballot -- and voters approved it -- not to ensure that people remained for trial but simply to punish them for being in this country illegally in the first place.
For example, she noted that Pearce promoted the bill by saying that "all illegal aliens in this country ought to be detained, debriefed and deported.''
And Nguyen said that Pearce, in a speech on the House floor, opposed follow-up legislation designed to ease the measure a bit.
"They are here illegally, they have no business being released no (matter) what the charge in reality because they're a flight risk,'' he said. "They need to be turned over to ICE.''
Pearce, now working at the Maricopa County Treasurer's Office, called the ruling "absurd.'' And even in the face of Nguyen's criticism, he would not back down from his contention there is a legitimate reason for Arizona to have separate rules on bail for those without papers.
"We know that a large proportion of crime is committed by those out on bail or bond,'' he said Wednesday.
"They have no business being in the country in the first place,'' Pearce continued. "How can you release them back onto the street for a country they're illegally in to commit more crime?''
Pearce also called the ruling a violation of states' rights, citing approval by 78 percent of the voters.
"That a super majority virtually of every demographic,'' he said.
But Fisher said that vote does not substitute for proof that Arizona had a problem with people not in this country legally skipping out.
"At most the vote shows that voters (ITALICS) perceived (ROMAN) a problem, not that one actually existed,'' the judge wrote.
Montgomery said his own experience prosecuting felony drunk-driving cases convinces him that those not in the country legally are less likely to show up in court. But he conceded that Thomas, in mounting the initial defense of the law, never provided such data but instead sought to argue that Arizona was legally entitled to enact such a policy.
That, said Montgomery, was probably the weakest argument that could have been made. And what's worse is that it's too late in the legal process to now seek to introduce new evidence.
Montgomery said that hamstrings any ability to successfully defend the law, a factor he will consider in deciding whether it's worth the time seeking Supreme Court review.
The lack of data was only part of the reason for the 9th Circuit ruling.
Fisher said the crimes that voters said should mean bail denial to undocumented individuals goes far beyond what can be considered extremely serious.
"Instead, they encompass an exceedingly broad range of offenses, including not only serious offenses but also relatively minor ones, such as unlawful copying of a sound recording, altering a lottery ticket with intent to defraud, tamper with a computer with intent to defraud and theft of property worth between $3,000 and $4,000,'' Fisher wrote.
The court also said the state constitutional amendment is flawed because it does not require prosecutors to prove that a specific defendant is a flight risk but instead lumps all undocumented individuals into a single category.
As proof, Fisher noted there were undocumented individuals who had been arrested prior to approval of Proposition 100, granted bail or released on their own recognizance, and later showed up for court hearings -- only to then be ordered into custody under the terms of Proposition 100.
And to show the illogic of the claim the measure ensures people remain for trial, Fisher pointed out the measure covers foreign citizens who have no legal right to return to their home countries.
"Conversely, Proposition 100 (ITALICS) excludes (ROMAN) from coverage individuals who would seem (ITALICS) more likely (ROMAN) to flee -- such as foreign citizens who are in this country lawfully as tourists and persons having dual citizenship,'' the judge wrote.
Finally, he disputed presumption that being undocumented means few ties to the community, citing national research that found nearly 50 percent of those in this country have been in the country more than 10 years and more than 17 percent of household heads are homeowners.
Calling it a violation of constitutional rights, a federal appeals court on Wednesday voided a 2006 voter-approved measure which denied bail to those not in the country legally who were arrested for other crimes.
As a registered Republican one of the biggest things that worries me about Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey is his climbing into political bed with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Why would a guy seek out the support and endorsement form a sheriff who is under federal scrutiny and court ordered regulation, has been shown to be an ineffective sheriff who blew off hundreds of cases involving rapes and child molests, has cost the taxpayers of Maricopa County well over $100 million dollars in misspent jail tax funds, has 30,000 unserved felony arrest warrants in his files, has cost us tens of millions of dollars related to lawsuits stemming from prisoners being abused and killed in his jail and who spent the last decade alienating Hispanics on both sides of the border?
Q. Why are you running
I’ve learned to be tolerant of radicals. Well, sort of. It’s known that two extremes can serve the moderates in our political system. When the two sides fight it out, there’s a tendency to pull toward the center.
“Don’t let the door hit Russell Pearce on his way out. He is about as bad for the GOP as Karl Rove.”
The Arizona Republican Party has named a replacement for former Sen. Russell Pearce, who resigned his top party post following a backlash to his remarks advocating mandatory contraception or sterilization for people on Medicaid.
In this April 24, 2012 file photo, former Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Pearce has resigned a top leadership position in the state Republican Party following backlash to remarks advocating mandatory contraception or sterilization for people on Medicaid. The party late Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 announced Pearce's resignation as first vice chairman, the state party's second top leadership post, after some Republican candidates denounced the comments that Pearce recently made while hosting a radio program. [AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite]
Former Arizona legislator Russell Pearce, the chief sponsor of Arizona's hard-line law against illegal immigration, has resigned a top leadership position in the state Republican Party after he was criticized for remarks advocating mandatory contraception or sterilization for people on Medicaid.
In Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” the narrator speaks of his instability caused by the fever dream of the jungle this way: “(It) was the playful paw-strokes of the wilderness, the preliminary trifling before the more serious onslaught which came in due course.”
Unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary election have state Senators David Farnsworth and Bob Worsley winning their races and advancing to the November election.
Talk about back to the future.
Former Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce has been offered a job with the Maricopa County Treasurer's office overseeing the agency's technical services department, but he may not take the job right away because he's too busy.
Attorneys for the chief sponsor of Arizona's 2010 immigration enforcement law are asking a judge to deny a request by immigrant rights advocates to force their client to turn over all his emails and documents about the contentious statute.
The right wing of the Republican Party has pretty much had its way with the people and state of Arizona. From corrupt and wacky governors to a border hawk sheriff shacked up with an illegal alien, a Legislature run by the likes of Russell Pearce and a herd of kooks and an attorney general who gives a whole new meaning to crooked lawyer.
“The next time the IRS asks for more than 1 or 2 years of records tell them, ‘Sorry, I lost them in a hard drive crash’ and walk away. They seem to think it is good enough for them.”
The Rover is a decent little Australian post-apocalypse film that could have been much more entertaining without The Twilight Saga’s Robert Pattinson delivering a hackneyed Karl Childers (Sling Blade) impersonation for most of the movie. I found myself wishing someone would feed him some “French-fried pertaters” just to shut him up.
“America’s most expensive sheriff covering up for the son of his best bud Russell Pearce just racked up another million-dollar lawsuit for us to pay. Who are the fools that keep voting for this guy?”
Prosecutors announced Wednesday that they will not bring criminal charges against a Maricopa County Sheriff's deputy for his part in a high-speed crash that killed a driver in December.