Is Arizona Leading the Charge in Combatting Illegal Immigration Again?

| December 19 2012
AZ News

Absent any sort of practical solution to address illegal immigration from the United States Congress, it’s no surprise that states are looking for their own solutions.  Much like Arizona did with the passage of SB1070, the Grand Canyon state is leading the charge once again with the “S.A.N.E.” immigration proposal.

In a recent opinion piece in the Arizona Republic, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk argued that the recently unveiled S.A.N.E. immigration plan helps Arizona take the lead on setting a sensible national immigration plan.  In Polk’s own words:

It is clear that the existing immigration system has not worked and will never work. It is time for a SANE approach. I applaud the members of the coalition who have worked for two years to build a consensus approach to immigration that secures our border, strengthens our economy, and expands opportunities to increase trade and tourism.

The SANE guiding principles demonstrate bold Arizona leadership and show Congress how to overcome the impasse on immigration reform.

What is “SANE?”

SANE is a bi-partisan effort of community and business leaders led in part by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery on behalf of the Real Arizona Coalition that promotes four basic principles:

  1.  Secure our borders
  2.  Account for everyone here unlawfully
  3.  Necessary bureaucratic reform
  4.  Engage all areas of government

Amnesty light?  Not quite according to Montgomery and others backing the proposal.  Montgomery insists that whatever the final outcome, the ultimate goal is to ensure that citizenship will be attained in a lawful way.  Montgomery recently spoke with New American Media:

“Important conservative principles are reflected in this platform,” Montgomery continued, referring to provisions within the plan addressing border security. “Commitments to operational control (of the border) and continued enforcement are two hallmarks of what conservatives have believed all along to be necessary components of any federal immigration resolution.”

For those who believe in an enforcement only policy, Montgomery continued:

“It’s a recognition that for us to accomplish something we can’t just focus on one component at a time,” Montgomery explained. He said the changes would create legal paths for those seeking entrance into the country, while “eliminating the avenues” for those looking to enter unlawfully.

Montgomery isn’t the only conservative publicly supporting the proposal.  Recently, Bob Worsley, the Senator-elect who beat SB1070 architect Russell Pearce in the August LD25 primary, spoke in favor of the proposal and hinted at the larger issues plaguing the Republican Party within the Latino community:

“I think this is a unique moment in time, where we have a couple of years focused on enforcement only, and I think after the presidential election and poor showing of the Republican party with the Latino community, anyone considering our future as a party needs to know we need to have a more Latino friendly platform,” said Worsley.

WATCH HERE (or below) as Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery discusses his ideas publicly on how to address the illegal immigration problem.

For more information, visit the Real Arizona Coalition.