House OKs 4 Measures On Entrants

Howard Fischer, Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), Mar. 9

PHOENIX—State lawmakers approved four measures Tuesday aimed at least in part at the problem of people who cross the border illegally.

By a 39-19 vote, the House gave its final approval to House Bill 2259, which would allow a judge to impose a harsher sentence on someone convicted of a crime if that person is not in this country legally.

The House also approved:

—Denying bail to illegal entrants accused of certain crimes. The measure, House Concurrent Resolution 2028, would need voter approval.

—Enacting new laws designed to crack down on human smuggling. Senate Bill 1372 now goes to the governor.

—Pursuing the construction of private prisons in Mexico, under House Bill 2709, to house citizens of that nation convicted of crimes here. It goes next to the Senate.

The moves come as Gov. Janet Napolitano said Tuesday she will refuse to meet with a group of Mexican senators traveling to Arizona to investigate the effects of Proposition 200. The law approved by voters last year requires Arizonans to show proof of citizenship when registering to vote and evidence of legal status when seeking some public services.

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“Proposition 200 is the law,” she said. “It’s been enacted by the people of our state, it’s being enforced in Arizona and I think that’s a matter of Arizona voter sovereignty, quite frankly.”

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