Posted on May 10, 2005

Napolitano Vetoes English-Only Bill

Howard Fischer, Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), May 10

PHOENIX — Arizona will not require that official actions be conducted only in English.

Gov. Janet Napolitano on Monday vetoed legislation that would have required that all “official action” of state and local agencies be conducted only in English. She said the measure is flawed.

“While I agree with the sponsors of this bill that non-English-speaking Arizonans should be encouraged to learn English, this bill does not accomplish that goal,” the Democratic governor wrote.

She said the Legislature has not provided “appropriate adequate funding” to help schools teach the language to students classified by law as “English language learners.” These are children who come from homes where English is not the predominant language and whose skills in using it are limited.


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Mexican ID Cards OK With Governor

Howard Fischer, Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), May 7

PHOENIX — Gov. Janet Napolitano refused Friday to block Arizona communities from honoring the Mexican consular identification card.

The Democrat, in her 43rd veto of the session, said the legislation would have unintended consequences. The biggest, she said, is legal visitors could find themselves unable to get services from a police officer.

“Arizona draws tourists and businessmen and women from around the world. It hosts thousands of foreign nationals every day who are lawfully present here for a variety of productive reasons,” Napolitano wrote.

“To say that Arizona law-enforcement agencies cannot rely on, for example, a British passport for the purpose of identifying a London tourist makes no sense and inappropriately hampers law enforcement’s effectiveness.”

Sen. Dean Martin, R-Phoenix, countered that the legislation he wrote contains an exception when “required by treaty.” He said treaties the United States has with foreign countries require that each nation honor the other’s passports.


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