Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Arizona voters passed Proposition 200 in the November 2004 election. The proposed measure required proof of legal immigration status when receiving government services and proof of citizenship when registering to vote. Many elected officials from both parties came out against Proposition 200. But, Arizona voters sent a message to the politicians when they voted, in overwhelming numbers, for the measure. Even 40% of Hispanic voters voted for Prop 200. Opponents of the measure were able to hamstring it in the court system, where it is now.

Gov. Janet Napolitano, who was on the road, had an aide use a signature machine Wednesday to sign a voter-approved immigration initiative after a judge modified his previous order barring it from taking effect.

The measure, approved by voters Nov. 2, requires proof of legal immigration status when obtaining some government services and proof of citizenship when registering to vote. Government workers who don't report illegal immigrants who try to get benefits could face jail time and a fine.

The revised order issued by the judge Tuesday and Napolitano's signature will allow the initiative's voting provisions to be submitted for a required federal review.

Because of past violations of minorities' voting rights, Arizona is required to get U.S. Justice Department approval on any election law changes before they can take effect.

U.S. District Judge David C. Bury's modified order allowed Napolitano to sign the proclamation putting the initiative into effect, but it still prohibits implementation of it provisions on public services pending a Dec. 22 hearing in Tucson.
In another development, a group supporting Proposition 200 on Wednesday asked to be allowed to help defend the measure from the opponents' challenge. The state may not mount a vigorous defense, a lawyer said on behalf of the Yes on 200 Committee.

The committee is concerned state officials "responsible for defending the clear will of Arizona voters are less than enthusiastic about doing so," said William Perry Pendley, president and chief legal officer of the Mountain States Legal Foundation.

The Lakewood, Colo.-based public interest law firm is representing the Proposition 200 backers group, headed by Phoenix businessman Randy Pullen.

Napolitano signs immigration initiative to allow for federal review


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