The Obama Administration vs. Arizona (July, 2012 Update):
We just celebrated our Country’s anniversary of the Declaration of Independence from England. Our founding fathers knew how oppressive a federal government could be and drafted the U.S. Constitution with that in mind. Now, less than 250 years later, our very own federal government is taking away our individual freedoms, using agencies to bypass Congress, and fights Arizona and other states at every turn.
1. On June 25, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the part of Arizona’s SB (Senate Bill) 1070, legislation I co-sponsored, that requires law enforcement to check the immigration status of people they suspect to be in the country illegally if the officers are already stopping that person for a different violation.
What did the Obama Administration do in response?: On that same day, the Department of Homeland Security under President Obama’s direction, terminated the 287(g) agreements with all Arizona law enforcement agencies and directed its ICE agents in Arizona not to deport illegal immigrants unless they were convicted of other crimes.
2. In 2004, Arizona Voters overwhelming passed a voter initiative that requires proof of citizenship when registering to vote and ID when voting at the polls. I helped collect signatures for that ballot measure and the law is working well.
What is the Obama Administration doing? : It joined a lawsuit against our state to over-turn the proof of citizenship requirement. (The Obama administration has sued to overturn Texas and other states voter ID laws as well)
3. Congress, who is elected by the voters, decided not to pass the Dream Act, even when there was a Democrat majority.
What did President Obama do? He by-passed Congress and the separation of powers balance put in place by the U.S. Constitution and proclaimed that he would give about 800,000 illegal immigrants legal status.
4. On several occasions I have stood before the Corporation Commission on behalf of my constituents to argue against proposed utility rate increases that were exorbitant and unfair. In those cases, the citizens and I have been successful.
What is the Obama administration doing? The EPA, under the Obama administration, wants to mandate very expensive, unnecessary environmental upgrades to utility plants that will substantially increase utility rates in Arizona. I’m guessing the President is doing this to satisfy environmental groups that will support him in his re-election bid. The new EPA mandates will cost $110 million extra at one power plant alone and threaten to shut down the Navajo Generating Plant, the main source of electricity for delivering water into our valley. Not only will our electric rates increase, but our water rates will soar. If implemented, hundreds of jobs that support Arizonans, many from the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe, will be lost.
5. After finding out that people were selling their food stamp cards online and on the streets for $.33 on the dollar, I sponsored legislation that would require ID to be shown when using a food stamp card.
What was the Obama administration’s stance?: They said my legislation would violate their rule that food stamp customers have to be treated exactly the same as cash customers. Never mind that check customers have to show ID.
I will continue to fight for your rights and freedoms, but until we get a new direction at the federal government level, it will be an uphill battle. As always, feel free to contact me at 602.926.5413 or DLesko@azleg.gov