As Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio stands by his hawkish approach to solving the illegal immigration problem, Scottsdale Lieutenant Mike Stauffer, the man who hopes to put an end to Arpaio's reign, has come out in favor of a more moderate approach to immigration reform.
Stauffer, a life-long Republican who's running for sheriff as an Independent, announced Friday that he supports Arizona's proposed version of the "Utah Compact," a statement of principals for humane immigration reform.
The "Arizona Compact" is modeled after Utah's, and is being pushed by Valley politico/Tequila Party leader DeeDee Blase.
It's also received tremendous support from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints -- a rather influential group here in the Valley of the Sun. Read an article about the Compact published in the Mormon-owned Desert News here.
The compact calls for a more moderate approach to dealing with the problem of illegal immigration, and seems to fall in line with the apparent shift in Arizonans' attitudes about illegal immigration.
As we saw earlier this month, Arizona's most infamous border-hawk, Pearce, was given a voter-assisted boot from office, much thanks to his extreme, brown-bashing attitude towards illegal immigrants. Not to mention, a recent poll shows that 78-percent of Arizonans support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants who've been productive members of society while in the country for an extended period of time. More on the poll, conducted by Arizona State University's Morrison Institute for Public policy, here.
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The proposed Arizona Compact calls for leaders to consider the following five principles:
FEDERAL SOLUTONS Immigration is a federal policy issue between the U. S. government and other countries--not Arizona and other countries. We urge Arizona's congressional delegation, and others, to lead efforts to strengthen federal laws and protect our national borders. We urge state leaders to adopt reasonable policies addressing immigrants in Arizona.
LAW ENFORCEMENT We respect the rule of law and support law enforcement's professional judgment and discretion. Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code.
FAMILIES Strong families are the foundation of successful communities. We oppose policies that unnecessarily separate families. We champion policies that support families and improve the health, education and well-being of all Arizona children.
ECONOMY Arizona is best served by a free-market philosophy that maximizes individual freedom and opportunity. We acknowledge that economic role immigrants play as workers and taxpayers. Arizona's immigration policies must reaffirm our global reputation as a welcoming and business-friendly state.
FREE SOCIETY Immigrants are integrated into communities across Arizona. We must adopt a humane approach to this reality, reflecting our unique culture, history and spirit of inclusion. The way we treat immigrants will say more about us as a free society and less about our immigrant neighbors. Arizona should always be place that welcomes people of goodwill.
"[The Arizona Compact] reaffirm my beliefs in the rule of law and the constitutional enforcement of the laws and statutes passed by the legislature," Stauffer says. "These declarations also reaffirm the community's trust in the discretion of their law enforcement officers in the performance of their duties."