Feathered Bastard

Russell Pearce's "Hate Humanity Tuesday" Targets AHCCCS, ABOR, and the Undocumented (Natch)

To twist a line from the Bible's Book of Amos, "Let the hatred roll down like water, and stupidity like a mighty stream." This, because "justice" and "righteousness" are sorely absent in Sand Land.

So shall it be in the state Senate Appropriations Committee tomorrow, Tuesday, February 22, when a slew of anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican, anti-student, anti-education, anti-brown, anti-poor, anti-humanity bills will be heard. The cataclysm begins at 2 p.m.

If the Republinuts get their way, the state's Medicaid program will be eliminated. So too will the Arizona Board of Regents. And that's just the tip of the glacier.

The agenda, which you can eyeball, here, includes some of the "crazy" bills that couldn't get through other committees, such as SB 1308 and SB 1309, which are meant as a challenge to the birthright citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

That's a pet project of state Senate President Russell Pearce, and the rest of what will happen Tuesday is part of his master plan to wreck Arizona.

You'll recall, state Senate Judiciary Chairman Ron Gould, had to withdraw 1308 and 1309 from his own committee because he didn't have the votes.

But the wingnuts have enough votes to give a "do-pass" recommendation to this illegal, unconstitutional and un-American effort, one guaranteed to convince the world, if it's not convinced already, that Arizona in 2011 is equivalent to Alabama circa 1960.

Oh, but there's more, much more. Take SB 1405, which would effectively turn hospital employees into immigration agents by requiring them to report anyone who seeks the use of an emergency room and cannot prove that they are in-country legally.

There's SB 1519, the Republicans' AHCCCS kill-bill authorizing the elimination of the state's Medicaid system, and reallocating money to DHS, the Department of Health Services.

According to state Senator Kyrsten Sinema, this will result in "savings" to the state of $900 million, and a resulting loss of $7.6 billion in federal aid.

SB 1407 is a particularly nefarious piece of anti-child legislation. Though the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a state cannot deny education to little ones here sans docs, legislative extremists such as Pearce and others are hell-bent on scaring the bejesus out of undocumented kids and their parents.

The proposed legislation requires schools to "count" those children who cannot "prove" they are lawful residents. The effect? Parents and children will stay away from school. Insidious, eh?

And there's Pearce's chilling SB 1611, his "immigration omnibus," which mandates that those convicted of "aggravated taking" of another's identity (that also included "fictitious" persons who are invented "to obtain employment") serve 180 days in the county jail, even if the judge sentences them to probation.

SB 1611 also makes it a crime for those unlawfully present to operate a motor vehicle in Arizona. For this offense, you lose your vehicle and are incarcerated for no less than 30 days, during which time you'll likely be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"Basically, this bill takes all of Pearce's past [failed] immigration legislation and puts it in one bill," Sinema told me.

Pearce's cornucopia of prejudice ( which is too ambitious to summarize completely) also requires K-12 pupils to provide proof of citizenship or legal residency -- you know, so they can be counted, as is stipulated in SB 1407. And if they don't come up with a notarized affidavit explaining why they can't provide a birth certificate, or if the explanation is unsatisfactory or not forthcoming, the case will be turned over to local law enforcement.

The bill will also forbid the Arizona Board of Regents from admitting any student to a university if they cannot prove citizenship or legal residence. (Same goes for boards overseeing community colleges.)

Of course, that's assuming ABOR survives state Senator Andy Biggs' SB 1115, which would junk ABOR and establish a "separate Board of Trustees" for each institution.

What happened to Pearce's promise to his fellow Republicans to put immigration bills on hold back when he was convincing them to make him Senate President?

The man from Mesa speaks with forked tongue, obviously. And he's running the legislature along the lines of the Marquis de Sade directing plays by the insane at Charenton. Be afraid, be very afraid.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons