Feathered Bastard

Steve Gallardo Drops Repeal SB 1070 Bill, Nativists Counter-Rally

Down at the state Capitol today, it was like a little bit of 2010, all over again.

Grizzled nativists toting "I love SB 1070 signs," with pistols on their hips. Pro-immigration activists in droves denouncing the two-year old breathing-while-brown statute. And Arizona Department of Public Safety officers standing between them, keeping the peace.

All this for an announcement of legislation to repeal Senate Bill 1070 that even its Democratic backers admit will likely go nowhere in an Arizona Legislature controlled by a Republican super-majority.

State Senator Steve Gallardo, along with religious and community leaders and fellow Democrats such as state Representative Daniel Patterson and state Representative Catherine Miranda, heralded the introduction of the repeal proposal, which would strike the 1070 statute from the books, if passed.

"It has polarized the state of Arizona," Gallardo said of 1070, and of the counter-demonstrators attempting to shout him down. "It has done nothing to solve any of our immigration issues."

He talked of the negative image 1070 has given the state, and of the negative economic impact it's had. He called on the Republican leadership of the Legislature to give the repeal a hearing, something he conceded was unlikely to occur.

"It took [ex-state Senate President] Russell Pearce three years to get Senate Bill 1070 passed,"   he stated at one point. "It may take us three years to get it repealed, but we need to start talking about the effect 1070 has had on the state of Arizona."

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons