Feathered Bastard

Utah Compact's Sister Arizona Accord Argues for Humane Immigration Solutions

As I anticipated in a blog item late last year, the Arizona version of the Utah Compact, called the "Arizona Accord," was introduced to the public at the state Capitol yesterday. It argues for a rational, humane approach to immigration reform.

The accord's statement of principles, which you can read, here, mirrors almost word for word those of the Utah Compact, which was issued in November 2010, in advance of efforts by Utah legislators to pass a copycat of Arizona's breathing-while-brown statute Senate Bill 1070.

These principles acknowledge that immigration is a federal issue, emphasizing that, "Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code."

That's at odds with the round-'em-up, ship-'em-home philosophy that still dominates the political discussion over immigration in Arizona. 

So, too, is the accord's opposition to the separation of families, it's acceptance of the "economic role immigrants play as workers and taxpayers," and its welcoming attitude toward new arrivals.

"The way we treat immigrants will say more about us as a free society and less about our immigrant neighbors," the accord reads. "Arizona should always be a place that welcomes people of goodwill."

Sadly enough, those are fighting words in Arizona, where nativism is as nasty and persistent as strain of MRSA.

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