Immigration Measures Lack Signatures to Make Ballot
As seen in the Phoenix Business Journal.
A proposed ballot measure that sought to shut down businesses hiring illegal immigrants the first time they were caught will not be appearing on the November ballot.
Neither will another "get-tough" immigration measure that requires local police departments to enforce immigration laws.
The initiatives needed to collect more than 153,000 voter petition signatures by July 3.
Don Goldwater, a conservative immigration advocate, said in an e-mail to supporters Wednesday the employer sanctions and police measure would not meet the signature totals.
Goldwater cited lack of financial support, harassment by opponents of the measures and "adverse weather conditions" for reasons behind the ballot questions not getting enough signatures.
The police and business measures were also backed by State Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa.
The sanctions measure would have asked voters to make even tougher existing employer sanctions laws approved by the state over the past two years.
Those laws revoke the business licenses of employers upon their second conviction of knowingly hiring undocumented workers.
Business groups have been challenging that law in federal court.
Business interests are also pushing their own ballot measure and turned in voter signatures earlier this week. That initiative looks to give businesses more defenses if they accused of hiring illegals and focuses such laws more on under-the-table businesses that hire such workers.
State voters have approved get-tough immigration measures the past few election cycles, including denying illegals welfare and government benefits and denying bail for illegals accused of serious crimes.
A number of other ballot measures need to turn in petition signatures by Thursday to make it to the ballot.
Those include a sales tax increase backed by business groups and Gov. Janet Napolitano with the money going towards transportation, a State Trust Land initiative, a ban on real estate transfer taxes and the prohibition of affirmative action in hiring and contracts by Arizona governments and universities.
The Legislature has also referred a state constitutional ban on gay marriage to the November ballot.
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