Sunday, July 8, 2012

Just How Supportive WAS Kirk Adams Of SB1070?

The week that the Supreme Court was hearing oral arguments on SB1070, Kirk Adams participated on a panel at the Heritage Foundation.  His statements at this meeting didn't exactly paint the picture of someone who whole-heartedly supported SB1070.  It doesn't even give the illusion that he supported the author of the bill who we know to be Russell Pearce. 

But, Adams sure likes to use SB1070 when it is politically expedient. 

You can view his complete remarks here.

Adams first talks about SB1070 and then makes the claim:

"Not to be outdone, there are a few proponents of SB1070 who have oversold the bill for what it actually does.  Pretending that this bill will actually secure the border.  And that some have used ensuing controversy in order to bolster their political careers...  all of which brings me to a comment I made to my Chief of Staff just a few moments before walking out onto the floor to pass this bill.  'The worst thing about this bill', I said, 'is not what is IN the bill, but what the opponents and some proponents will say is in the bill'.....Now the bill passed the state senate in February 2010 and came to the house, where using the power of the Speakership, I held it.  I held it because the bill was destined for the same fate as its previous version the year before, which died on the floor of the house.   And while in the house, we agree with the INTENT of the bill, we felt that some of the language was inarticulate and key protections were missing, and we wanted to be absolutely certain that racial profiling was clearly, and on multiple occasions, prohibited in the plain language of the bill.  For 2 months, the house worked on the amendment.  Initially, the sponsor would not agree to the changes.  But, after a legislative maneuver, the bill was reassigned back to the original committee, and to his credit, he did agree to eventual changes. 

Now here are the key provisions... the house made to 1070.  We inserted officer discretion.  That they would ask these questions only when reasonable and practical.  We made sure that protections for faith based groups and community organizations who provide humanitarian aide to immigrants... We wanted to be sure that the bill was focusing on the real bad guys, the smugglers.  We included a prohibition in asking immigration status if a determination would hinder an investigation or obstruct an investigation of another crime.  This was intended to protect witnesses and victims of crime.  And on numerous occasions, we inserted language to specifically prohibit racial profiling.  Language that we believe goes above and beyond the underlying federal law upon which 1070 is based.

A question was then posed to Adams,

"It sounds like you spent a lot of time worrying about the civil rights challenges to the case....."

He responded,

"To put this in further context, SB1070 came after the 2007 passed the employer sanctions legislation.  The decisions of the lower courts and the way that worked its way through the process, served as a bit of a guide for us in drafting 1070.  We did pay close attention to these preemption issues and believe that we have appropriately threaded that needle with the legislation.  The way we did this, when the bill got to the house is essentially, I assigned a committee of 3, an informal committee to review the legislation.  So, we had an immigration attorney, another attorney, and a representative from a border community in Yuma Arizona."

(It is probably safe to assume that the representative from Yuma was Rep. Russ Jones.  The Rep who "struggled mightily" to vote for SB1070.  We covered Rep. Jones previously.)

Adams continued...

"There was significant concerns within the house caucus originally about the preemption issue and specifically about the civil rights issue.  But, 2 months working on that amendment and agreement by the sponsor, eventually led to a final amendment which was dubbed the "Biggs amendment", named after one of the attorneys familiar with immigration law that worked on this issue.  And so all of those issues were thoroughly vetted.  And this is, I suppose, one of the characterizations of the Arizona state legislature that I think needs to be corrected.  This was not a bill that was rapidly rushed...this was perhaps the most vetted piece of legislation that I had seen in my time at the state legislature.  To make sure that we were not only 'legally' right, but that we were doing the 'right thing'."

Again, what happened to Adams' campaign claims that he was a big proponent of SB1070? 

If he was such a staunch supporter of SB1070, why the subtle digs on Pearce who was the ACTUAL author of SB1070 and on Governor Brewer for signing the legislation? 

Adams' comments sound like they are intended to lead us to believe that he should be given credit for drafting and ultimately passing SB1070.  On his own campaign site, he makes the claim "Talk about securing our border is popular during election time, but I have an actual record of accomplishment.  As Speaker of the House, I passed SB 1070."  The same bill that he admits he "held" and then proceeded to put together a committee which then spent months "fixing" portions of the bill he didn't like?  The same bill that he claimed proponents "oversold" and "pretended to secure the border"?  THAT bill?  Darn "political rhetoric".  

And why would Adams make sure to protect the "faith-based" and humanitarian groups who cater to and encourage illegal behavior?  Is that the kind of person we want representing us in DC?  Someone who would allow aiding and abetting of illegals by specific groups at the expense of LEGAL citizens?

Or someone who talks out of both sides of his mouth when it politically behooves them?

No thanks.