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|Bill opposes day labor center aid
Released 04 March 2005  By The Associated Press
PHOENIX - The Legislature is considering whether to prohibit cities and counties from putting taxpayer money into day labor centers that assist in finding work for illegal immigrants.
Republican Rep. Colette Rosati of Scottsdale said local governments shouldn't spend money on promoting the hiring of illegal immigrants, which is prohibited by federal law.
"It's really a proper use of taxpayer dollars issue," said Rosati, whose bill was approved yesterday 3-2 by the House's Federal Mandates and Property Rights Committee.
More than any other state in recent years, Arizona has been dogged by a heavy flow of illegal immigrants after the government tightened enforcement in El Paso, Texas, and San Diego during the mid-1990s. Border states shoulder huge health care and education costs for illegal workers and their families.
Opponents said the bill, HB2592, is a reflection of the frustration in Arizona over the federal government's perceived inaction on repairing America's immigration system. They said the economy depends on illegal workers because Americans won't take many of these low-paying jobs.
Opponents said the answer is for the government to allow immigrants to work here legally, because they will continue to stream into the country for jobs.
"Do we need reform? Yes," said Eleanor Eisenberg, executive director of the Arizona Civil Liberties Union. "Is this it? No."
The Associated Press
March 1, 2005
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