Thursday, March 13, 2008

County Attorney Voices Support for Several Bills at the Capitol

CPS and illegal immigration being addressed

County Attorney Andrew Thomas is thanking some members of the state legislature for their efforts to get several important bills passed. HB2454 would require Child Protective Services to provide information in fatalities or near fatalities involving a child who was under CPS supervision or monitoring. The MCAO is concerned, however, because there has been a recent attempt to water down this bill with an amendment. The fight to preserve the bill is on going.

Thomas stated, “CPS needs to be held accountable when a child under its supervision is murdered or severely abused. Our case files are filled with tragic stories of murdered children who should have been better protected. We sincerely hope that there will be no more attempts to gut this bill.”

The MCAO is also supporting a second bill relating to CPS. HB2455 would also provide for disclosure and requires CPS to use safety and screening processes approved by prosecutors in CPS cases involving criminal conduct.

The MCAO is supporting legislation to end so-called ‘sanctuary city’ policies that restrict peace officers from inquiring as to the immigration status of suspects and reporting that information to federal authorities. The bill would also encourage law enforcement agencies to team up with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to train officers to investigate violations of federal immigration law. HB2807 would put those proposals into law. HCR2064 would put the question before the voters.

“While both bills are not identical, they would essentially have law enforcement statewide follow the lead of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in dealing with the illegal immigration crisis. The Sheriff’s Office has demonstrated leadership through its enforcement of the state’s human smuggling law and its partnership with ICE. If the governor vetoes HB2807, it is our hope that the voters will speak loudly and clearly and support HCR2064.” This week, HB2807 passed the house rules committee.

For more information contact:
Mike Anthony Scerbo, Public Information Officer
602) 506-3170 (office) or (602) 489-6913 (cell)

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