Friday, June 20, 2008

Prop 200 Amicus Brief Filed by County Attorney in Superior Court

“Will of the People” Should Be Affirmed, Thomas Says

County Attorney Andrew Thomas today filed an amicus curiae, or “friend of the court,” brief in support of a lawsuit challenging the manner in which the governor and attorney general have implemented Proposition 200. The amicus brief supports the plaintiffs in this case, who are asking that the court order Governor Napolitano to adhere to all the provisions of the initiative as passed by the voters.

Voters approved the initiative in November 2004. However, an erroneous and narrow reading and implementation by the Governor’s Office and Attorney General’s Office have largely gutted these reforms.

The “Arizona Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act,” better known as Proposition 200, passed with 56% of the vote. Among its provisions is a requirement that individuals present proof of citizenship before being able to register to vote or to apply for public benefits in the state.

“I was among the few political leaders who supported Proposition 200 in 2004,” said Thomas. “I continue to support it because the people have spoken, and they believe these changes were necessary to deal with our illegal immigration problem. Government officials cannot be permitted to undermine voter approved reforms.”

In 2004, Napolitano’s office claimed that Proposition 200 was intended to be implemented broadly. She has now taken the opposite position as she and the attorney general claim the scope of the reform to be very limited.

Among the key parts of the referendum that have been incorrectly redefined, according to the brief, are areas that concern the restriction of “state and local benefits.” The governor and attorney general have interpreted the law as applying only to a handful of relatively minor programs. This allows illegal immigrants to continue drawing the public resources that the voters sought to deny by passing Proposition 200.

June 20, 2008
For more information contact:
Mike Anthony Scerbo, Public Information Officer
(602) 506-3170 (office) or (602) 489-6913 (cell)

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