Monday, September 15, 2008

Previously Unreported: Nelson's Pro-Illegal Immigration Record Disturbing & Dangerous, County Attorney Andrew Thomas Says

Thomas Says Dangerous Alliance Is More Evidence That ACLU Attorney Nelson Is Soft On Crime; Demands Full Accounting Of Cases in Which He Served as Defense Lawyer for Illegal Immigrants

Thomas: "I Prosecute Illegal Immigrants, My Opponent Defends Them"

It's almost too strange to be true.

Three years ago, when Tim Nelson was counsel for Governor Janet Napolitano, she signed into law Arizona's human-smuggling statute. County Attorney Andrew Thomas, working with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, proceeded to prosecute almost 100 smugglers and 750 illegal immigrants caught being smuggled illegally into Arizona.

In two different rulings, the Arizona Court of Appeals unanimously has upheld Thomas' interpretation of the law as applying to smugglers and their illegal immigrant customers alike.
Now, catering to the illegal immigrant lobby, Nelson says he will not prosecute illegal immigrants who conspire with coyotes to enter the United States illegally. The crime is a class 4 felony as defined by the legislature and his former client, the governor.

Standing side-by-side with Valley law enforcement officers, Thomas criticized Nelson's brazen refusal to enforce state law.

"Nelson's stated refusal to prosecute illegal immigrants would be a violation of his oath of office if elected and reinforces his soft on crime attitude.

"Illegal immigrants, besides violating federal immigration laws, have engaged in identity theft, the murder of police officers and numerous other crimes in the Valley. Working with Sheriff Arpaio and local law enforcement, we have cracked down on illegal immigration which is a major reason why we have seen a decrease in Valley crime," added Thomas.

Thomas noted Nelson is offering the "false choice and phony argument" that prosecutors should "focus" on smugglers and not prosecute the illegal immigrants. Thomas notes his office has successfully prosecuted both, and these cases amount to only about 1 percent of all felony cases handled by the office. Based on available evidence, his office has prosecuted more smugglers than all the other state and county prosecutors' offices in Arizona combined.

But there is far more to the Nelson soft on illegal immigration record, whose campaign is being bankrolled by a record amount of campaign contributions from lawyers for dangerous Valley criminals, including those now with cases before the County Attorney's Office.

*Nelson was a volunteer lawyer for numerous illegal immigrants in federal court.(Source: Chen, Rodriguez- Fajardo immigration cases. Federal Court Records, available upon request)

*He appears to have represented at least one other illegal immigrant based on court records.

*He authored the governor's veto of the day-labor bill drafted by the County Attorney's Office and passed by the legislature last year.

Thomas demanded that Nelson disclose all illegal immigrants he has represented as counsel while an attorney. Thomas also demanded that he explain why he is willing to defy the will of the people and their elected representatives by refusing to enforce the human-smuggling law against all felony offenders.

He added there's a clear choice in this year's election: "I prosecute illegal immigrants, my opponent defends them."

For more information or to arrange an interview with Mr. Thomas, please contact Jason Rose at 602-791- 4488 or Jim Sharpe at 602-363-4780.
Paid for by Andrew Thomas for County Attorney

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