The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Arizonans Take More Swipes at Undocumented Immigrants

by Shreema Mehta

Nov. 9, 2006 – Voters in Arizona passed a slew of ballot initiatives by a three-to-one margin Tuesday, each cracking down on the state’s undocumented immigrants.

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According to unofficial results released by the secretary of state, the electorate voted to deny undocumented immigrants access to state-funded adult education classes and family literacy programs. Voters also decided to disqualify undocumented college students from state tuition assistance and from in-state tuition rates.

Voters also passed propositions to disqualify undocumented immigrants from receiving child-care assistance or punitive damage awards in the court system, and to make English the official state language.

Supporters of the proposition say benefits such as tuition assistance should not go to immigrants who entered the country illegally.

"Every one of those things makes common sense to anyone who is a legal resident of Arizona," Randy Pullen told the Arizona Daily Star. In 2004, Pullen chaired a campaign to pass Proposition 200, which requires residents registering to vote or applying for public benefits to provide proof of citizenship.

Lorraine Lee, vice president of Chicanos Por La Causa, a nonprofit community development corporation, told the Daily Star that "it makes me very fearful of what the future holds, because I think that this may potentially send out a message that it's okay to continue to bash immigrants."

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Shreema Mehta is a staff journalist.

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