When I received the copy of David Lujan’s email to Arizona State Democratic legislators I wasn’t at all surprised. After all this is the same guy who was absent on the vote against SB1070. Just imagine, what a shame. David Lujan at the time was the house minority leader and a minority to boot. Another state legislator claiming to be pro-Immigrant, but absent when it was time to contest SB1070. If my memory serves me correct Lujan became a Democrat in 2002 and always championed himself as an advocate for education and children. I don’t doubt that Lujan may have accomplished some good deeds in his life, but when it came down to supporting his brown brothers and sisters, he was nowhere to be found. At first he used the excuse that he didn’t know that SB1070 was coming up for a vote, then he claimed to have made prior arrangements to attend his parent’s anniversary party. In any event, Lujan did what any other self serving politician would do, he cut and ran. He didn’t run too far though, since he had a Democratic event to attend that evening and that was a must show since he was vying for the elected position of Attorney General of the State of Arizona.
In any event David Lujan seems to have slipped back into private life. The last time I saw him was a few weeks ago and I was standing there with video camera in hand as he walked out of the elevators at the Arizona State Senate building. He did an about face and turned beet red. I think he figured this was the showdown at the O.K. corral since I had to date, not cornered him face to face on the nolo contendere stance he took on the SB1070 vote, and given my reputation for being inquisitive of our Arizona politicians with camera in hand, he figured today was the day. However I had bigger fish to fry that day and as he finally turned to face the music with a sheepish smile he said “hi Carlos”, I smirked and with a Newman from The Seinfeld show’s voice I said “David”.
I thought to myself, “this guy will go back to just doing his thing and hopefully he won’t meddle in Arizona politics.” I couldn’t be more wrong! Lujan reared his ugly head once again today in the form of an email to Arizona’s Democratic Legislators asking that they support Kyrsten Sinema’s anti-Immigrant bill.
Here it is, read David Lujan’s email for yourself:
I am writing to ask for your support of SB1225, forgery, human smuggling; classification. For some reason, this bill has been labeled an anti-immigrant bill and nothing could be further from the truth. This bill was originally brought forward by then Attorney General Terry Goddard three years ago and increases the penalties for those who are convicted of the crime of forgery if that crime was committed in conjunction with acquiring property that is used as a drop house for human smuggling.
Consider two recent headlines from the Arizona Republic: “Phoenix Drop House Holds 11 Child Hostages” and “Smugglers Torture Immigrants in Phoenix Drop House.” SB1225 is written to go after the smugglers who are holding these people hostage and torturing them and put them behind bars for longer periods of time. SB1225 could not be used to convict the immigrants who are being smuggled. In that regard, even if you had an unscrupulous prosecutor or law enforcement officer that wanted to somehow misinterpret laws to go after immigrants, SB1225 would not be a tool they would want to use for that purpose because it requires them to prove additional facts to the judge or jury in order to get the higher penalty for forgery, and frankly, any law enforcement officer who was trying to go after immigrants would be just as satisfied with a class 4 felony as they would a class 3 felony because their objective is to deport the person not put them behind bars for longer periods of time. There would be no need for them to prove the extra definition of “drop house” created by this bill just so they could get a class 3 felony instead of a class 4 felony.
Take for example an immigrant who rents a home for his family using a forged document. Without SB1225, law enforcement could decide to go after this individual and charge him with forgery. They could do that today, because forgery is already a crime. If convicted, that person would be guilty of a class 4 felony. For law enforcement whose intent it is to deport that immigrant, they have no reason to take the extra steps of proving the additional facts required in SB1225 just so they can get that person’s conviction raised to a class 3 felony – and that is all that SB1225 does.
So in what situations would SB1225 be useful then? When would we want to get the higher level of felony in order to put someone behind bars longer? In those situations where we have the opportunity to convict the ring leaders of these smuggling operations that are torturing immigrants and holding them hostage. The longer we can put those people behind bars, the safer we will all be including their immigrant victims.
That is the reason Terry Goddard brought this bill forward three years ago, it is the reason that myself and a number of other Democrats have joined Kyrsten in sponsoring this legislation for the last three years, and it is the reason I still support this bill today. I hope that you will support SB1225 as well.
The gall of this guy. Everyone and their mother knows David Lujan’s legacy was his NV on the Arizona State Legislature’s score board and he has the nerve to once again stick his Democratic sunscreen coated Republican nose in Arizona politics. Oh, and it had to be with an issue as sensitive as Sinema’s SB1225.
Well one thing’s for sure, this has turned into another polarizing bill. Unfortunately Sinema’s bill doesn’t polarize Pro-Immigrant and Anti-Immigrant Arizonans alone, this bill will certainly drive a wedge between the Latino community and between the Democratic community.
Well you know what they say, divide and conquer. Sinema’s opportunist personality seems to have fallen perfectly in line for the Republicans.
The old Russian proverb suits Republican Senator Russell Pearce and Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema well. “A fisherman can see another fisherman from afar.”