More than two dozen people protested outside the state Capitol on Monday morning against several "anti-immigration" bills, including one that could kill efforts to issue municipal IDs for undocumented immigrants.
Advocates argue Senate Bill 1017, sponsored by state Sen. John Kavanagh, a Republican from Fountain Hills, would limit options to develop ID cards in cities statewide for immigrants to get bank accounts or use other city services. The LGBT community says having access to said IDs would make it easier for transgender and gender nonconforming people to choose the gender they identify with, according to the Arizona Republic
The gathering of roughly 30 people was organized by the immigration rights advocacy group Puente Human Rights Movement—which recently hosted a concert with Colombian singer Juanes and John Legend
outside an immigration detention center in Eloy—the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, among other organizations, the Arizona Republic
The bill would allow cities to issue "municipal service access" cards but would prohibit them from using the term "identification." Kavanagh says these should't be called government IDs because "they cannot identify the person for certain," the Republic
Under the bill, cities only could provide an identification card if it meets the more stringent criteria the state requires for official cards such as driver's licenses — criteria undocumented immigrants and people without a permanent address often cannot meet.
“This is simply about protecting identity theft,” Kavanagh said.
"You can have your library card, you can have your school card, just don't drag down our legitimate state ID card for political purposes."
Francisca Porchas, organizing director of Puente, said in a news release, “We haven’t seen a right wing attack of this magnitude since SB 1070," referring to the "show me your papers" bill that has largely been struck down in federal court.
"We will fight this and are prepared to call for a national boycott like that of 2010 if necessary," she said.
Last month, the Phoenix City Council voted to look into the possibility of creating city photo-IDs.
These are considered secondary IDs, and cannot be used for traveling or voting.
SB 1017 had been scheduled for a vote Monday afternoon.
Other bills being protested yesterday were SB 1377 and HB 2451, which would deny early release for incarcerated undocumented immigrants, the Republic