Senator Sylvia Allen Update on Immigration

Sylvia Allen

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free….”
– Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus” as inscribed on the Statue of Liberty

Another 4th of July celebration has just past, and I am reflecting upon the 241 years of American history and how we got to where we are today:  the good and the bad.  I still strongly believe that the American principles are superior to any other form of governing.  However, my thoughts today are centered upon immigration.

Thomas and Jane Tenney were the first of my father’s line to come to America.  In 1638, a small group of Puritans from the village of Rowley, England, left their homeland to come to this raw, new country looking for religious freedom, to govern themselves, and realize self-determination and freedom.

In the 1860’s my mother’s grandparents came from Sweden also looking for religious freedom.

In 1980 my mother, Wanda Peterson Tenney, my sister, Linda Turley Hansen, and myself sponsored a Hmong family from Laos who were refugees from the Vietnam War.   The family consisted of a mom, dad, three little girls, and a grandmother.  They were so frightened when we met them at the airport.  My mother brought them into her home until we could arrange for their own apartment and find work for Shoo Long Vue, the father.

The tiny grandmother (about 4 ft 9 inches tall) would sit on a little stool and listen to Hmong songs on a small tape recorder and cry.  There was a language barrier, but somehow we could communicate.  I found out that she was crying for her husband and other sons who had been killed in the war, and she was crying for her homeland that she would never see again.

Two cute stories:  Soon after their arrival, I took the Dad and the three girls to get groceries.  I will never forget the wonderment on their faces as they looked at all the food.  As we went down the aisle the father would pick up things and look at them.  The little girls were talking a mile a minute. I could tell they didn’t recognize anything that was familiar to them in their eating habaits.   We had gone down three aisles, and he still had not put anything in his cart.  Then, we went around a corner on the soda isle and all four of them excitedly yelled, “COCA-COLA!”  They put two cases in their cart.

Apparently, the Grandmother was in charge of their laundry.  My mother walked into the bathroom in her home and there the grandmother was standing naked in the bathtub stomping on their clothes and singing.  My mother realized she needed to teach them about washing machines.  I happened to come in just as my mother had taken the grandmother into the laundry room for her first lesson.  As we went through the process, the grandmother got so excited she hopped up and down just chattering away.  She kept trying to lift the lid to watch the clothes going through the cycle, but the machine would stop.  So, she got really close and slowly lifted the lid just enough so it wouldn’t stop and so she could peek at the clothes being washed.

Helping this family was a joy to me.  The family eventually moved to California where some of their extended family was located.  For quite a few years, I wrote to the oldest daughter, Pie, who did very well in school and loved her new land.   This experience helped me to realize just how blessed we are.

Illegal Immigration has, in many ways, hardened the hearts of fellow Americans against the whole immigration issue.   We are so pressured with social issues and the vast amount of tax dollars for education, healthcare, and all the other welfare programs that are suffocating our system and has caused us to lose the feeling of mercy for those who do not have the freedoms and standard of living we have.

Border, language, and culture (government/history) make a country.  We have a right to defend and protect our sovereignty.  I believe that it is time for us to fix this problem, and both sides must compromise.

I support President Trump in the ban on visas from terrorist countries, deporting any person who is here illegally who commits crimes, and securing our borders.  These issues seem like a “no brainer” to me.

However, I believe that we can reform the legal process to enter this country.  It has become corrupt, political, hugely expensive and nearly impossible.  If the immigrant has a sponsor, a place to live, and work lined up, then why make it so hard?

Please talk to someone who has gone through the legal process and immigrated the right way.  That person will tell you about the nightmare of paperwork and fees.

America’s greatest resource is her people.  On this July 4th, 2017, we must rededicate ourselves to being that “shining light on a hill” that represents freedom, peace and hope to all the world.

Sincerely,

Senator Sylvia Tenney Allen
Legislative District 6

Senator Sylvia Allen on National Popular Vote

Senator Sylvia Allen

Senator Sylvia Allen (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

I am getting a lot of email about the National Popular vote asking me to change the way the electoral college works in our state.  How the Electoral votes are appropriated is only one of two of the powers the state Legislators have been given in the US Constitution.  The other is Article V which allows the states to propose amendments to the Constitution.

The National Popular Vote debate is picking up steam since Trump does not have a majority of the total national vote when adding up all votes cast in each state.  Some of the argument is that voters feel their vote does not count and that if your state is not part of the battleground states you are at a disadvantage.  One email said, “I’m tired of hearing that Ohio and Florida are the only states that matter in presidential elections.  What about Arizona?  Our votes should count too…”

I took a very hard look at this issue last session.  I read the National Popular Vote manual and had many discussions with legislators and my constituents.  Here is how I reasoned it out in my mind from the discussions that were held last year, from what I studied and read, and from my understanding of our government.

This national government was created by the states.  Sovereignty is held by the states.  The way to look at the Electoral College is that it is the States electing the president by the majority vote of the people who live in each state.  As in every election cycle, the President is elected by a majority of each state’s electoral votes, which means the majority vote cast by the people in their respective states elected the President by their electoral votes going for that candidate.  When you think about it, this is the way we preserve Federalism.  Looking at the map in any election you will see that the majority of the states, by the majority vote of their citizens, did elect the President.  Arizona did elect the president by the majority vote of our citizens, which means Arizona does count.

A true popular vote will only mean that highly populated states would prevail and the smaller states would not have a voice in the election which would mean that the citizens in those states would be at a disadvantage.

This nation was founded as a Republic using democratic processes to elect our leaders, but we are not a true Democracy.  We are a nation ruled by law the federal and state constitutions. Educating our citizens on the founding principles is so important, as our Founders said, that without it we will not remain free.

Senator Sylvia Tenney Allen serves as President Pro Tempore in the Arizona State Senate. She is a native Arizonan representing Arizona’s 5th Legislative District.

State Rep Kelly Townsend: Sen Andy Biggs’ Leadership Style Punitive

Yesterday, State Representative Kelly Townsend revealed a dark side of Senate President Andy Biggs. During a guest opinion on Sunday Square Off, the two-term legislator from Arizona Legislative District 16 disclosed that Biggs’ leadership style was to punish lawmakers who refused to get in line with his political agenda and leadership.

Townsend tied the comments to her 2015 House vote in which the legislature voted to limit Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) – a vote she regrets. Townsend herself, is a widow with children representing a district adjacent to the district represented by Biggs.

In her comments, she stated, “I think it’s important to remember whose bill this was. This was our senate president’s bill. Part of that decision is the fact that [Biggs] has very well trained us. He’s punitive in his nature, and if we didn’t follow along, we would suffer the consequences.”

The interview, which is posted on the 12 News website, also posted the following comments:

When pressed further about her disagreements with Biggs, Townsend accused the 14-year state legislator and current congressional candidate of fostering a culture at the state capitol she described as “a heavy-handed, top down, ramming things through in the middle of the night approach.”

“It is a culture many of us are trying to change,” Townsend said.

The article continues:

Townsend also accused Biggs of refusing to communicate with her and preventing bills she sponsored from progressing through the legislature for two years. Townsend said she believed Biggs’ actions were payback because she gave a radio interview in support of a bill Biggs opposed in 2013.

“[In 2013] He would refuse to meet with me. He didn’t answer any of my calls or texts. He killed all my bills. Finally I cornered him and asked for a conversation, and he said I should have never called into the radio station in the first place to talk about that bill,” Townsend said. “When it comes to leadership, Biggs, I don’t know he knew how to be a leader. Anyone can be punitive and act like that. But in terms of being a leader, it takes more than just being a jerk.”

This revelation draws into question Biggs’ temperament and leadership style as the potential nominee for Arizona’s 5th Congressional District.

Biggs’ spokesman, Adam Deguire, the former Chief of Staff to Congressman Matt Salmon who is now part of the political hand-off arrangement between Salmon and Biggs, acknowledged Biggs’ unpopularity with the mainstream media on issues such as TANF.

Senator Andy Biggs has not made an appearance on Sunday Square Off since February 27, 2011 and failed to show up last week for a debate on KAET’s Horizon.

Here is the video clip from Sunday Square Off:

Senator Sylvia Allen: Just Say No To Obama’s Intrusive Federal Mandates!

Senator Sylvia Allen

Senator Sylvia Allen

By Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen

“The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.” – Ayn Rand

President Obama’s recent directive requiring schools to comply with gender neutral bathrooms and locker rooms with the threat of losing federal funding has caused schools unnecessary stress and turmoil and is another example of how out of touch progressive liberal Democrats really are.

You have got to be kidding!   Who uses which bathroom is the most important issue for the President of the United States to get involved in?  You would think that terrorism and the rising national debt would be enough to keep President Obama busy.

Obama LGBT DecreePresident Obama and his administration have once again injected the federal government into what is a state’s responsibility. With a stroke of a pen, President Obama thinks that the Justice Department can override commonsense. He does not have the authority to change hundreds of years of social civility by overriding and redefining natural biology. Again, President Obama is throwing our schools into an unnecessary conflict with the federal government and attacking our parents and families.  I’d like to remind the President of the other two branches of government and the 10th amendment, which he too often forgets.

I, along with other legislators, have been receiving emails from constituents troubled by this overreach of President Obama.  I signed on to a letter authored by Representative Robert Thorpe which was sent to Governor Doug Ducey, Superintendent of Schools Diane Douglas and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, stating our concern and asking them to make a constitutional finding concerning this and to help our state stand against this abuse of federal power.

Quoting from that letter Dated May 20, 2016:

“Article I, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution makes it perfectly clear that Congress has the sole Federal legislative authority. Due to our nation’s long established separation of powers, legislative authority cannot be exercised by the Executive, including the President, the Attorney General or any other member of the Executive branch. There are no Federal laws stating that schools must provide these accommodations for transgender students, and there have been no court rulings upholding the Obama administration’s current “opinion” concerning this matter.”

“Please understand that this is not a moral issue, it is a legal state’s rights issue, and as a sovereign state, Arizona is protected by the 10th Amendment and thus is under no legal obligation to provide these accommodations merely based upon the suggestion, or coercion, of the Obama administration.”

“Under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, for example, for a law to be enacted requiring public schools within the states to provide these accommodations for transgender students, both Houses of Congress must first pass a constitutional law that is in pursuance of the

U.S. Constitution and does not exceed the limited enumerated powers of Congress, the President must sign it, and it must withstand legal challenges and judicial review.”

The answer is for the states to stand up and say NO!   Sorry, but you cannot tell us to make this change.  Our children have a right to their privacy, their safety and their normal modest sensibilities. I applaud recent actions of Superintendent Douglas and Attorney General Brnovich to join the lawsuit to fight back against the unconstitutional mandates from an ever growing and intrusive federal government!

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Senator Sylvia Tenney Allen represents Arizona’s 6th Legislative District and serves as President Pro Tempore in the Arizona Senate.

Senator Carlyle Begay Joins Republican Party

Monday, Senator Carlyle announced his evolution to the Republican Party.

The former Democrat senator from Ganado, Arizona made the switch “with a clear mind and heart” because families in rural Arizona are in a crisis with unemployment as high as 80% and infrastructure is “wasting away.” Many native Americans are without electricity and clean running water. Native American teens have the highest high school drop out rate and sadly, one of the highest suicide rates.

Democrats have done nothing to alleviate or fix these problems.

In his video statement, Begay asserts, “change must happen now.”

Senator Begay joined the Republican Party because he sees it as the party of progress and opportunity. Republicans have done more to offer solutions and build a positive future for those Begay represents.

This short video describes Begay’s evolution to the GOP and reinforces the idea that Republicans are about addition and multiplication and not subtraction and division.

Congratulations Senator Carlyle Begay! Welcome to the Republican Party!