Merry Christmas from Senator Sylvia Allen & Family

Christmas Time

It was an unknown author who wrote these profound words about Jesus Christ: “I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as this one solitary life.”

Jesus Christ’s birthday is celebrated by the world in this month of December.  He lived in a dusty corner of the Roman Empire more than 2,000 years ago.  From the beginning of his  birth among the animals was the beginning of his humble life. For there was no room for him in the Inn.  He had no money.  He was not a sport hero or starred in a blockbuster movie, or was elected to a position of power.  And, yet, more than one billion people today proclaim to be his followers.

From my earliest memories, I knew who this man was, for I was taught as a child, “Jesus Loves Me.”  My mother read Bible storybooks to me about his compassion for the sick and the suffering and how he healed the blind, lame, and lepers.  He even raised the dead.  I had a picture of him holding the little children.  My heart knew he loved me.   

He was a master storyteller who wove moral lessons through the stories he told so that you had to ponder and think upon them.  To illustrate the forgiveness of God, Jesus related the tale of the prodigal son, who threw away his inheritance in loose living and worldly things until, broken, shamed, and repentant, he returned home to find his father rejoicing that, “once you were lost, but now are found.”

Jesus urged his followers personally to help those in need – the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the imprisoned, saying that whatever they did“for one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.”

He asked them to forgive the faults of others and He laid down the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

He forbade murder and adultery, anger and hatred, and encouraged prayer, fasting, and sacrifice. “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.”

What was at the center of all he taught?  Love. “Love one another as I have loved you.”  Not only love God but also love your neighbor as yourself.  Then he asked us to even love our enemies as he loved his, for on the cross he said, ”Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

My early memories of Christmas were wrapped up in sound, smell, and taste.  There just is something about the air that is even different.  A child feels an unexplained excitement and anticipation that stays with them into adulthood. 

My mother wanted us to remember Christmas not as a gift-giving day but one of celebration of the Life we were honoring. “What gifts can you give Jesus?” was her question to us one Christmas in 1960.  I wasn’t much in the mood to answer her question.  I was feeling sorry for myself because, truth be told, we were a family living on meager means, and I knew that I wouldn’t get much in the way of presents that year. 

My mother told us of a family whose father was very ill.  There were three little girls in the family.  We took some of our old dolls and made them over with new hair and beautiful doll clothes that my mother and I sewed.   I felt the excitement building.  We made pies and cookies and put together a food basket.  After dark, my sisters and I crept up to the door.  We placed our offering on the porch, knocked, and ran.  We had pre-picked a bush where we sat shivering with anticipation as we watched to see what would happen.  The door opened, and a little girl cried out. “Mommy, there’re presents!  Words can’t describe how much better my young 12-year-old heartfelt.  My mom said I felt the spirit of Christmas. 

When it was my turn to bring the spirit of Christmas to my own children, we had many wonderful experiences, but my favorite was with a homeless man who lived in his truck parked in a vacant field.  For months we would drive by and the kids would comment on how sad it was that he had no home.  When we gathered together to pick our Christmas service, my young son said, “Mom, the man in the truck!” 

We made goodies and  wrapped a flannel shirt and packed them in a basket and at the last minute I put in a Bible with the Christmas story marked.  I told my oldest son to be ready to jump out and place the box on the ground at the back of the camper.  I was worried that we might frighten him, so I wanted to be quick.

On Christmas Eve, when we drove up, all was dark and quiet.  I wasn’t sure if he was there, but my son quickly got out and placed the box.  As he jumped back in the car, the back of the camper door flew opened and, as I sped away, my daughter yelled out the window,  “Merry Christmas, we love you!”  The kids sang all the way home.  We had the Christmas Spirit – the Spirit of Christ.

Now I am making memories with my grandchildren this year we help at the Salvation Army warehouse.

Whatever attitudes people hold towards Jesus Christ, whether they believe him to be the Son of God or just a great teacher, there is no question that, if his teachings were faithfully followed and lived by everyone, the world would be a better and more peaceful place to live.  Christmas gives us a chance to change ourselves and to remember a babe born of Mary.

What gift will you give?

Merry Christmas to all of you from the Allen Family!!!

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.

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.

Sen Sylvia Allen: Common Sense is Needed! (On Refugee Policy)

Senator Sylvia Allen

Senator Sylvia Allen

These are dangerous times in Arizona and across the world. The terror in Paris and San Bernardino are reminders that evil can appear anywhere, and anytime. One of the terrorists in Paris entered Europe embedded in a group of Syrian refugees. One of the killers in California entered the United States under something called a “fiancé visa’, after being radicalized. No matter what precautions we try to take in the U.S. to keep our citizens safe, it seems there will always be criminals and terrorists able to avoid detection.

That’s why I support Governor Ducey’s effort to be sure that Arizona has a say in who is brought here.  It will be Arizona taxpayers who will need to help fund these refugee families, and it will be Arizona families who will be harmed if terrorists fall through the vetting cracks and end up in our state.    It is Governor Ducey’s responsibility to protect the health, welfare and safety of Arizona’s citizens.

America is a welcoming country, and it will continue to be, but we also must use vigilance and common sense when we determine who can enter our great country. When it comes to Muslim refugees, we should not only base our decision on what is best for us, but what is also best for them.

Many Muslims live under Sharia Law.  Islam is a political system as well as a religious system and Sharia Law is at the center of that system.  Our Constitutional form of government is in direct opposition.  Would they not be happier in a country that better reflects their beliefs?   Balancing compassion with common sense would tell America that we should help relocate these refugees in other Muslim countries.

Glenn Beck, through his charity Mercury One, has just relocated 149 Christian refugees from Iraq to Slovakia.  Thousands of Americans donated to Beck’s charity to fund the relocation.   Since the US is not allowing Christian refugees (why aren’t we???), Beck found a country who would take them. Close to 500 refugees had been planned for relocation, but the United Nations and the European Union put heavy pressure on Slovakia to stop taking the Christian refugees.

In 1980, my Tenney extended family sponsored a Hmong family.  That program required fellow Americans to take responsibility in finding housing, employment and all their other needs.   The family we helped was a father, mother, three girls and a grandmother.  They lived at my mother’s house, and I helped get the girls into school and found a job for the father.   These refugees were being targeted because the father had fought on the side of America in the Vietnam War.  The Communist governments that took over South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia swept through those countries, killing millions.  Today, this family lives in California, and the girls have all graduated and are good productive citizens.  It was very rewarding for me to help this family.  I am not against helping people in need.

Common sense is needed.   Our lives, as well as the lives of the refugees, depend on it.

Senator Sylvia Tenney Allen
President Pro Tempore, Arizona State Senate

Senator Sylvia Allen: Win, Win for Schools and Taxpayers!

Senator Sylvia Allen

Senator Sylvia Allen

I am proud of our schools in Arizona.  A number of our high schools are consistently ranked near the top of U.S. studies.  We were one of the first states to create charter schools and our Empowerment Scholarship Accounts allow parents to find the best education option for their children. These two reforms are models being emulated throughout the country.  I personally have toured and seen the excellent achievement of our students and teachers throughout my district.

Friday, October 30, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed an increase of $3.5 billion over the next ten years to our schools.  This will bring new money into our K-12 school system, if voters approve the plan in a special election to be held May 17, 2016.

Part of the funding will come from a new percentage level, 6.9%, distributed to the State Schools Fund from the Permanent Land Endowment Trust Funds (PLETF).  The Arizona Constitution determines the portion of investment earnings the Treasurer must distribute annually to each beneficiary.  Right now annual distributions are set at 2.5% of the average monthly market valuation of the PLETF from the preceding five years.  The voters will be asking to approve the increase above 2.5% in the May election.

Governor Ducey was State Treasurer before being elected Governor, so he understands this trust fund and how it functions.  In 2012 he developed Proposition 118, to move to a fixed rate of 2.5%, instead of a fluctuating rate used at the time.   Voters approved that proposal.

Three years later, the Governor proposed to increase that amount to 6.9%, and the Legislature agreed.  We spent much time in debate and talking to lawyers and staff about the ramifications of the increased percentage.  I am convinced that we have been short changing our schools all these years.  The PLETF is now valued at $5 billion and the consensus of those who voted yes is that we can safely pay this out to our schools and protect the principle of the fund.

Triggers are placed within the law in case we have another major economic downturn. It would require the Directors of the Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) to jointly notify the Governor, the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House that a reduction to the distribution is necessary to preserve the safety of the capital in the PLETF, if the value of the PLETF has decreased.  At that point we would return to the 2.5%.

This was a complicated issue that took hundreds of hours of work by all concerned, but I am confident that we have made a very good decision in increasing the payout from the State Schools Trust Fund.

The proposal also included increased money for schools from the General Fund.

  • Increases the per pupil amount by $173.26
  • Increases basic state aid by $248,829,400 in FY2016 by increasing the base level per pupil amount
  • Includes additional inflation of $74,394,000 in FY2016
  • Increases the Permanent State School Fund distribution line item by $172,081,000
  • Appropriates to the Superintendent of Public Instruction additional funding for school districts and charter schools of $50 million annually in FY2016 through FY2020
  • Allows flexibility for school districts to budget the additional funding to where they feel it is needed.

None of this will increase taxes for our citizens and is being done within the capacity of what we have now.  

We hear all the time how bad Arizona ranks in school spending, but those rankings can be very misleading. Other states have 95% of land privately owned and is part of the tax base. In Arizona, we are generating revenue from 13% private property. We will never raise revenues to the level of those other states.

Also, Arizona has a high population of those under 18 years of age and a large population of adults over 65 years of age.  In the 18-64 age bracket where the bulk of taxpayers reside, we have a proportionally small population, so again, we will never be able to reach the revenues of other states without significantly increasing taxes.

This ranking propaganda by our critics is designed to pressure taxpayers to fund more into our schools.  We are short changing our teachers and kids when we constantly focus on a ranking instead of results.   Funding is important but does not guarantee a good education that depends on parents, teachers, and, most of all, students.  

I wish to thank the Arizona taxpayer who is willing to give their hard-earned money to better the life of children through our education system in Arizona.

NFIB/Arizona Endorses 43 Legislative Candidates for the General Election

Photographed holding one of NFIB’s signature “Small Business’ Choice” campaign sign-toppers, NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chairman Mark Giebelhaus congratulates former lawmaker Sylvia Tenney Allen after she was selected as replacement state senate nominee by Legislative District 6 Republicans at their August 30th special meeting in Flagstaff. The extraordinary selection became necessary when incumbent Sen. Chester Crandell died in an early-August horse-riding accident after primary ballots had already been sent to voters. Mr. Giebelhaus was on hand at the GOP meeting to inform Mrs. Allen that she would receive NFIB/Arizona SAFE Trust’s endorsement. Mrs. Allen served in the Arizona Senate from 2008 to 2013 rising to the position of Senate President Pro Tempore in 2011. While in office, she achieved a perfect 100-percent score on NFIB/Arizona’s Voting Records during her four-and-a-half years in the legislature.

Photographed holding one of NFIB’s signature “Small Business’ Choice” campaign sign-toppers, NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chairman Mark Giebelhaus congratulates former lawmaker Sylvia Tenney Allen after she was selected as replacement state senate nominee by Legislative District 6 Republicans at their August 30th special meeting in Flagstaff. The extraordinary selection became necessary when incumbent Sen. Chester Crandell died in an early-August horse-riding accident after primary ballots had already been sent to voters. Mr. Giebelhaus was on hand at the GOP meeting to inform Mrs. Allen that she would receive NFIB/Arizona SAFE Trust’s endorsement. Mrs. Allen served in the Arizona Senate from 2008 to 2013 rising to the position of Senate President Pro Tempore in 2011. While in office, she achieved a perfect 100-percent score on NFIB/Arizona’s Voting Records during her four-and-a-half years in the legislature.

The political action committee of Arizona’s leading small-business association today announced its General Election endorsements of 43 candidates for the Arizona Senate and Arizona House of Representatives.

“The legislative candidates endorsed by NFIB today are proven friends of free enterprise whom Arizona small-business owners can trust to place their responsibility to taxpayers first over the interests of bigger government and its enablers,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

These endorsements are formally issued by the NFIB/Arizona Save America’s Free Enterprise (SAFE) Trust, the organization’s political action committee, and represent the culmination of the legislative candidate endorsement process for the small business advocacy group.

In July, NFIB endorsed 42 candidates in the primary phase with all but two advancing to the General Election—Rep. Carl Seel lost his primary and Sen. Chester Crandell passed away in August. The three new NFIB endorsements for the General Election are former state senator Sylvia Tenney Allen who was selected by her party to replace Sen. Crandell in the Legislative District 6 Senate contest and House candidates Noel Campbell in Legislative District 1 and Anthony Kern in Legislative District 20. NFIB is expected to announce soon small business’ choice for governor and attorney general.

NFIB/Arizona Legislative Endorsements in the 2014 General Election:

  • LD05 Senate: Kelli Ward
  • LD06 Senate: Sylvia Tenney Allen
  • LD10 Senate: Mark Morrison
  • LD11 Senate: Steve Smith
  • LD12 Senate: Andy Biggs
  • LD13 Senate: Don Shooter
  • LD14 Senate: Gail Griffin
  • LD15 Senate: Nancy Barto
  • LD16 Senate: David Farnsworth
  • LD17 Senate: Steve Yarbrough
  • LD20 Senate: Kimberly Yee
  • LD21 Senate: Debbie Lesko
  • LD22 Senate: Judy Burges
  • LD23 Senate: John Kavanagh
  • LD01 House: Noel Campbell
  • LD01 House: Karen Fann
  • LD05 House: Sonny Borrelli
  • LD06 House: Brenda Barton
  • LD06 House: Bob Thorpe
  • LD10 House: Todd Clodfelter
  • LD10 House: William Wildish
  • LD11 House: Mark Finchem
  • LD11 House: Vince Leach
  • LD12 House: Eddie Farnsworth
  • LD12 House: Warren Petersen
  • LD13 House: Darin Mitchell
  • LD13 House: Steve Montenegro
  • LD14 House: David Gowan
  • LD14 House: David Stevens
  • LD15 House: John Allen
  • LD16 House: Kelly Townsend
  • LD17 House: J.D. Mesnard
  • LD17 House: Jeff Weninger
  • LD18 House: Jill Norgaard
  • LD20 House: Paul Boyer
  • LD20 House: Anthony Kern
  • LD21 House: Rick Gray
  • LD22 House: David Livingston
  • LD22 House: Phil Lovas
  • LD23 House: Michelle Ugenti
  • LD25 House: Rusty Bowers
  • LD25 House: Justin Olson
  • LD28 House: Shawnna Bolick

For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.

Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen Releases No on Proposition 204 Op-Ed

Proposition 204 (“Permanent Sales Tax Increase, Education & Transportation”) is NOT the same temporary tax that is in place now and that will expire in 2013. This is a whole new tax with many changes written into the initiative.

Prop 204 is very dangerous, because it changes our constitutional form of government that requires the legislature to appropriate the tax dollars. The tax in place now did not make constitutional changes. Prop 204 decreases the power of the people by taking away their vote to check the legislature in the budgeting process. If Prop 204 passes, it will be nearly impossible for the legislature to change the sales tax rate, one of the highest in the nation, in the future.

Our national economic future is uncertain. Congress is wrestling with their $1.4 trillion budget deficit and the $16 trillion debt, and has passed a budget reduction bill that will cut aid to the state by 9% in 2013. The Arizona Legislature, which is elected by the people and accountable to the people, will need the ability more than ever to appropriate our tax dollars in the best interest of the public’s welfare and safety to keep all state responsibilities functioning.

In addition to the significant structural change in our management of tax money, Prop 204 also has language written into the bill stipulating that the legislature cannot reduce education funding from the 2012 levels going forward. This is reckless, considering that school enrollment can go up or down, and education funding should reflect that reality.

The proposition also has language that gives the Arizona Department of Transportation millions of dollars that can’t be touched and yet there is no reduction in the state gasoline tax that citizens are paying at the pump.

Those who wrote Prop 204 were also generous with other areas concerning welfare and healthcare, throwing millions of dollars into programs, and again tying the hands of the legislature in the budgeting process.

As the teachers union and others talk about the reductions to education these last three years, remember the $3 billion deficit that was brought about by increases in spending that could not be sustained. Between 2008 and 2010, the state lost 33% of its revenue, yet education received a reduction of 3.4%, in comparison to other state agencies which received reductions from 15.8% to 53%.

In 2008, state aid was $5,431 per student. Today it is $5,244. (Schools also receive federal and local dollars we have no control over.) This last session we increased funding to education by $56 million and as revenues improve, the legislature will add more.

The Arizona Legislature worked hard to bring our state budget back into balance. Along with other good legislation we have been able to improve our state economy whereas national job growth is stagnant. Arizona is now Number 4 in the nation for job creation opportunities.

Please vote NO on Prop 204 and protect your ability to have a say in the budgeting process through your elected legislator.

Senator Sylvia Allen
District 5
President pro tempore

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Arizona Lawmakers and Tea Party Members Stand in Solidarity in Support of SB-1070

The following press conference took place Wednesday, April 25th in Phoenix with members of several Tea Parties, Arizona lawmakers and candidates. (Thanks to Right Wing Housewife for her video!)

Battle at the Arizona State Capitol: A Tale of Two Press Conferences

Here is exclusive video footage of two different press conferences that occurred at the Arizona State Capitol on Monday, January 23, 2012.

First, coverage of Arizona Democrats making their best but feeble effort to repeal Arizona’s SB 1070:

Second, coverage of Arizona Republicans standing firm and united for Arizona’s southern border security and SB 1070.

Senator Sylvia Allen’s Remarks on SB1070

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 25, 2012

Those who are promoting the repeal of SB1070 are upholding and empowering cartels and gangs who are committing cross border criminal activity.

We are in a State of Emergency here in Arizona. Our border is not secure. The crippling drug war in Mexico is seeping like a very bad wound into our state. Violent beheadings and body dismemberment, the signature of the drug cartel’s, have now come into the Valley of the Sun, and are even finding their ugly way into the heart of America: A young girl brutally killed in Oklahoma only a week ago!

Increased gun battles along the Arizona border and 75-miles into Arizona; dangerous vehicle pursuits with drug cartel members and those who are delivery agents of drugs occur most frequently; kidnappings too. Continued reports by U.S. Border Patrol Agents of military-grade weapons being used against them; reports of sophisticated communication systems, including professional-grade radio towers, satellite radios and encrypted phone systems; look-outs controlling mountain ranges in southern Arizona; and a cancer-like growth of pure vile and hatred toward any law enforcement, and the laws of the United States.

Drugs and human trafficking create billions of dollars for these evil violent Mexican drug gangs/cartels. Just the competition for bounty from human and sex trafficking generated an estimated $2 billion last year to Mexican gangs and cartels.

At a time when the Obama Administration is not only refusing to secure our borders but implementing policies that will embolden this criminal element we must stand firm in enforcing internal immigration laws for the protection of our state and citizens. SB1070 is all this state has to stop illegal immigration since our border is not secure.

The Tucson Sector is the busiest drug and alien smuggling corridor on the border.

Agents working the Tucson Sector estimate they are apprehending less than five percent of what they know is crossing the border on a monthly basis. That means over 95% of what they know is coming across the border is not being apprehended and therefore not counted. (April 2011)

Agents in the Tucson Sector estimate that they only work about 70% of their border area during any month. That means for 30% of the border they have no idea what is coming across. (April 2011)

More law enforcement is needed to help address this emergency created by our open borders. I will be introducing SB1083 – Organizing the AZ State Guard – to help state law enforcement with cross-border criminal activity.

Approximately 62% of the Arizona border with Mexico is federal public land. Significant drug and alien smuggling occurs on this land, especially where the Border Patrol does not have unfettered access to patrol the border. Federal agencies on the Arizona Border, citing environmental concerns, restrict and in some cases prevent effective border patrol access to the border area for the purposes of patrolling the border.

This is an insane policy that only protects and empowers the criminals but leaves Arizona citizens at risk. Our state has a right and a responsibility for the welfare, health and safety of the people to use our police powers to protect our state. I will be introducing SCR1008 – titled, “Declaration of emergency: state authority” – to address this issue.

In summary, nobody knows how many illegal drugs and alien smugglers are crossing the borders of the United States, and the numbers they are reporting are not accurate enough to even predict trends in illegal crossings. And friends, that is just the Tucson Sector. What about the rest of the land and sea borders of the United States? Our ranchers and farmers who live within 100 miles of the border are speaking out, and no one hears. Governor Brewer has written strong letters to President Obama asking for help with our border, and it all goes on deaf ears.

Those who are suggesting we weaken internal enforcement of our immigration laws by repealing SB1070 will only empower the drug cartels/human smugglers, and cross-border criminal activity. The Open Borders crowd does not care about the harm that is being caused to citizens. The open-borders crowd does not care about the rule of law or our Constitutional form of government. Arizona must stand firm in protecting our citizens, property and lives.

Until we can rid ourselves of the Obama Administration, the corrupt (Fast and Furious) Justice Department, and the do-nothing Homeland Security and their failure to protect our country, then the State of Arizona must do what we can to protect our citizens. No responsible elected official would suggest that we weaken SB1070 until our borders are secure.

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