Why is Tim Bee opposing enforcing Prop. 100?

The sister of a man who was murdered by an illegal immigrant (who would have been deported long before had our illegal immigration laws been enforced) is closely following the current Senate bill that would correct the problem of Prop. 100 not being enforced by the courts, and had this to say in an email sent to victims rights groups and activists:

It’s unfortunate that Tim Bee is caving to Governor Napolitano and sidelining legislation to ensure that Prop. 100, which prohibits bail for illegal immigrants accused of serious crimes, is enforced by the courts. Prop. 100 passed with 77% of the vote. Laurie Roberts had an excellent column in the Republic last week which exposed how the courts are getting around enforcing Prop. 100 and instead allowing illegal immigrants who are arrested for serious crimes to post bail, giving them an opportunity to flee the country. In early May, 160 of these illegal immigrants were allowed to post bond or were simply released; only 27 illegal immigrants were actually denied bond. Under its current administration, the Maricopa County Superior Court is requiring a high level of proof that someone is an illegal immigrant – admission by a defendant that they are an illegal immigrant is not enough proof! Obviously, this is ridiculous, why even have Miranda laws requiring notice of a right to remain silent, if anything you say will be safely ignored.

This bill, sponsored by Senator Linda Gray, would set the standard of proof at “probable cause,” so an admission to a police officer by a defendant that he was an illegal immigrant would be enough for purposes of holding him without bail. Unfortunately, the governor wants a “preponderance of evidence” standard, which would be tougher to show. It’s not clear why the governor wants such a high standard. Even the courts have said they will agree to a bill with “probable cause” as the standard! Other than criminal defense attorneys, there aren’t any constituencies clamoring to let criminals accused of serious crimes the opportunity to escape. There is no voting constituency of “people who like criminals.” As Steve Neely, former Pima County Attorney used to say, “The Democrats will never prosper until they realize convicted felons are not a voting constituency.”

Bee made a budget deal with Governor Napolitano early on in the legislative process, uncharacteristic of Republican leadership in the past, who usually started out negotiating from strength, presenting a conservative budget to the governor, then working out compromises with the governor. Bee started out with a budget the governor liked, and so now he’s realizing that leaves him with little negotiating power. He’s caved in to her demands to take Prop. 100 enforcement out of the budget bill, because as a standalone bill, it will be easier to defeat in the legislature or by her veto.

Laurie Roberts listed a couple of examples of illegal immigrants arrested for serious crimes who were permitted by the court to post bail, here is one example –

It also must take more than they had on Alfredo Jimenez-Palma, 33. He’s charged with aggravated assault, DUI and failure to obey a police officer. He is accused of punching a guy in the face and then, when police intervened, getting into his car and driving away, dragging the officer who tried to stop him through a parking lot. Jimenez-Palma “made statements to officers that he jumped the Mexican border many times over the last 17 years and that if contacted by the police, he will run away again,” police wrote. He just may get his chance. Commissioner Barbara Spencer set his bond at $9,000.

Let’s hope Bee decides to protect the citizens of Arizona and does not cave in to the governor on this. These are illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes and are likely to commit them again, it would be terrible if they were released against the will of the voters who passed Prop. 100 and they ended up harming someone. If Bee intends to run for the Congressional seat in District 8, he shouldn’t hold up this bill. He’ll be held responsible for it. This is a real test of leadership for him and predictive of how he’ll deal with illegal immigration in Congress.


  1. buttercup says

    Bee is not caving to Janet. He has been a statesman throughout the entire budget process. He and the Senate Republican leadership did start out from a position of strength by doing some hard negotiating with the Senate Democrats, who got buy-off for what they were willing to agree to from the Gov. Because of Bee’s leadership and this good-faith approach with the Dems, the Senate budget contains many hard-fought Republican principals and was completed without some of the heavy partisan mudslinging that often accompanies budget deals.

    Regarding Prop. 100, the budget negotiating teams could not come to agreement regarding aspects of the prop 100 fix and therefore, as Bee promised during Senate budget votes, a fix is being offered on a separate bill rather than putting the fix in the budget. That bill has a probable cause standard, which is what Bee and the Republican leadership in the Senate and House would like to see in any fix to address the problem in the courts.

  2. Why all this Bee bashing? He has a rock solid conservative voting record.

  3. Painting President Tim Bee as anti-Prop. 100 is ridiculous. He and Rep. Russell Pearce developed the most comprehensive immigration bill in Arizona’s history last year and the governor vetoed it. It’s a smart strategy a Prop. 100 bill as a separate bill and not part of the budget. This way the governor has to justify a veto and not hide it in the context of opposing a broader bill. Again this year, Bee has worked with Pearce and agrees with the current language of the bill, exactly as it is. So, in fact, running a separate bill gives it a stronger chance of passing. Look at his record, review the news articles – Bee is not against Prop. 100. To state otherwise is downright irresponsible.

  4. Bee has a record that shows “how he’ll deal with illegal immigration in Congress.” During his time at the Capital he has sponsored bills on human smuggling, detaining witnesses to human smuggling and border radar. He has also worked with other members, such as Russell Pearce, to pass a comprehensive immigration package that included employer sanctions and created a felony for people illegally entering the state. This was passed and ultimately vetoed by the Governor. I think Bee has a record that shows he will protect the citizens of Arizona.

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