Thursday, April 2, 2020

Author of Controversial Arizona Immigration Law Voted Out

Republican Russell Pearce, the president of the Arizona Senate and author of the harsh anti-immigrant law S.B. 1070, lost his seat in a special recall election yesterday.

Pearce lost the race to fellow Republican Jerry Lewis, who captured 53% of the vote versus 45% for Pearce. His loss is being viewed as an upshot of hardline immigration policies that have gone too far.

“This is a huge shift,” said Randy Parraz, co-founder of Citizens for a Better Arizona — the group responsible for initiating the recall petition earlier in the year. “Russell Pearce is not only too extreme, but had remained untouched. This election shows that such extremist behavior will not be rewarded, and will be held accountable.”

Lewis will finish Pearce’s term through 2012, and will be required to run again next November if he wants to keep the seat, centered in a conservative district.  He will be sworn in later this month.

Pearce gained notoriety last year when he authored Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 immigration law, which has since been replicated in states like Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. It also prompted national boycotts and protests. As previously reported in La Plaza, Arizona saw millions of dollars lost in revenue following the passage of the law last year.

“Immigration issues are not Republican or Democratic,” said Parraz, who credits the success of the recall, the first ever for an Arizona state legislator, to bipartisan support. “To have effective and sustainable change, we have to work together.”

BusinessWeek

Huffington Post