The gist of this item is true in the sense that in January 2008, a delegation of nine legislators from Sonora (the Mexican state immediately south of Arizona) did come to Tucson to express concerns that Arizona’s recently enacted Legal Arizona Workers Act (an employer sanctions law which imposed penalties on employers who knowingly hired persons lacking documentation of their status to legally work in the United States) would have a deleterious effect on Sonora. After a press conference held at the offices of
[Sonoran legislators say] Sonora — Arizona’s southern neighbor, made up of mostly small towns
— cannothandle the demand for housing, jobs and schools it will face as illegal Mexican workers [in Tucson] return to their hometowns without jobs or money.
They want to tell [Arizona legislators] how the law will affect Mexican families on both sides of the border.
“How can they pass a law like this?” asked Mexican Rep. Leticia Amparano Gamez, who represents Nogales.
“There is not one person living in Sonora who does not have a friend or relative working in Arizona,” she said in Spanish.
“Mexico is not prepared for this, for the tremendous problems” it will face as more and more Mexicans working in Arizona and sending money to their families return to hometowns in Sonora without jobs, she said.
“We are one family, socially and economically,” she said of the people of Sonora and Arizona.
Amparano said the Mexican legislators are already asking the federal government of Mexico for help for Sonora.
Rep. Florencio Diaz Armenta, coordinator of the delegation, represents
San Luis,south of Yuma, one of Arizona’s agricultural hubs, which employs some 28,000 legal Mexican workers.
“What do we do with the repatriated?” he asked. “As Mexicans, we are worried. They are Mexicans but they are also people — fathers and mothers and young people with jobs” who won’t have work in Sonora.
He said the Arizona law will lead to “disintegration of the family,” as one “legal” Mexican parent remains in Arizona and the other returns to Mexico.
Rep. Francisco Garcia Gámez, a legislator from Cananea and that city’s former mayor, said the lack of mining jobs there has driven many Mexicans to Arizona to find work. He said they depend on jobs in Arizona to feed their families on both sides of the border.
In late April 2010 this item began to be circulated anew, with many readers misinterpreting the included quotes to be a reaction to SB 1070 (Arizona’s controversial
In July 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Legal Arizona Workers Act. Also that month, a U.S. District judge issued a temporary injunction that halted the enforcement of key parts of SB 1070.
Britt, Russ. “Arizona Employers Still Face Immigration Crackdown.” The Wall Street Journal. 29 July 2010.
Kornman, Sheryl. “Sonoran Officials Slam Sanctions Law in Tucson Visit.” Tucson Citizen. 15 January 2008.
Richey, Warren. “Why Judge Susan Bolton Blocked Key Parts of Arizona’s SB 1070.” The Christian Science Monitor. 28 July 2010.
Schwartz, David. “Arizona Governor Signs Toughest U.S. Immigration Law.” Reuters. 24 April 2010.