Carlos García is the executive director of Puente Arizona who wrote this story with regard to Arizona Senator Martin Quezada expressing his concerns regarding AZ Senate Bill 1271.
SB1271 doesn’t create new laws that address new problems. It simply adds harsher sentences to existing laws and puts the discretion of enforcing them directly into the hands of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and others like him, instead of the state’s Attorney General. We’ve seen this approach before. Kyrsten Sinema, previous Arizona state senator, introduced a well-intentioned anti-smuggling law. But in our state, what’s intended to help gets used to hurt as quickly as the ink can dry on the governor’s desk Instead of preventing the terrible practice of smuggling, Arpaio used the bill as a pretext and extra punishment, charging undocumented people with conspiracy to smuggle themselves. READ FULL STORY HERE>>>
That said, I wanted to get the pulse of what other Arizona Chicano leaders are saying on the matter.
Brenda Cervantes is the Program Director of the Women’s Health Care Coalition and she wrote a letter dated March 2, 2016, that states:
My name is Brenda Cervantes; I am the Program Director of the Women’s Health Care Coalition, an Arizona nonprofit, established in 2006. In 2014, our agency established the Arizona Resource Center for Immigrants out of needs identified by our outreach to working families. I am writing to urge your support in opposing SB 1271. The bill as it is written, is vague and flawed and does nothing to remedy vulnerable families from falling prey to victims of fraud.
Our nonprofit has been serving Arizona’s working economically disadvantaged for many years and recognizes the need for quality, affordable legal and pro bono services. Our Arizona’s working poor, represent teachers, nurses, blue collar workers that don’t have the extra to cover legal costs, limiting them from filing and being active participants and being able to fend for themselves within the legal justice system.
SB1271 seeks to address the need to protect a vulnerable community; however, it is repetitive of what is already in statute and furthermore, makes an exception for certified notaries. Please note that Arizona certificated notaries submit an application and are bonded to certify identity and clearly not to prepare documents, as this bill states. The bill lacks clarity and doesn’t understand the process already in place by the state. The Arizona Supreme Court established a licensing board that provides licenses to those who seek to prepare legal documents. In fact, in 2013, Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch, signed an Administrative Order No. 2013-39 which orders that the Arizona Code of Judicial Administration § 7-208 be amended as indicated in section F. Role and Responsibilities of Certificate Holders. In addition to the requirements of ACJA § 7-201 (F) the following requirements apply: “(a) Prepare or provide legal documents, without the supervision of an attorney for person or entity in any legal matter when that person or entity is not represented by an attorney.”
The bill’s intention is confusing and in direct conflict with what is already established. In addition, the Administrative Order signed in 2013 is in alignment with national practices. The bill also creates an unnecessary regulation that is already in practice. The bill lacks common sense and is out of touch with who it seeks to protect.
The bill is a direct attack against agencies and small businesses that provide legal document preparation at an affordable price and seeks to create attorney monopolization of an industry that is already vulnerable and burdened.
Furthermore, the bill makes our Arizona families more vulnerable to unscrupulous people and attorneys that lack the experience in the field and make a lucrative business of charging exorbitant prices for filling out forms.
Please stand in support of our vulnerable Arizona families and vote against SB 1271.
Union leader via Ralph Quintana added and stated:
We must caution those who are entrusted to protect our poorest and most defenseless communities who are allowing bad things happen to them. Quintana believes we ought to focus on matters that really matter such as our Arizona schools that are already suffering from lower public investment and saying no to proposition 123 instead. He is among others who want to vote no on Arizona’s proposition 123.