Arizona Sentencing Law Gets ‘Racist, Anti-Immigrant’ Billing

If you heard it through Univision or Telemundo, you’d think that Arizona House Bill 2451, recently signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey, was an entirely unjustified, hate-filled ‘anti-immigrant’ measure. Once again, the reality is quite different.

HB 2451, which is literally just three lines, adjusts the part of the Arizona criminal code that allows federal immigration agencies to pick up prisoners that are undocumented immigrants and deport them after having served half of their sentence.

The new law simply requires inmates to serve 85% of their sentences before they are released to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The law would affect low and mid-level felons, with those convicted of murder and other serious crimes still not eligible for release.

In covering the issue, both Univision and Telemundo limited themselves to only featuring protests against the measure, and branded the bill as an ‘anti-immigrant.’

NATALIA CRUZ, ANCHOR, UNIVISION: Hundreds of immigrants protest surrounding the Arizona State Capitol chained to the building. The protesters are trying to impede the passage of various anti-immigrant law proposals, one of them would lengthen jail time for undocumented immigrants. At least 5 people have been arrested.

HB 2451 was the first measure that reached Governor Doug Ducey’s desk on immigration. According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, the bill could affect about 1,000 inmates and cost the state an additional $16.7 million a year.

While Univision and Telemundo paint measures like this one to keep criminals in jail as ‘anti-immigrant’, the facts involved, much less the full story, are blithely ignored. What they are not realizing is that when they paint these measures to be comprehensively “anti-immigrant”, they are painting legal immigrants with the same brush as criminals, effectively blurring the line between lawful and unlawful, legal and illegal.

Below are relevant portions of the report, which aired during the March 31st edition of Despierta America:

DESPIERTA AMERICA

3/31/16

8:32:35 – 8:32:53 AM EST | 18 SECS

NATALIA CRUZ, ANCHOR, UNIVISION: Hundreds of immigrants protest surrounding the Arizona State Capitol chained to the building. The protesters are trying to impede the passage of various anti-immigrant law proposals, one of them would lengthen jail time for undocumented immigrants. At least 5 people have been arrested.

Tell the Truth 2016

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