The state House of Representatives passed a law requiring that presidential candidates prove they were born in the United States, a nod to “birthers” skeptical that Obama was born in the country. The bill died in the state Senate after it became the subject of national ridicule.
The most dramatic step was Pearce’s bill, SB 1070, requiring police officers to investigate the status of people they legally stop and think may be illegal immigrants. Republicans now vow to introduce legislation challenging the right to citizenship of children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants and checking the immigration status of parents of children in public schools.
There has been heated rhetoric on both sides — some critics of SB 1070 circulated an image of the state flag with a swastika on it — but people who have defied the conservative wave and hard-line stance on immigration are the ones who have reported the most dangerous harassment. One of the people killed Saturday, U.S. District Judge John Roll, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush, was given protection by the U.S. Marshals Service in response to death threats he received after ruling that a lawsuit by illegal immigrants against a rancher could go forward.
Giffords’ office was vandalized after she voted for the healthcare bill last year. Her Republican challenger in November, former Marine Sgt. Jesse Kelly, held a fundraiser where donors were offered the chance to shoot an M-16 to “help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office” In a statement after the shooting, Kelly said, “Senseless acts of violence such as this have no place in American politics.”