House bill requiring legal status for licenses passes
If you want to get a doctor's license, teacher's license or any other one of the myriad of licenses the state issues, be prepared to show you're legally in the United States.
That's the effect of a bill that passed the House Thursday after a quick return from the dead-legislation pile.
House members voted along party lines to pass House Bill 2467, including a drawn-out wait while House staffers searched for Rep. Jennifer Burns, whose vote was needed to put the measure over the top. Burns, R-Tucson, was reportedly in the House basement and out of earshot when the bill was reconsidered after being defeated Wednesday.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, is aimed at closing outlets for illegal immigrants to work in Arizona.
Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said requiring legal presence in the U.S. as a condition for getting a business license should help reduce the economic allure of jobs in this country, and therefore help curb illegal immigration.
Democrats argued that it would do little to stop illegal border crossers and would add more work on licensing agencies by requiring that they verify an applicant's legal status.
Pearce was able to resurrect the bill on a procedural move, after a lack of Republican votes caused the bill to die. The bill now moves to the state Senate.