Earlier this week, Governor Brewer said that the majority of immigrants who cross the border illegally are drug mules. The National Border Patrol Council clarified that this was not the case. However, both the Governor and Border Patrol claim that the drug cartels are a priority in dealing with illegal immigration. If this is the case, then why was the one part of SB1070 aimed at drugs omitted when the bill was revised by HB2162? Section 3 of the bill concerns “Willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document; assessment; exception; authenticated records; classification.” Part H of this section was not omitted but the subsection to part H was omitted. Why wouldn’t we possession of drugs to be a class 3 felony? Wouldn’t this clause actually help combat the drug cartels that the Governor, Border Patrol, and a multitude of other anti-immigrant organizations complain about? If their goal is decrease drug trafficking, wouldn’t this clause actually help them? The text from part H of Section 3 follows. The highlighted text is the text that was omitted. These revisions can be found in the final version of SB1070 amended by HB2161.
H. A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION IS A CLASS 1 MISDEMEANOR, EXCEPT THAT THE MAXIMUM FINE IS ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS AND FOR A FIRST VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION THE COURT SHALL NOT SENTENCE THE PERSON TO MORE THAN TWENTY DAYS IN JAIL AND FOR A SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT VIOLATION THE COURT SHALL NOT SENTENCE THE PERSON TO MORE THAN THIRTY DAYS IN JAIL.
1. A CLASS 3 FELONY IF THE PERSON VIOLATES THIS SECTION WHILE IN POSSESSION OF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
(a) A DANGEROUS DRUG AS DEFINED IN SECTION 13-3401.
(b) PRECURSOR CHEMICALS THAT ARE USED IN THE MANUFACTURING OF METHAMPHETAMINE IN VIOLATION OF SECTION 13-3404.01.
(c) A DEADLY WEAPON OR A DANGEROUS INSTRUMENT, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 13-105.
(d) PROPERTY THAT IS USED FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMMITTING AN ACT OF TERRORISM AS PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 13-2308.01.
2. A CLASS 4 FELONY IF THE PERSON EITHER:
(a) IS CONVICTED OF A SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION.
(b) WITHIN SIXTY MONTHS BEFORE THE VIOLATION, HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM
THE UNITED STATES PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1229a OR HAS ACCEPTED A VOLUNTARY REMOVAL FROM THE UNITED STATES PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1229c.