The Arizona Senate kicked off the 2016 legislative session with a heated immigration debate Wednesday, complete with protesters being tossed from a committee hearing and warnings the state was returning to the divisive era of Senate Bill 1070, the controversial 2010 immigration bill.
Some Republican lawmakers are pushing to handcuff a grassroots effort to develop a Phoenix identification card that supporters say would make it easier for residents, including undocumented immigrants, to access banking services, report crimes, use city programs and volunteer at their children’s schools.
Senate Bill 1017 would allow cities to develop a “municipal service access card,” but would prohibit them from calling it an “identification card.”
Cities could only provide an identification card if it meets the more stringent criteria the state requires for official cards such as driver’s licenses — criteria undocumented immigrants and people without a permanent address often cannot meet. Members of the LGBTQ community said such cards would also allow them to have an ID where they choose their gender.