After the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments over the Arizona law on April 25, a group of New Hampshire citizens asked the state to not to go forward with supporting its resolution regarding the issue in a meeting held on May 1, The Associated Press reported. The Arizona law requires law enforcement officials to check records of individuals they believe are in the country illegally without U.S. citizenship.
According to the AP, the New Hampshire resolution says illegal immigration is costing billions of dollars in welfare, health care, education and prison costs. One of the main reasons New Hampshire chose to initially back Arizona’s law was its statutes of protecting its borders and citizens.
The majority of those in attendance opposed the bill and brought up the point that the bill could one day be ruled unconstitutional. The supporters of the bill were scarce – even the sponsor didn’t show up to the hearing – however, they argue the bill must be set in order for the states to be able to protect themselves from illegal immigration, which they say the federal government has failed to do, the AP reported.
According to the source, Claire Ebel, executive director of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union, testified that aside from the native people in the courtroom, she, along with everyone else in the courtroom was a descendant of immigrants, including illegal immigrants. The Senate Internal Affairs Committee later voted on a 2-1 vote for the Senate to toss the bill.
Despite the fact the state supports Arizona’s right to protect its borders, those in opposition continued to say that the bill encourages racial profiling and ethnic stereotyping. Eva Castillo of the New Hampshire Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees said the bill would make everyone unsafe, the AP reported.
New Hampshire lawmakers have rejected several anti-immigration bills, including a February House bill that would have required police to verify the certificate of citizenship for everyone arrested or detained, according to the AP.
The courtroom wasn’t the only place where people were grouping together to oppose the bill on May 1. About ninety pro-immigrant and pro-worker individuals joined Castillo outside of Dover, New Hampshire, City Hall for a rally urging Congress and senators to pass immigration reform.