Arizona”s S.A.N.E. Solution to Federal Immigration– Advancing National and State Concerns

The Real Arizona Coalition today announced Arizona’s S.A.N.E. solution to federal immigration reform to address the needs of a 21st century economy.

For more than two years, and with the recent participation from The O’Connor House, a wide and diverse array of Real Arizona Coalition members and state leaders have met regularly in a robust exchange of ideas to give shape to a platform on federal immigration reform.

The resulting achievement is a broad consensus called the S.A.N.E. Solution to Federal Immigration Reform. It is a platform based principally on respecting and acknowledging the contributions of the approximate 11 million immigrants here now without lawful authority, an understanding that many businesses and industries presently rely on this existing undocumented immigrant labor force, and the recognition that the continued and ongoing commercial and labor interests of state and national businesses require a rational and pragmatic immigration policy going forward. The S.A.N.E. platform is a starting point for a reasoned and balanced approach to addressing the shortcomings of America’s broken immigration system.

S.A.N.E. moves beyond enforcement-only strategies and toward integrated policies that respect the contributions of immigrants while addressing the underlying problems with the U.S. immigration system.

S.A.N.E. is an acronym that establishes a framework for policymakers to concurrently address multiple aspects of immigration reform:

The Real Arizona Coalition consists of nearly 40 leadership organizations, representing thousands of individuals statewide, including law enforcement officials, civil rights advocates, business leaders, children’s advocates, farmers, artists, health care professionals, state and local government officials, representatives of faith-based groups, elected leaders and others. More organizational and individual S.A.N.E. supporters will be signing up in the months ahead in an effort to encourage Arizona’s Congressional Delegation, Congress and the White House to advance federal immigration reform based on the principles articulated in this platform.

Here are quotes from key architects of the platform:

“This effort is a historic collaboration of Republicans, Democrats, Independents and many sectors of our community representing a variety of perspectives on the immigration debate. We discussed pressing issues at hand for our state and our country. We agreed. We disagreed. And we compromised to produce what we regard as the S.A.N.E. solution,” said The Honorable Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

“Through the pillars of Arizona’s S.A.N.E. platform and civil discourse, we are leveraging our state’s admittedly high profile on immigration and demonstrating bold thoughtful leadership. By our example of tough compromise, we hope to advance federal solutions to this complex issue,” said Daniel R. Ortega, Jr., immediate past chairman of the National Council of La Raza.

“It’s time to move from stalemate to solutions on the broader issue of immigration,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “This is not about repealing any of Arizona’s laws addressing the impact of illegal immigration. It is, however, about the inextricable links between the need to secure the border, account for individuals in the country without lawful authority, reform the visa system, and engage all levels of government for continued enforcement through a sensible approach.”

“The unintended economic consequences, such as boycotts, strained relations with Mexico–our largest trading partner with the 11th largest economy in the world–and needless tensions in our own communities must change. The S.A.N.E. approach to immigration reform is the only practical way forward. I ran successfully on this platform in Mesa and the voters have spoken,” said Arizona State Senator-elect Bob Worsley-R, District 25.

“The time for comprehensive immigration reform is now, the time to recognize the vast need to make common-sense changes to current policy is long past due,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Arizona needs this, our nation needs this and I, as mayor of our state’s largest city, will work with mayors in Arizona and across the country to support the S.A.N.E. solution to immigration reform.”

“It’s time for America and Arizona to move forward on immigration. The issue has always been a question of balancing our humanity and our respect for the contributions of immigrants with the practical demands of an irrefutably evolving economy and importance of border security,” said Lisa Urias, The RAC Co-founder and president of Urias Communications.

“We believe the S.A.N.E. platform will be of value to Arizona’s Congressional delegation and other key public officials over the next several months as the nation engages in discussions and an ultimate resolution for how to fix our country’s immigration system,” said Martin L. Shultz, Senior Policy Advisor, Brownstein Hyatt Barber and Schreck, and treasurer of The RAC.

“Arizona has much to offer in advancing federal immigration reform through the problems we’ve had, the lessons we’ve learned and the compromises we’ve made. We cannot put the controversy over immigration concerns in our state behind us, unless we’re part of the national solution. In so doing, we also hope to begin restoring the image of the diverse and welcoming Arizona we know and love,” said Denise D. Resnik, The RAC Co-founder and president of DRA Strategic Communications.

“I lived as an undocumented immigrant for 12 years. Today, I no longer live in the shadows, but proudly speak out for my immigrant brothers and sisters because they deserve the dignity I was denied for so long. While the S.A.N.E. platform may not respond to everything today’s DREAMers are seeking, it carves a new path for federal immigration reform and I’m proud to be part of this important Arizona-led effort,” Dulce Matuz, president of the Arizona DREAM Act Coalition and recently picked as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.