Arizona Sens. Sinema and Kelly Vote To Deny Stimulus Checks to US Citizens in Mixed-Status Families

PHOENIX, AZ — Last night, the Senate passed legislation to advance a 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. Republican Senators Todd Young of Indiana and Tom Cotton of Arkansas introduced an amendment to deny stimulus checks to US Citizens in mixed status families. This anti-immigrant bill gained support from several Democratic Senators, including Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. In response, Bob Worsley, former Republican State Senator of Arizona, SkyMall Founder and Board Member of the American Business Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement:

“I am disappointed that both of Arizona’s Democratic Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema joined Republicans seeking to demagogue the immigration issue. Unfortunately, Senators Kelly and Sinema voted with them on a misguided amendment that could have denied 135,000 U.S. citizens in Arizona the Covid-19 stimulus checks they need because they had the bad luck of falling in love with or born to an undocumented immigrant. It was in fact moderate Republican Senators Marco Rubio, Thom Tillis and John Cornyn’s bill that removed this ‘marriage penalty’ and added mixed-status families to stimulus checks that Kelly and Sinema just voted against.

As a Republican, I primaried and won against division and hate when I beat then State Senate President Russell Pearce, sponsor of SB 1070, or the “Show Me Your Papers” bill. I showed that you can stand strong and win on your values — that welcoming the Stranger and being kind to undocumented immigrants is a politically winning strategy, that you can face down anti-immigrant demagoguery, even in a Republican Primary. We all know that undocumented immigrants are on the frontlines of the Pandemic recovery as healthcare and agricultural workers, holding your hand while you are on a ventilator, stocking shelves and picking crops so we can stay home and be safe. I am organizing the business community to get Arizona back on track as a leader on immigration reform like we were under John McCain and Jeff Flake. To have two Democratic Senators voting for this harmful policy is disappointing, and a bad start.” 

Arizona’s essential workers include over 161,600 undocumented immigrants in the healthcare, food supply, construction and care economy who contribute millions to the state economy, social security and Medicare. 

Contribution of immigrants to Arizona economy 

  • Contribute $21.1 billion in spending power
  • Pay more than $228.5 million in state taxes annually
  • Generate $1.6 billion in business income annually 
  • Compromise almost 25% of Arizona small businesses employing American workers 

About

The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) promotes commonsense immigration reform that advances economic competitiveness, provides companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, and citizens.

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