March 19, 2018

Arizona Initiative Limiting Benefits to Illegal Immigrants Shouldn’t Affect Libraries

By LJ Staff

Arizona voters passed Proposition 200, an initiative that makes it a crime for public employees to provide services to undocumented workers. Before the election, some critics and advocates of the bill said it could have broad effects, including denial of access to libraries and parks. However, after the election, Attorney General Terry Goddard, an opponent of the measure, said that it applies only to welfare benefits. He specifically mentioned that undocumented immigrants can obtain library cards. The Arizona Republic observed that, because Goddard’s conclusion is not binding on judges, interpretation of the initiative may ultimately be resolved in court. Supporters of Proposition 200 said they will ask state legislators to broaden the impact of the bill to food stamps and health care.