- Associated Press - Thursday, March 17, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - A proposal barring judges from giving sentencing breaks to immigrants in the country illegally and making them ineligible for parole has passed an Arizona House panel.

Lawmakers said opponents falsely accused Republicans who supported the measure of racism while Democrats said the proposal violates Constitutional provisions that grant due process for all people.

Republican Sen. Steve Smith says his proposal is designed to ensure that people who already broke immigration laws are penalized if they violate state laws.

Senate Bill 1377 requires that judges sentence people to the presumptive term in jail or prison for new crimes when they’ve already violated immigration laws.

Smith’s proposal passed the House public safety committee on a 5-3 vote Thursday. It passed the Senate last month.

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