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Freshman Senator Takes On Enduring Immigration Issues

Audio

Aired 7/26/11

Steve Smith Profile

CASA GRANDE -- The line-up of elected officials picked to introduce state Senator Steve Smith at his first border fence fundraiser July 25 was a veritable Who’s Who of Arizona’s most outspoken immigration-enforcement advocates: Attorney General Tom Horne, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and state Senate President Russell Pearce. Of the latter, Smith told the crowd there’s no one he would rather model his political career after more.

“When I had this idea of running,” Smith said. “I looked through the whole legislature and I said: ‘Well, who do I identify with? Who do I want to talk to, who do I want advice from?’ I asked one person. I asked Russell Pearce.”

The feeling is mutual.

Arizona state Senate President Russell Pearce introduces state Senator Steve Smith at a fundraiser for a private border fence in Casa Grande, Arizona on July 20, 2011.
Enlarge this image

Above: Arizona state Senate President Russell Pearce introduces state Senator Steve Smith at a fundraiser for a private border fence in Casa Grande, Arizona on July 20, 2011.

Of Smith, Pearce, the SB 1070 champion, said: “I want tell you, I have paperwork in to adopt Steve.”

Pearce went on: “I love this young man. I appreciate his vigilance and his love for country, his love for God, his love for family.”

God, family, country. This was actually one of Smith’s campaign slogans when he ran for office last year, and won – the first Republican to represent the Casa Grande district as a state senator in nearly a century. The area's sudden shift in political leaning comes mainly from a similarly sudden shift in demographics, primarily because of transplants like Smith.



The senator was born and bred in Michigan, then migrated to Arizona in 2001, at the beginning of the boom. First he worked in the bio-tech industry; now, he’s the director of a talent agency.

Eventually, Smith settled in the City of Maricopa, which was, at the time, the fastest growing city in the state.

“I just loved coming out here because -- well, first, it was new. And my wife likes new,” Smith said. “I mean new buildings and new restaurants, I mean nothing was 60 years old. It was all built in the last seven to eight years. 

Yet much like Maricopa itself, underneath the newness is a deep affinity for the traditional.

”

Smith is a devout Christian and goes with his wife and two young daughters to church every Sunday. I say "church" though they actually congregate in a middle school and sit on pews made of cafeteria tables to hear the message.

 Similarly, in Smith's brand new home, in his brand new subdivision, he hangs portraits of George Washington and the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Arizona state Senator Steve Smith talks with supporters at a fundraiser for a private border fence at Tommy's Bistro in Casa Grande, Arizona.
Enlarge this image

Above: Arizona state Senator Steve Smith talks with supporters at a fundraiser for a private border fence at Tommy's Bistro in Casa Grande, Arizona.

“I’ve always been Mr. USA. I’ve always loved this country,” Smith said. “I remember getting in a tussle at school; I think we were in the in seventh grade, and it was just silly conversation and someone was saying something against America -- I mean, I’ve always been that kind of Midwestern kid, you know: God, family, country. And that's what I live for and that's what I live by.”



New housing developments aside, Smith said he does not like the other ways he sees his country changing. In Michigan, he watched a nearby city approve Muslim prayer calls, while banning church bells. In Arizona, he's horrified by the phenomenon he refers to as "Press Two For Spanish."



“Don't make me change my country for where you come from,” the senator said. “If you don't like this country with you, you wanna bring your language with you, your gangfare with you, stay where you were! Or face the consequences. But don't make me change because you don't want to.”



Smith introduced five immigration-related bills this year, most of them written to cut off social services to people who are in the country illegally. Even in Arizona, the bills were controversial. Only two passed -- one of which allows the state to raise private funds for a border fence.



"Here's the biggest issue in everything related to the border: If we truly wanted to secure the border, we could,” Smith said. “The problem is, we don't.”



Smith, on the other hand, does. To this end, he recently announced the web headquarters for his fundraising campaign: buildtheborderfence.com. His first goal is $50 million dollars.

Though even if these millions are raised for the fence, there’s still the question of where to put it. Ahead for Smith is an intricate and complex network of private, state, and reservation landholders, environmental constraints, not to mention the federal government.

Yet Smith remains undeterred. Asked at a recent Republican gathering what he would do if said federal government tried to stop him from building the fence, Smith laughed and replied: “Well, they can try.”


Comments

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 28, 2011 at 11:35 a.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

Hmm. Maybe both Smith and Peerce were playing hookey when the Sunday School teacher went over Leviticus 19:34 to love the stranger?

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Avatar for user 'Brittanicus'

Brittanicus | July 28, 2011 at 5:11 p.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

Those in Washington who are discussing discretionary spending and the debt ceiling and are already planning cutting funds from National Parks and National Monuments. Thousands of Post offices are on the condemned list and states are in an equal dilemma, having to cut-back on their State parks and recreation areas and many other agencies. The post 1986 Immigration Control or Reform Act, a bloody job killing amnesty, is still resonating today and will in our future years. And now the illegal immigration has spread like a virus, so we must congratulate Legislators who cleverly placed the blind fold over America’s eyes, completely ignoring the nightmare that was to come for us all. Millions of those itinerant foreigners began the Chain Migration horror that taxpayers are now paying for.When (Fair) analyzed the cost of illegal immigration and its nationwide deficit, they came up with a stunning figure of $113 billion dollars annually, while illegal alien revenue to the government coffers was a total amount of $13Billion dollars and change.

ACCORDING TO THE MEDIA, ILLEGAL ALIENS ARE LEAVING IN DROVES FROM ARIZONA. NEW ENFORCEMENT LAWS HAVE SENT THEM PACKING AS WELL IN ALABAMA AND GEORGIA. IF THEY STAY IN AMERICA AND DON'T HEAD HOME, YOU CAN BE SURE THEY WILL BE HEADING FOR THE SANCTUARY STATES OF CALIFORNIA AND NEVADA. IF THEY ARE ECONOMIC ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, THEY WILL ALREADY BE FORAGING AROUND FOR WELFARE AND OTHER FREE ENTITLEMENTS.

Not included in these illegal foreign labor is wages leaving the country to foreign nations, estimated to be 46 Billion dollars.Our economy is sinking and the Obama administration is insisting on passage of another Amnesty failure. Heritage Foundation has stated that cost for processing , Social Security will have an expenditure of 2.5 Trillion dollars, when we are still arguing in Congress on raising our debt ceiling. Say NO to any Immigration Reform, that generates CHAIN MIGRATIONS. Say No to Sanctuary States and cities. Say No to the Dream Act, that will be another avenue of Chain Migration.

This grading of the Presidential Hopefuls is based entirely on their immigration positions. We know that voters support candidates based on any number of policy positions and personal attributes.

Currently, this is how the Hopefuls rate on immigration policy (from worst to mediocre best):

F-minus: Barack Obama
F: Ron Paul
F: Gary Johnson
F: Rick Santorum
D-minus: Newt Gingrich
D-minus: Jon Huntsman
D-minus: Rick Perry
D: Sarah Palin
D: Mitt Romney
C-minus: Herman Cain
C+: Tim Pawlenty
B-minus: Michele Bachmann

If you want the President of the United States to work for immigration policies that are good for Americans, you need to pressure the Hopefuls on this list to come up with much better platforms than they now have.
Attn: Be observant in the forthcoming elections, as immigrants and illegal aliens are voting. This is "Only" a citizens right! Go to NumbersUSA for the details.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 29, 2011 at 10:51 p.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

Brittanicass, watch the CAPS LOCKS.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | July 29, 2011 at 10:52 p.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

NUMBERSUSA is nothing but a neo-Malthusian Nativist webiste.

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