Arizona’s newest state senator, Jerry Lewis, is taking the national stage as an advocate for a moderate approach to immigration reform, reports the Arizona Republic. After defeating Senate President Russell Pearce in last week’s recall election, Lewis, a Republican, made clear he is intent on reversing what he has called Arizona’s dismal image on civil-rights and immigration issues.
Joining other advocates of immigration reform, Lewis participated in a national teleconference to mark the Nov. 11, 2010, adoption of a document called the Utah Compact, which advocates a more humane approach to immigration issues. The compact — endorsed by political, business and religious leaders in Utah — says the nation must find ways other than strict enforcement to deal with people in the U.S. illegally but working productively. It says immigration is a federal problem requiring federal solutions, local police should focus on serious crime rather than civil immigration violations. It also encourages policies that keep families together, recognizes immigrants’ contributions to the economy, and says immigration policy should be based on the principles of a free society.