Not being a lawyer, I admit that my take on this bill might not be correct. But consider: are churches charities?
The Wikipedia definition reads: “A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization (NPO) … [that] … centers on philanthropic goals as well as social well-being (e.g. charitable, educational, religious, or other activities serving the public interest or common good).”
So I guess the answer is “sure, churches are charities.” Even if that is not correct, the churches are covered by the language “EACH CHARITY OR OTHER ENTITY.” And that means that these AZ State Senators, aka Phouls in Phoenix, have just breached the firewall between church and state. SB 1468 reads, in part, “EACH CHARITY OR OTHER ENTITY THAT PARTICIPATES IN THE REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM IN THIS STATE FOR COMPENSATION SHALL … IMMEDIATELY CEASE ALL REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT ACTIVITIES”. Moreover, the bill in effect criminalizes charities (and that includes churches) by inposing financial penalities.
Do churches receive compensation for their chartiable activities? If not directly, they do so indirectly throsugh their tax-exempt status. It’s not just religious entities that might be affected. Here is a list of contractors that includes school districts. Here, FYI, is the overview of the Refugee Resettlement Program.
These phouls who wrote this bill are not only anti-immigrant, they are anti-religion. The legislature, via this bill, is ordering religious entities to act against the moral imperitives of their respective religions. Every church should undertake a crusade against any and all AZ legislators who sponsor or vote for this bill. Broadcast that far and wide.
Here are elements copied from the bill at http://azleg.gov. (Emphases added; caps are in the original bill.)
Senators Burges: Borrelli; Representatives Finchem, Kern, Leach, Shooter
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona: Section 1. Title 1, chapter 2, article 4, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 1–272, to read: 1–272. Sovereign authority; refugee resettlement program;
C. DURING THE PERIOD OF SUSPENSION OR WITHDRAWAL FROM THE REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION B OF THIS SECTION, EACH CHARITY OR OTHER ENTITY THAT PARTICIPATES IN THE REFUGEE RESETTLEMENTPROGRAM IN THIS STATE FOR COMPENSATION SHALL:
IMMEDIATELY CEASE ALL REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT ACTIVITIES INTO OR AFFECTING THIS STATE.
FILE A REPORT WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC SECURITY NOT LATER THAN FIFTEEN BUSINESS DAYS AFTER THE SUSPENSION OR WITHDRAWAL THAT CONTAINS A STATEMENT DESCRIBING THE EFFORTS MADE BY THE CHARITY OR OTHER ENTITY TO COMPLY WITH THIS SECTION AND THE NUMBER OF REFUGEES AFFECTED BY THE SUSPENSION OR WITHDRAWAL.
D. IF A CHARITY OR OTHER ENTITY DOES NOT CEASE ALL REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT ACTIVITIES INTO OR AFFECTING THIS STATE PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION C OF THIS SECTION, THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES SHALL 3MPOSE A CIVIL PENALTY OF ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER DAY PER REFUGEE FOR EACH REFUGEE PLACED IN THIS STATE BY THE CHARITY OR OTHER ENTITY. THE CHARITY OR OTHER ENTITY SHALL REIMBURSE THIS STATE OR ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS FOR ANY COSTS OF ARREST, PROSECUTION OR INCARCERATION FOR ANY REFUGEE WHO IS PLACED IN THIS STATE BY THE CHARITY OR OTHER ENTITY IN VIOLATION OF SUBSECTION C OF THIS SECTION AND WHO COMMITS A CRIME IN THIS STATE. THIS STATE, ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS AND THE VICTIM OF A CRIMINAL ACT COMMITTED BY A REFUGEE PLACED IN THIS STATE IN VIOLATION OF SUBSECTION C OF THIS SECTION MAY BRING AN ACTION AGAINST THE CHARITY OR OTHER ENTITY TO RECOVER DAMAGES PROXIMATELY CAUSED BY THE CRIMINAL ACT.
Sec. 3. Intent; short title
A. The legislature intends, at a minimum, to suspend the placement of all incoming refugees to this state through the refugee resettlement program to protect the sovereignty of this state.
And that is the intent of the cruel Phouls in Phoenix.
Even if my focus is legally naive, I ask you: what is there in this bill to like? Does this represent the moral compass of the United States? Does this represent the values of Arizona?