On Monday, March 14, the wife of democratic candidate Bernie Sanders toured Tent City, a well-known strip of tents housing convicted undocumented immigrants in Maricopa County, Arizona, ahead of the following week’s primary. According to CNN, Sanders was quick to criticize the controversial jail run by Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio who refused to answer any of her questions directly. Sanders said the jail was inhumane and provided unacceptable treatment to fellow human beings.
After a rousing round of primaries on March 15, the race toward the presidential nomination heads next to Arizona on March 22. According to the Wall Street Journal, immigration is predicted to be the most influential matter at hand determining the future of the potential nominees for both parties in Arizona. Despite the state’s long-standing lean toward conservative candidates, Arizona’s incredibly large hispanic population could lead to a much more competitive battle in the upcoming general election.
A study done by Human Rights First released an excerpt on March 15 stating that the backlog of immigration cases continues to grow in many states. Immigrants in New York on average will wait two years to have their case heard while in Arizona the current wait ranges from three to 3 1/2 years. This comes as a result of poorly distributed funding when it comes to handling immigration cases. While Congress has increased the budget for immigration enforcement over the years, they have not increased the budget for the systems that handle the results of these cases.