Local politician pushes for no utilities for illegal immigrants

Posted: Updated:

CHANDLER – One Valley politician’s proposal is no utilities for illegal immigrants.

Barry Wong, a republican, says he wants power, gas and phone services shut off to people in Arizona illegally.

Nevertheless, the first thing he has to do is get elected. You have probably seen his campaign signs posted and his campaign has now become controversial but it is something Wong says he will not shy away from.

He is running for the Arizona Corporation Commission, a commission that controls utilities like water, electricity and natural gas.

As far as Wong is concerned, “It's not an entitled right to have utility service."

In the midst of Arizona's new illegal immigration law, Wong is proposing an idea that would take the stance against illegal immigration even further by cutting off services to anyone who cannot prove they are in the country legally.

Wong tells 3TV, “If they're not here legally and they're driving up the costs of everybody else, is that fair to the rest of the population?"

Maria Gallardo says, “We need water to survive because of the heat." Critics like Gallardo say it is an inhumane way to stop illegal immigration. "They're just making their lives more difficult and maybe they will stop coming but it's the wrong way of doing so, you know."

Wong insists it is strictly business because while illegal immigrants do pay for their utilities, “They're driving the demand, they're pushing the demand up using more power, so as the demand goes up, the electric companies like the APS of the world, TP's and others, they may have to build more power plants to meet the demand."

Wong says that translates to rate hikes. If he is elected, he would still have to get two other commissioners to agree with him before it could go into effect. Even then, critics say it would not be constitutional and there would likely be lawsuits.