Buz Mills releases immigration plan: Cut educators to pay for border guards

By Nick R. Martin | May 10th, 2010 | 4:58 pm | 5 Comments »

Buz Mills
Buz Mills

Buz Mills, the wealthy gun range owner running for governor, said on Monday he wants Arizona to eliminate educators so it can put more guards on the border and keep illegal immigrants in prison longer.

Becoming the latest to chime in on Arizona’s seething immigration debate, Mills released a campaign video that, among other things, laid out his plan to stop the flow of illegal immigrants across the southern border.

“If our border is a priority, we must prioritize accordingly,” Mills wrote on Twitter a short time later. “This will mean some currently funded programs will be eliminated.”

Among the bigger-ticket items in his plan are a proposal to dispatch more National Guardsman to the Arizona-Mexico border and another to dispense longer prison sentences to illegal immigrants.

Gov. Jan Brewer, who Mills is trying to unseat in the Republican primary in August, said last month the state is in such bad financial shape it cannot afford a major increase of troops along the border.

But Mills said he has a way to find the money.

“We have plenty of things to cut from current budget,” Mills wrote. Asked what, specifically, he would chop, Mills replied he would begin with school administrators.

“Education,” Mills tweeted. “1:1 ratio of administrators to teachers. Cut admin to appropriate level – improve education while freeing budget $$$”

The proposal may also be a way for Mills to move away from a crowded Republican field whose candidates have struggled to distinguish themselves on a number of issues.

Brewer, meanwhile, is campaigning for a statewide one-percent sales tax, which is being sold as a way to save the Arizona’s education system from more cuts. Voters will decide on the issue May 18.

Brewer rocketed to a double-digit lead in the polls last month by signing the state’s controversial new immigration law, S.B. 1070.