AUGUSTA — A bill that immigrants’ advocates feared would amount to an Arizona-like law in Maine was withdrawn by its sponsor Tuesday.

State Rep. Kathy Chase, R-Wells, said her proposal, L.D. 1496, was not drafted as she intended and there was not enough time to correct it. All bills are scheduled to be voted out of committee by Friday.

The proposal, as drafted, would have required any law enforcement officer who legally detained someone to require that person to provide proof of citizenship. If authorities had “reasonable suspicion” that the person was an illegal alien, the officer would have to try to determine the immigration status of the person, according to the bill’s summary.

“It was supposed to apply when a person was arrested, to allow state authorities to inquire about their legal status,” Chase said.

Chase said she was not comfortable with subjective components of the bill. She also opposed a provision that would have allowed law enforcement to detain someone who couldn’t show proof of citizenship for as long as two hours.

Her bill had already been rewritten once by the Revisor’s Office, which is the maximum allowed.

Despite the criticism she received from immigration rights advocates, Chase said that she is a firm believer in immigration and that it is a building block of America. She said she did not withdraw the bill because of strong opposition to it.

“I can be just as passionate as they are,” she said. “But I can be just as practical as I am passionate.”

MaineToday Media State House Writer Rebekah Metzler can be contacted at 620-7016 or at: [email protected]