Governor Striking Out Against Critics

Phoenix, AZ – On Tuesday U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Department
of Justice is reviewing the Arizona law, with the possibility of
a court challenge. The measure, which Brewer signed Friday, also
has come under criticism from both President Obama and Homeland
Security chief Janet Napolitano, herself a former Arizona
governor. Brewer made it clear she's tired of being on the
receiving end of the criticism.

(Why don't they do their job and uphold their laws?)

She said Arizona can step in because the new state statute simply
mirrors federal laws. That refers to a provision that effectively
makes it a violation of Arizona law to be in this country
illegally. The statute lets police decide whether to prosecute
those they detain for breaking the Arizona law or simply turn
them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Brewer insisted
that Arizona is within its legal right to make being in the
United States without federal authorization a state crime. And if
the federal government disagrees?

(Secure our borders. And there won't be a problem.)

That provision is just part of the new law. It also requires
police, when practicable, to make a reasonable attempt to check
the immigration status of those with whom they have lawful
contact.'' And while the law bars racial profiling, it does
permit police to use an individual's race, ethnicity or national
origin in deciding who to question. Those provisions have
prompted calls, both within Arizona and outside, for a boycott of
the state. One of those came from California Senate leader
Darrell Steinberg who on Tuesday proposed severing all contracts
with Arizona businesses and government agencies. In a letter to
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steinberg said
California leaders -- quote have a moral obligation to deliver an
unequivocal message to lawmakers in Arizona that California does
not condone its conduct. Brewer did not agree.

(I think that's very, very unfortunate. Anybody that calls for a
boycott of doing business in the state of Arizona is really, in
my mind, irresponsible.)

She expressed the same views about the call by Arizona Congresman
Raul Grijalva for businesses to bypass the state when deciding
where to hold conferences and meetings.

(He is hurting his Latino population that is here existing in
Arizona legally. So it just absolutely doesn't make any sense to

The governor said these calls are different than the boycott two
decades ago that lasted until Arizona agreed to enact a state
holiday to honor slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Brewer also said she is taking proactive steps to build support
for the measure, at least among other border governors.

(I just thought I would touch base with them and let them know
exactly what is going on, give them a very clear understanding of
what the bill actually says and what it actually does, and hope
that they will stand with us.)

But Brewer herself showed a lack of understanding in what is in
the legislation she signed last Friday. In an appearance Tuesday
night on KAET-TV, the Phoenix PBS affiliate, host Ted Simons
asked the governor whether the requirement for police to check
for suspected illegal immigrants would chill the willingness of
crime victims and witnesses to come forward. She said the law
spells out that victims or witnesses are not required to show any
identification. In fact, there is no such language in the
measure. Instead, it says police officers do not have to ask
about a person's immigration status -- quote -- if the
determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation. For
Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.