Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today to consider and rule on Arizona's controversial law targeting illegal immigrants.
“I would like to commend the U.S. Supreme Court for its decision to review and hear arguments pertaining to the federal court injunction against critical portions of SB 1070,” the Republican governor said. “I am confident the High Court will uphold Arizona’s constitutional authority and obligation to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens.”
The justices said they will review a federal appeals court ruling that blocked several tough provisions in the Arizona law. One of those requires that police, while enforcing other laws, question a person's immigration status if officers suspect he is in the country illegally.
The Obama administration challenged the Arizona law by arguing that regulating immigration is the job of the federal government, not states. Similar laws in Alabama, South Carolina, and Utah also are facing administration lawsuits.
“This case is not just about Arizona,” Brewer insisted. “It’s about every state grappling with the costs of illegal immigration. And it’s about the fundamental principle of federalism, under which these states have a right to defend their people. Beyond the obvious safety issues, the fiscal burdens imposed upon Arizona by illegal immigration are daunting. Our state spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year incarcerating criminal aliens and providing education and healthcare to individuals who entered and reside in this country in violation of our laws.
“As the gateway for nearly half of the nation’s illegal border crossings, it’s no secret that Arizona bears the brunt of problems caused by illegal immigration,” she said. “I signed SB 1070 in order to give our state and local law enforcement one more tool with which to combat illegal immigration, while acting in concert with federal law and the U.S. Constitution. As I did so, I was keenly aware of the need to respect federal authority over immigration-related matters. The legislation authorizes cooperative law enforcement and imposes sanctions that consciously parallel federal law.
“Despite that, the United States took the extraordinary step of initiating a lawsuit to enjoin key provisions of the law before it ever took effect. I was stunned at the audacity of the Obama administration to file suit against an individual state seeking to safeguard its people. That shock turned to outrage as the federal government proceeded to file suit against three more states — South Carolina, Alabama and now Utah — that followed Arizona’s lead.
“Arizona has been more than patient waiting for Washington to secure the border. Decades of federal inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation, and states deserve clarity from the Court in terms of what role they have in fighting illegal immigration. I’m pleased this nationally important issue will be resolved by the highest court in the land.”
The high court now has three politically charged cases on its election-year calendar. The other two are President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul and new electoral maps for the Texas Legislature and congressional delegation.
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