Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says she’s “very positive” the Supreme Court will uphold her state’s controversial immigration law that allows police to check the status of people they stop to determine if they are in the country illegally.
Speaking on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren,” the Republican said Wednesday night she believes the justices now understand the law “was not about racial profiling, or bigotry, or ethnic claims.”
“It was about the rule of law,” said Brewer, who attended the oral arguments Wednesday before the court. “And it was so clear. It was just . . . It’s what we’ve been saying, our message to everyone. It was great.”
During the course of the hour-long argument, several of the justices appeared to indicate they had no problem with the main provision of the law authorizing immigration status checks on people stopped for any reason.
But the justices also indicated there were other parts of the law that posed problems, including making it a crime for illegal immigrants to look for work.
Nonetheless, Brewer said she was excited the justices seemed to indicate they do not share the Obama administration’s view that the law conflicts with the federal government’s authority over immigration matters.
“Today was a great day, I believe, for freedom and for states’ rights,” Brewer said, adding that her state has been labeled as racist by opponents of the law who claim that it amounts to racial profiling.
“I think a lot of it is old fashioned politics, trying to get a vote,” she added, taking particular aim at President Barack Obama.
“I think there’s been a lot of pandering done by the opposition, trying to make it racial, and looking for Latino votes, and using scare tactics, if you will, and building this up to something that it never was meant to be,” Brewer continued. “So much misinformation has been presented from all levels of government, all the way up to the president, I am fearful to say.”
Arizona Sen. John McCain, who appeared on the program as well, also defended the state law passed two years ago, which at the time was the first large crackdown on illegal immigration by a state government.
“The people of Arizona did not feel that the federal government was fulfilling its responsibility, providing them with a secure environment, particularly in the southern part of our state,” McCain said.
He also criticized the president and other Democrats for trying to use immigration as a divisive issue in this year’s presidential and congressional elections.
“Now he’s using it as a cudgel to try to isolate the Hispanic vote,” McCain said. “And you got to give him some credit, they are succeeding to some degree.”
The Republican senator also said it was not an accident that New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer held a hearing on immigration the day before the Supreme Court arguments.
“It’s all got to do with politics and the election,” he said.
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