Gov. Jan Brewer (R) of Arizona signed the immigration law sponsored by state senator Russell Pearce: "Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act" (SB 1070 text). Brewer signed the bill despite intense pressure from open border lobbyists and sensationalist media coverage. It even got to the point where local high schools that are predominately Hispanic were allowing their kids to join protests and bus loads of protesters were being brought into Phoenix from Los Angeles (more on this in a future blog).
To get a good summary of what has occurred watch this 11 minute PBS Newshour clip: Obama Calls for Immigration Reform as Arizona Enacts Controversial Measure.
President Obama wasted no time to denounce SB 1070 — and to threaten Arizona with intrusion by government inspectors if Brewer signs the bill. Fortunately Brewer didn't let Obama deter her from doing what is right. Here is a short news clip of Obama's statement: youtube MSNBC: Obama Talks about immigration Reform.
The Christian Science Monitor has a text version of Obama's warning to Arizona: "What will Washington do about the Arizona immigration law?", CSM, by Linda Feldmann, April 23, 2010.
In remarks Friday morning, before Brewerâ€™s decision to sign was known, President Obama called the bill â€?misguidedâ€? and said he had instructed members of his administration to â€?closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation.â€?
He also urged Congress to proceed with legislation, in an effort to preempt actions by other state legislatures.
â€?Our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others,â€? Obama said in a Rose Garden naturalization ceremony for 24 foreign-born members of the US military. â€?And that includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.â€?
Obama's message is very clear. He thinks Arizonans acted irresponsibly and he made a veiled threat to send feds to Arizona to harass law enforcement officers. Even more ominous is that he implied that if Brewer signs the bill there will be a new push for amnesty to head off any attempts in other states to emulate Arizona. Brewer ignored Obama's attempts to influence an issue that is a matter of a state's rights to enforce its borders.
STATEMENT BY GOVERNOR JAN BREWER, April 23, 2010