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Statement by Governor Jan Brewer

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Phoenix, AZ

"Today I was notified that the federal government has filed a lawsuit against the State of Arizona. It is wrong that our own federal government is suing the people of Arizona for helping to enforce federal immigration law. As a direct result of failed and inconsistent federal enforcement, Arizona is under attack from violent Mexican drug and immigrant smuggling cartels. Now, Arizona is under attack in federal court from President Obama and his Department of Justice. Today's filing is nothing more than a massive waste of taxpayer funds. These funds could be better used against the violent Mexican cartels than the people of Arizona.

"The truth is the Arizona law is both reasonable and constitutional. It mirrors substantially what has been federal law in the United States for many decades. Arizona's law is designed to complement, not supplant, enforcement of federal immigration laws. Despite the Department of Justice's claims in paragraph 62 of today's lawsuit, Arizona is not trying "to establish its own immigration policy' or "directly regulate the immigration status of aliens.' Arizona Revised Statutes § 11-1051(E) states that the federal government, along with local law enforcement officers authorized by the federal government, can only determine an alien's immigration status. Subsection (L) of that same section goes on to state that the law "shall be implemented in a manner consistent with federal laws regulating immigration.'

"The irony is that President Obama's Administration has chosen to sue Arizona for helping to enforce federal immigration law and not sue local governments that have adopted a patchwork of "sanctuary' policies that directly violate federal law. These patchwork local "sanctuary' policies instruct the police not to cooperate with federal immigration officials.

"The best thing government can do is to create a stable, predictable environment, governed by an easily understood set of rules or laws. We do not need to make this more complicated than it already is. We must first and foremost create a secure border. Enhanced trade, economic opportunity and freedom will surely follow.

"I am pleased that President Obama and the Department of Justice did not pursue the
baseless claims of illegal racial profiling in the lawsuit. When signing S.B. 1070, I said, "My signature today represents my steadfast support for enforcing the law -- both against illegal immigration AND against racial profiling.' Arizona's law expressly prohibits unconstitutional racial profiling. However, words are not enough. For this reason, I ordered the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZPOST) to develop training on the new law for Arizona's police officers. AZPOST has completed the training course and has published it for the all world to see at www.azpost.state.az.us/SB1070infocenter.htm. AZPOST has done its job professionally and served Arizona well.

"I will not stop fighting to protect the citizens of Arizona, and to defend Arizonans in federal court. I have set up a legal defense fund to pay the substantial legal fees that Arizona has been, and will be, forced to incur as a result of all of these lawsuits. Contributions to the Border Security and Immigration Defense Fund can be made at www.keepazsafe.com. My legal team will not hesitate to assert the rights of the State of Arizona in this matter. Arizona will ultimately prevail against the lawsuits -- including this latest assault by the Obama Administration. Our laws will be found to be constitutional -- because that is exactly what they are."


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