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CNN "CNN Newsroom" - Transcript: Arizona's Immigration Laws


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J.D. HAYWORTH (R), ARIZONA SENATE CANDIDATE: When you're dealing with domestic policy, it is important that domestic policy be dealt with on American soil.


LEMON: The Obama administration says, it will challenge Arizona's immigration law. People are mad about that, but they are also upset at the way the news was announced.

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LEMON: Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law takes effect in about a month if, of course, it overcomes a growing list of legal challenges. Now, there's this, a senior Obama administration official tells CNN that the Justice Department plans to file suit against the law and Arizona's governor is angry that news of the federal lawsuit broke during an interview in Ecuador with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: President Obama has spoken out against the law because he thinks that the federal government should be determining immigration policy. And the justice department, under his direction, will be bringing a lawsuit against the act.

GOV. JAN BREWER (R), ARIZONA: That is just totally outrageous that the people of Arizona would have to get this information vis-a-vis a blog from the president of our country from Hillary Clinton in Ecuador that they are going to sue us without coming straight to the state of Arizona and notifying me personally. It's outrageous and unacceptable.


LEMON: I talked about the planned federal challenge to the Arizona law with Arizona Republican Senate Candidate J.D. Hayworth and State Democratic House Member Krysten Sinema. I started by asking Hayward why it is such a big deal to him, the announcement happened in a foreign country?


HAYWORTH: When you're dealing with domestic policy, it is important that domestic policy be dealt with on American soil. The fact that the secretary of state whose portfolio does not include court cases involving Arizona or the federal government would make the statement is bad enough. But doubling the score to make this on Ecuador on television, to make this announcement in Ecuador, it betrays a couple of things. On one hand, incredible incompetence on the part of this administration worse deliberate deception. Because Don, the governor is absolutely right. It was just a few short days ago, Governor Brewer was in Washington meeting in the oval office with the president. The president informed the governor that he would be sending, I guess a task force to Arizona, that there would be continuing dialogue. What you see here Don is a lot less public policy productivity and a whole lot more politics.

LEMON: I want to let Representative Sinema get in on this. What about the legal strategy here that Justice Department has indicated it will clean Arizona should not be getting involved with immigration laws which is a Federal government jobs. Do you expect that argument to fly there?

KRYSTEN SINEMA (D), ARIZONA STATE HOUSE: Well, that's probably the strongest argument that exists against sb-1070. It's the supremacy Claus of the United States constitution and it clearly says that whatever the Federal government has authority over, the states enjoyment from engagement in that activity and the federal government does have a long history of setting and enforcing immigration policy in our country. You know, Don, an another note, I think it's important to realize that the Department of Justice actually came to Arizona just a few short weeks ago to meet with both Attorney General Goddard and Governor Brewer to discuss a potential lawsuit. So, this is no surprise to Arizona.

LEMON: So, listen to your first point when you answer this question. What if the federal government can't or won't secure the border, what is Arizona spokes to do here then?

SINEMAN: You know, that's a very real question and it's in fact a crisis in Arizona. Congress has completely abdicated its responsibility to enact tough immigration reform. And that leaves states like Arizona left to fend for themselves. Unfortunately, sb- 1070 doesn't do anything to solve the problem of crime and violence along our border and in our neighborhoods. And so, it's not a real solution to this very real problem. That doesn't mean though that Congress shouldn't take action to secure the boarder and enact tough immigration law.

LEMON: Go ahead Congressman Hayworth.

HAYWORTH: Don, I was just going to point out. Five years ago, I introduced the enforcement first act to try to get the federal government to get its act together and enforce existing immigration law, but when the federal government refuses to act, states are well within constitutional bounds to move forward to enforce the law. And all sb-1070 does by in large is to mirror the enforcement first act that I wrote five years ago. Basically ensuring that Arizona law enforcement will enforce immigration law and put an end to the de facto sanctuary cities and the sanctuary situations we have.


HAYWORTH: And one other thing, Don. It's very important to point out because all these arguments about encroaching on individual rights, listen to what the act itself said.


LEMON: Well, Congressman, listen, we understand that. We have heard the act before. And we don't have time.


HAYWORTH: But so many people haven't read it, I thought it might be important to talk about.

LEMON: Let me get to this question. They can look it up online or they can go to and they can actually read the act. But a lot of people from left and the right say, Arizona's law could lead to racial profiling. Is that a legitimate concern and shouldn't the federal government step in to ensure that, that doesn't happen?

HAYWORTH: Well, Don, you know, you precluded me from reading the exact clause that will preclude racial profiling. What you are asking us to accept is the notion that law enforcement professionals who will receive special training in this, who also have to abide by the act which again precludes any type of profiling and respects civil rights, you're expecting where the premise from the left is that law enforcement will run amok and run renegade. I categorically reject that concept. I believe you will see all about enforcement and virtually nothing about ethnicity. And I'm sorry I couldn't read it, but I do hope people would look it up. And certainly, they would be a step ahead of Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security who did not read the act.

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