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Congressman, great to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.
REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D), ARIZONA: Thank you, Ed. I appreciate you having me here.
SCHULTZ: You know, this is such an important issue for our country because if we don`t get this right, where do we move from here? What`s the next generation do?
But I want to start with the Arizona law and this ruling by the Supreme Court. It still says racial profiling is going to happen and it doesn`t do anything to curb that. Are you troubled by that?
GRIJALVA: Now, I think that`s a poisonous aspect of the decision. It leaves open the possibilities for persons like Joe Arpaio in my state who sees that as no consequence and civil liberties and civil rights as no consequence, so he`s -- that`s why he`s in court, to abuse that police authority that local officials have. We have great people in our state, sheriffs, police chiefs across our state, who are saying that this law was wrong from the beginning, and that it was a liability for local communities.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of Jan Brewer`s response?
GRIJALVA: Well, you know, this law was delusional when it began. And unfortunately, our governor continues to be delusional. The fact that the
core about whose right it is to set immigration law was decided today and
it is a federal congressional responsibility, and she still continues to believe that because a section, which is onerous, which is poisonous, continues to be alive in this legislation 1070, that there is a victory.
There`s not a victory. It`s a bad precedent for the country. It is a bad precedent for public policy, due process, 14th Amendment. And it`s going to be challenged legally. It`s going to be challenged politically, and that`s the way it should be, because I really believe that that portion of it was as constitutional at the rest of them.
SCHULTZ: Well, this was the hot button issue.
GRIJALVA: There`s no question.
SCHULTZ: And so in some respects, those who do have a chip on their shoulder so to speak would say, good, we can move forward from here. I mean, don`t you see it that way?
GRIJALVA: Yes, and that`s what I think is the most disturbing about that portion that the Supreme Court kind of held in terms of the constitutionality is that it allowed personalities driven by motives beyond the law like Arpaio and others, to use that discretion that the court has given them in this interim period to basically take away people`s rights and abuse people`s privileges.
SCHULTZ: All right. The Bush administration couldn`t do it. The Obama administration ran into a filibuster. I mean, how much responsibility is on the Congress now to get immigration reform moving? I mean, Jan -- I want to play this for you. Jan Brewer is blaming the Democrats for not getting immigration reform passed. There she is.
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BREWER: We also cannot forget that President Obama and his party had both houses in Congress for two years and could have secured our borders and fulfilled the promise to fix our broken immigration system.
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SCHULTZ: Your response, Congressman?
GRIJALVA: Well, I kind of find it curious. Other than myself and Congressman Pastor, who we have been consistently for comprehensive reform, we`ve been for a bipartisan solution, we`ve been for the DREAM Act, we supported that all through the years, and there`s not one Republican, in Arizona, in our delegation, including our senators, that has helped in that bipartisan effort.
In fact, they have set up barriers. I find it ironic that the people that harp the most about the states need to do it because the federal government won`t are the same ones that put every impediment in front of us here in Congress to get it done.
I think there`s a great deal on Congress should be, it`s our responsibility. We need to take care of it, and it`s time that the Republicans stepped up and acted as adults and quit exploiting this issue and exploiting the poor people that are abused by this issue.
SCHULTZ: Ironically, Mitt Romney was in Arizona today. He says she wishes the Supreme Court would have upheld the state law. What does that tell you?
GRIJALVA: It tells me he continues to be out of touch, not only on the issue of immigration but how to react to an emerging constituency in this country, a demographic shift in this country, which is the Latino community. And rather talk about accommodation, integration and working toward a solution on immigration, he`s caught between pandering and not knowing what to do.
He`s in the same boat he was in the beginning, and that -- and all of us in our community realize he has no solution and he has no ideas about what to do about this.
SCHULTZ: And, Congressman, finally, there are other states that are involved in this. You know, Georgia, Alabama, Indiana, South Carolina, other states that have tried to go down this road of passing immigration laws. What do you think -- what do you think their response is going to be tonight to this Supreme Court? Where do you think they`ll go from here?
GRIJALVA: Well, the brakes have been put on in the fact they can preempt the federal government immigration law. The brakes have not been put on in terms of that section which empowers local law enforcement. I hope those states realize that this is about due process and the 14th Amendment. They should wait for all those issues to be clarified before they turn loose an agenda that is only going to further divide and economically hurt the states that have similar laws like Arizona.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Raul Grijalva of Arizona, good to have you with us tonight.
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