Az. Gov. Signs Immigration Bill: ‘We Must Prove the Alarmists and Cynics Wrong’
April 24, 2010
(ChattahBox)—As expected, Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed a harsh immigration bill into law on Friday. She signed the bill before cameras, with hundreds of people protesting against the draconian measure outside the capitol. In response to the racial profiling inherent in the bill, Brewer also signed an executive order mandating additional police training, to outline “what does and does not constitute reasonable suspicion.” But before the ink was dry on her signature, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon pledged to sue the state, declaring the law unconstitutional.
When the bill takes effect sometime this summer, it will be a state crime to be in the state without carrying proof of residency papers. The bill has been derided, as a “Show me your papers” law. The law also makes it a crime for day laborers to impede street traffic, including people picking them up.
Brewer issued a statement and took questions from the press, insisting “I will not tolerate racial discrimination or racial profiling in Arizona.”
“We must use our new tool wisely,” she said. “We must react calmly, enforce it evenly and we must prove the alarmists and cynics wrong.”
And she took direct aim at the federal government, calling her state’s immigration problem, “the crisis the federal government has refused to fix.”
President Obama referred to the tough immigration bill, as “misguided,” while also acknowledging the federal government has failed to address the problem for years.
“Our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others,” said Obama. “In fact, I’ve instructed members of my administration to closely monitor the situation and examine the civil rights and other implications of this legislation. But if we continue to fail to act at a federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country.”
Opponents of the bill, view the measure as institutionalizing racism and racial profiling, essentially making it a crime to be brown-skinned in the state of Arizona.
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, (D-Phoenix) called the new law “one of the darkest days in Arizona.”
“This violates the rights of all Arizonans,” she said. “It will be litigated. We will seek an injunction from this law being implemented.”
When asked by a reporter what an illegal immigrant looks like, Brewer responded “I do not know what an illegal immigrant looks like.” Brewer added, “I can tell you that I think there are people in Arizona that assume they know what an illegal immigrant looks like.” “I don’t know if they know that for a fact or not, she said.”
Photo Credit: Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic