Watch Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s Full Reaction to Immigration Ruling


[Jan Brewer] Good morning. Well, good morning to all of you, and thank you all for being here this morning. Let me begin by saying, from the moment I signed into law Senate Bill 1070 – the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act – Arizona has been preparing for this day. Because the facts have too often been lost in the rhetoric, let’s reflect on what has brought us here today. Arizona did not ask for this fight nor did it seek out the task of having to confront illegal immigration. We cannot forget that we are here today because the federal government has failed the American people regarding immigration policy – has failed to protect its citizens, has failed to preserve the rule of law – and has failed to secure our borders. The failure to secure the border has created issues we now face regarding illegal immigration. And Arizona without question bears the brunt of that failure. 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. They failed. In response, Arizona had no other choice but to act, and Arizona did so by following, not changing, Federal law. Instead of devoting resources to suing states like Arizona, the Federal government should have spent time, money and energy on fixing the problem. So, today is a day when the key components of our effort to protect the citizens of Arizona, to take up the fight against illegal immigration in a balanced and constitutional way has unanimously been vindicated by the highest court in the land. The heart of Senate Bill 1070 has been proven to be constitutional. Arizona’s and every other states’ inherent authority to protect and defend its people has been upheld. I prayed for strength and I prayed for our state before I signed Senate Bill 1070. I did so because I firmly believed it represented what was best for Arizona. Border-related violence and crime and the significant financial costs due to illegal immigration are critically important issues to the people of our state, and to me – both as Governor and as a citizen. As I have said, this is the day we’ve been waiting for. And, make no mistake, Arizona is ready. We know the eyes of the world will be upon us. We know the critics will be watching and waiting, hoping for another opportunity to continue their legal assault against our State. But I have faith in our law enforcement. Our brave men and women in uniform have been trained so that they are able to enforce this law efficiently, effectively and in harmony with the Constitution. Civil rights will be protected. Racial profiling will not be tolerated. Senate Bill 1070 is equally committed to upholding the rule of law while ensuring that the constitutional rights of all in Arizona are protected, including prohibiting law enforcement officers from solely considering race, color, or national origin in implementing its provision. In fact, under my direction Senate Bill1070 was amended to strengthen and to emphasize the importance that civil rights are protected. Arizona is prepared to move forward, to enforce this law that we have fought so hard to defend, ever mindful of our rights, ever faithful to the Constitution, and ever worthy of the blessings of God who has given us that, that we share together as Arizonans and as Americans. Governor, you… [Brewer] Thank you. [From the public] I thought you mentioned section 2B and I appreciate that, but there were 3 other sections of the law you signed independently, including one that make it a state crime not to have federal papers, one that would make a state crime not to work and the full core, the full core essentially said, with the exception [some indistinct words] No, you can’t do this, for how do you defend having signed something like that? How do you defend having declared that constitutional two years ago, only to have the High Court slap you? [Brewer] Well, today, the State of Arizona and Senate Bill 1070 was vindicated. And the heart of the bill was upheld unanimously. [Question] Governor, how effective can section 2B without the enforcement [Inaudible words] … I mean, considering some of the Obama administration’s rules on who they’re not gonna deport anymore? [Brewer] Well, with section 2B being upheld, it says that local law enforcement can assist the Federal government in the right to ask, under reasonable suspcion and whenever practicable, to confirm the legal ability of someone being in the state of Arizona. [Question from the audience] But the point, I think what Jeremy’s point is, if they have decided to – the President’s state – and today they also cancelled the State’s 287 (g) status – that they are not going to pick them up, what’s the point? So you stop, you determine somebody is illegal, I says: So what? So you let him go. So you’ve accomplished nothing. [Brewer] I believe that we have accomplished a lot, and that was upheld by the United States Supreme Court, and that we will move forward, instructing law enforcement to begin practising what the United States Supreme Court has upheld. [Question] Governor there’s, there are going to be, and the Court recognizes it there’ll probably be challenges to Section 2. you guys lost on three of the provisions and you did prevail on Section 2. But it looks like there’s an opening there, and some people saying you’re characterizing this as a broad victory and it’s not. [Brewer] Well, this certainly is not the end of our journey. We fully expect lawsuits to be filed, and that this portion of the law be challenged, and we will be getting ready and prepared if that takes place. [Overlapping inaudible questions] Can you inform us as to what has happened, what happened and when? [Brewer] Well, I think the Court upheld the ability of the local law enforcement to assist the Federal government in immigration laws, meaning that they have the authority, under reasonable suspicion, to question someone who has already been apprehended to certify whether they are – have legal status in Arizona. [Question] Is it going to change anything? [Brewer] I would think that it would be in effect immediately. You probably might want to speak to a lawyer, but my personal opinion is that when it is upheld by the Supreme Court, that it would be effective immediately. [Overlapping inaudible questions]… one more question [Question, first words inaudible]….does it really change anything on the ground…. [Brewer] I believe that it does. I think that Section 2B was the heart of the law, I think that’s where the majority of the concern was, whether the local law enforcement had the ability to seek information from people that they apprehend in the middle of a crime, and now it has been validated unanimously by the United States Supreme Court. [Off voice] Thank you all for being here. Thank you. [Partly inaudible question] … But you still have the fact that the Federal Government is saying they’re not going to deport these people. (8:27)

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