Arizona Governor Jan Brewer issued a statement reacting to the Supreme Court’s decision striking down three of the four provisions of the state’s controversial immigration law, SB1070, which she signed into law in 2010. Ms. Brewer said she’s glad the Court upheld the provision she called “the heart” of the law, which allows police officers to check someone’s immigration status in the course of investigating other crimes as long as there is “reasonable suspicion” that person is here illegally.
“Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for the rule of law. It is also a victory for the 10th Amendment and all Americans who believe in the inherent right and responsibility of states to defend their citizens,” Ms. Brewer said. “After more than two years of legal challenges, the heart of SB 1070 can now be implemented in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.”
Other supporters of the law, including Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Congressman Steve King, also responded to today’s Supreme Court ruling.
Critics of SB1070 have argued giving police the authority to check immigration status based on “reasonable suspicion” leads to racial profiling. Ms. Brewer rejected the notion the law can lead to civil rights violations.
“I know the State of Arizona and its law enforcement officers are up to the task. The case for SB 1070 has always been about our support for the rule of law. That means every law, including those against both illegal immigration and racial profiling,” Ms. Brewer said. “Law enforcement will be held accountable should this statute be misused in a fashion that violates an individual’s civil rights….Upon signing SB 1070 in 2010, I issued an Executive Order directing the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (AZ POST) to develop and provide training to ensure our officers are prepared to enforce this law efficiently, effectively and in a manner consistent with the Constitution….I am confident our officers are prepared to carry out this law responsibly and lawfully. Nothing less is acceptable.”
Mr. Arpaio, the Sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County and an outspoken supporter of the law, gave an interview discussing the Supreme Court ruling to the ABC affiliate in Phoenix. He echoed the notion the training provided to Arizona’s law enforcement officers will prevent any risk of racial profiling.
“We do not racial profile. I think we have the most trained law enforcement officers in the country, because ICE has trained 100 of my deputies,” said Mr. Arpaio. “One hundred of my officers have been trained–five week courses federal training, so we are well-trained to perform our duties in this manner.”
Congressman King, the vice chairman of the House immigration subcommittee, also said he was pleased the Court upheld the provision of the law allowing police officers to check the immigration status of suspects while pursuing other crimes.
“The most important component was upheld. And that’s the reasonable suspicion component,” Mr. King said in an interview on Fox News. “That will give some of the states more confidence to go forward with their own reasonable suspicion laws.”
Though he was glad to see the reasonable provision was upheld, Mr. King didn’t entirely agree with Ms. Brewer’s view the Court’s decision was a “victory for the rule of law.” He told Fox Governor Brewer was “more optimistic” than he is about the ruling.