June 1st, 2010
08:30 PM ET
8 years ago

Arizona Gov. to Obama: We'll see you in court

(CNN) - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer made clear Tuesday she's not worried about a potential legal challenge from the Obama administration over her state's controversial immigration law.

"We'll meet you in court," Brewer told CNN's John King when asked how she would respond if President Barack Obama's justice department decided to challenge the law. "I have a pretty good record of winning in court."

The American Civil Liberties Union is currently leading a court challenge and Attorney Gen. Eric Holder, who met with a delegation of police chiefs from Arizona and elsewhere this week to discuss the law, has not indicated whether the federal government would file a legal challenge.

Obama, who himself has called the law "misguided," will meet with Brewer at the White House on Thursday, a White House official told CNN's Ed Henry. It will be the first time the two meet one-on-one since Brewer approved the law in April.

But Brewer strongly defended the law on CNN's John King, USA, saying she would not suspend it even if Obama sharply increased the number of U.S. troops at the Mexican border.

"I think what we've done is mirrored a federal law," she said. "The people of Arizona, certainly people throughout America agree that it is the right thing to do. We've been down this path before with securing our borders in Arizona. And nothing was finished."

"So we need to move forward," Brewer added. "You know, it's trespassing when you cross the border into Arizona into the United States. It's trespassing. We need our borders secured."

The new immigration law, implemented last month, allows police officers to check the residency status of anyone who is being investigated for a crime or possible legal infraction if there is reasonable suspicion the person is an illegal resident. Critics, including Holder, have said the law will promote racial profiling.

But Brewer said Tuesday the law does not target an individual's specific race.  She also made clear driver's licenses are not sufficient to prove citizenship.

"It wouldn't matter if you are Latino or Hispanic or Norwegian," she said. If you didn't have proof of citizenship and the police officer had reasonable suspicion, he would ask and verify your citizenship. I mean, that's the way that it is. That's what the federal law says. And that's what the law in Arizona says."

The Arizona governor also said the White House has not adequately communicated with her about Obama's recently announced plan to dispatch 1,200 National Guard troops to the border.

"I'm sitting here with no good information. It would be very helpful, I might say, if somebody would give me something in writing telling me what they're sending to Arizona, how will it be distributed?" she said.

Filed under: Arizona • Immigration • JKUSA • John King USA • Popular Posts
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Dave, Illinois

    NBC, CNN, and other Obama apologists will not cover the meeting since the governor will mop the floor with our junior grade President. Oops, better run a Palin story to distract the simple-minded Libtards.

    June 1, 2010 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  2. verbalobe

    I thought the "new immigration law, implemented last month," *REQUIRES* "police officers to check the residency status of anyone who is being investigated..." Am I wrong on this?

    On another note - I wonder why these Arizona hardliners don't seem to be willing to contemplate the regular kinds of work-visit and work-residency arrangements that often exist where a wealthier country with employment opportunities borders a poorer country with a workforce. This is not rocket science. Their response seems to simply be "get rid of em" as if they themselves (the immigrants/migrants) were evil.

    Ain't no getting rid of em, and they KNOW it, I think. It's 80% political posturing for personal gain.

    June 1, 2010 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The fact that a state is not the one to make the final decision on this is the concern. How the implementation of this really concerns many of who feel it could be used for profiling. We won't know that someone has done it until they have done it alot. By then it could be and will be too late.

    June 1, 2010 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  4. B in Alaska

    Brewer "I have a pretty good record of winning in court."

    Yeah maybe on small stuff BUT this is a possible suit brought by The United States of America vs Arizona. I doubt your pretty good record will go unblemished. Christ you sound like my ex Governor and she is a few sandwiches shy of a picnic

    June 1, 2010 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Woman you are a sad case. You and Sarah Palin need to go away.

    June 1, 2010 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  6. Dave

    She is awesome. The federal government has failed in protecting and securing the borders for decades. Obama's administration ahs made it worse with nothing but lip service and bowing down to the mexican prez.
    People who say this is racist are ignorant fools with blinders on. It is simply securing the borders and knowing who the hell comes into the country.
    There are over 10 other states getting ready to enact similar legisation.
    Florida is one of them!! AWESOME. Tell Obama to shove it. The guy is pathetic and has made every single wrong move so far. He has done nothing but cram his agenda down the publics throat. Can not wait until November so it will become clear that he is a lame duck, one term loser.

    June 1, 2010 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  7. TogetherWeStand

    Hatred will never fix our immigration system. What we need is true comprehensive immigration reform, not bigotry.

    I feel sorry for the LEGAL LATINOS who live in AZ, they will be targeted regardless. C'mon, do you think there are any "Norwegian" immigrants in that state???

    June 1, 2010 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  8. Annie, Atlanta

    Why didn't John King ask these hard hitting questions of Dick Cheney when he had the chance? If you're wondering, CNN, why your ratings have dropped recently, check out the King interview of Cheney again. He had the opportunity of a lifetime and instead gushed.

    June 1, 2010 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  9. Bull

    God bless Brewer. She has the guts to lead unlike our loser President who is crippling us at every turn in the road from healthcare, to the economy, immigration and feckless leadership on the BP oil spill. Even that simpleton Biden could have done better thus far.

    June 1, 2010 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  10. The Truth, Please...I Just Want The Truth

    Everybody knows that this new AZ law won't do a thing about illegal immigrants from Europe, Africa, or Asia.

    This law is about targeting ONE specific ethnic group: HISPANICS.

    June 1, 2010 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  11. Marie

    The Govenor has latched on to a good thing politically and she'll ride it to the end. She definately win re-election. But many of current political supporters from similarly diverse state are going to ignore her sooner later because her seeming intolerance. Ask the Israelis, being painted as intolerant is not pretty.

    June 1, 2010 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  12. SNAPPA

    Until they added the language stating that they cannot ask for proof of residence unless in the commision of a crime. I did not support simply having police stopping people and asking for "papers". I still believe that this law is a factor of bigotry.

    June 1, 2010 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    How has it helped have you deported any one yet

    June 1, 2010 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  14. waheid

    Federal inaction resulted in Arizona's action. If the feds are upset, they should be upset with themselves. The immigration problem cannot be solved by politicians of either party because of the perceived need to win support from the Latino population or at least to avoid upsetting them. If Obama, Holder, et. al. don't like the Arizona solution, let them stop talking and produce something better.

    June 1, 2010 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  15. me in NH

    i support the prez.
    but, in this case I am all for ARIZONA

    June 1, 2010 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    She can say all day long that this wont lead to racial profiling but eventually it will, and also i think when people think of illegal immigrants they automatically think of latinos or hispanics coming here but what about the other races yes even some that really look white are here illegally. Yes i support the law by making sure everyone who are here are not breaking the law, but i dont support just one race and just targeting one set of peoples or race, and mark my word it will be racial profiling.

    June 1, 2010 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  17. Charlotte

    This woman is arguably as big an idiot as Sarah Palin. What morons voted for her in the first place? I'll tell you who – all the snotty rich white bigoted Snowbirds who have settled unfortunate Arizona and turned it into a right-wing debacle, that's who. Get rid of her however you can, she is a detriment to humanity.

    June 1, 2010 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  18. AZantiredneck

    Somehow AZ's proximity to CA and long distance from Texas and other redneck has done nothing to help it fight to claim redneck state status, I am legally working in AZ but not a citizen. How can some cop pulling me over for speeding, check my citizenship because I am not a freaking citizen by in the country legally? I have to carry 10 different documents when I go out to buy some coffee?? Why cannot we just make Brewer Governor and stop her from going ahead with this dumb law?

    June 1, 2010 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  19. Paul

    Hmm...so driver's licenses don't count as proof of citizenship...so say you're a US citizen driving thru Arizona and you get pulled over, and the cop asks you for ID, and you hand him your driver's license..."NOT GOOD ENOUGH", he says, "I need better proof of citizenship." So how many of you carry your passport, birth certificate or social security card around with you at all times–hmm, not many, most likely, so it's into the slammer with you, and let's say there's a bus headed back to Mexico to drop off all you illegals, and since you have NO rights to due process until you can prove your citizenship, but the bus is leaving now, it's off you go to a probably not-so-wonderful vacation in Mexico while the state impounds your car...don't think I'll be going to Arizona soon, though really, I have nothing to worry about, since I'm not Hispanic...well, maybe not, since Governor Brewer herself said it could happen to a Norwegian....

    June 1, 2010 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  20. joynnbob

    I saw over on a non-government site that flags were burned and trampled around the country on Memorial day. You would have thought all of the Obamists would have taken the off, just like the beast himself.

    June 1, 2010 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  21. Chad from Tampa

    Ummm, isn't it illegal to cross our borders illegally????? Arizona is right, Obama is wrong.

    June 1, 2010 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  22. Moonbeam

    It seems like it's either against the 14th Amendment or it's not. Not sure what legal issues are involved. But has the governor done all she can to get companies to sign up for e-verify? Is there anything in the new law as written that punishes companies for hiring illegal aliens? That's the crux of the problem. I read that under the Clinton administration, about 225 companies were prosecuted, but under the Bush administration, the number had dropped to about 15?

    Why could the new law encourage lawsuits from citizens who feel the police and/or Border Patrol or other state employee has failed in some way to enforce the new law, but insist 100% compliance with e-verify? Is this a scheme to turn Arizona into a feeding trough for defense lawyers?

    June 1, 2010 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  23. reatte texas

    More power to you ARIZONA some of us AMERICANS are behind you 100% I just wish that all of the states would take your stand if you want to come to the USA then do it legally like the law abiding citizens do. What gets me is that the majority of the jails and prisons have illegals that have hurt alot of people and it is a burden on our states and money to have to feed cloth them. Meixco needs to find jobs and help there own people we are having enough problems helping our own.


    June 1, 2010 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  24. Moonbeam

    Made error in my post above. The second paragraph should read,

    "Why would the new law encourage lawsuits from citizens who feel the police and/or Border Patrol and other government employees have failed in some way to enforce the new law, but then not insist on 100% compliance with e-verify by companies when hiring employees?"

    June 1, 2010 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  25. Marcus

    "It wouldn't matter if you are Latino or Hispanic or Norwegian," she said. (") If you didn't have proof of citizenship and the police officer had reasonable suspicion, he would ask and verify your citizenship. I mean, that's the way that it is. That's what the federal law says. And that's what the law in Arizona says."

    NORWEGIAN? NORWEGIAN? You mean a white, (usually) blonde and with green/blue eyes dude or dame? Are you really seriously considering that we will believe that a police officer will NOT stop a WHITE non-Latino looking man or woman but a WHITE Norwegian dude?

    Oh, and to those using the 'drivers license' (that only applies to people diving cars and such) excuse, let's see what she said about it:
    'She also made clear driver's licenses are not sufficient to prove citizenship.'

    June 1, 2010 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
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