April 30th, 2010
05:01 PM ET
13 years ago

3 border state governors critical of Arizona immigration law

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/30/art.perry.gi.jpg caption="Gov. Rick Perry of Texas said Friday he has concerns with portions of the law passed in Arizona."]Washington (CNN) - All four governors of U.S. states that border Mexico have now weighed in on the controversial Arizona immigration law. The only one defending it is the governor who signed it into law, Arizona's Jan Brewer.

The latest state chief executive to criticize the Arizona measure is Republican Rick Perry of Texas.

"I fully recognize and support a state's right and obligation to protect its citizens, but I have concerns with portions of the law passed in Arizona and believe it would not be the right direction for Texas," Perry said in a statement issued Thursday.

"For example, some aspects of the law turn law enforcement officers into immigration officials by requiring them to determine immigration status during any lawful contact with a suspected alien, taking them away from their existing law enforcement duties, which are critical to keeping citizens safe," Perry added. "Our focus must continue to be on the criminal elements involved with conducting criminal acts against Texans and their property."

The law requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect they are in the United States illegally. The measure also makes it a state crime to live in or travel through Arizona illegally. Though the law has garnered a lot of support in some quarters, it has ignited protests in Arizona and across the country.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, a fellow Republican, called the Arizona law "a mess" during a Thursday appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. "As governor here, I would never do that in California. Pass a law like that – no way," he said.

Meanwhile, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, Wednesday told Joy Behar of HLN's The Joy Behar Show that he advised Brewer to veto the bill.

Regarding legal challenges to Arizona's law, Richardson said, "I wouldn't be surprised…if the federal government…pursues it because, on the grounds that this is a federal responsibility, that this isn't a state or local responsibility to empower police to basically detain anybody and possibly ask for their papers. And it's a good case of racial profiling."

"I believe any lawsuit questioning this law probably has some merit," Richardson said.

Filed under: Arizona • Immigration • Jan Brewer • Rick Perry
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. They call me "tater salad"

    AHHH, nothing like a politician of convience who waits to find out how MOST people feel about an issue then suddenly jump up after the fact and take the same position..........How nice!!!!

    April 30, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  2. George of the jungle

    Hey all the repos are counting up the votes. OOOPS i guess we need to rethink illegals and the Arizona bill.

    April 30, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  3. Lynne

    Unfortunately, I live in a state that has practice this a long time–Texas. As a miniority I live in a neighboorhood that has fewer than ten miniorities. The local policeman followed me to my house in which I used the garage opener to park my car inside of my garage. He jumped out of the police car and told me not to me. He ask what I was doing. I informed him coming home. I was told not to move. Two of my neighbors who Japanese immigrants had to vouch for me an American born and bred citizen. The officer did not apoligize. He got into his car and left. A person of color needs proof to live where one wish. It hurt me to my heart, that I, an American citizen cannot be beleived but will beleive others over myself even though I offered my Texas DL with my address–I was told to shut up. Beleive me, law enforcement has practiced this many years despite our many complaints about racial profiling.

    April 30, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. Bill

    No Amnesty...secure the borders and do it soon!!!

    April 30, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  5. Patty Patriot

    He may change his tune when all those illegals move over to TX.

    April 30, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. larry

    Of course the bordering states are not going to endorse Arizona's immigration law. If the laws are so strict in Arizona the illegals will move in to their state to avoid the law. They are not going to endorse a law that will almost insure an increase in the number of illegals in their state!!!!

    April 30, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  7. Agnes

    My state, (CA) requires me, as a citizen of the state and the country, to carry my ID at all times, and to present it anytime a police officer requests it. This is the law, and a good one at that; sure it is annoying while being quite expeditious.
    I have no problem with AZ protecting its citizens. I applaud the fortitude it took in order to do the right thing. The federal government should be protecting its citizens and not, shamelessly, leaving it to the states.
    What of the human rights issues of the AZ citizen, (rights being squandered on illegal immigrants,) which need to be addressed. Things like the health system, jobs sector, morality – do law abiding persons break the law to come to a place? What kind of society says come on over break the law, we won't hold you accountable for it? I am the granddaughter of immigrants to this country. My grandparents came in legally and were productive additions to society and did not create a burden on the government, be it local or federal. This country is so great; we have opened our arms to the world and all one need do is have patience and follow the law of the land. I say thank you to AZ, I only wish CA would do the same.

    April 30, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
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