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. Ken in NC

    WOW. Seems like while Gov. Perry might be stupid, he is no fool.

    April 30, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  2. If We Can Defeat Him On Health Care It Will Be His Waterloo

    I'm not too worried about the Hate in Arizona, because it's a Dry Hate.

    April 30, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. richard

    this trick [perry] has caved. he knows what side and who butters his bread. houston has also signed a pact w/ mexico opening up its city for cooperation and trade and the flow of mexicans. and you know how it goes as soon as them people [mexicans] get over here they think somebody [america] owes them something....... don't mess w/ texas....... i won't because it already feels like your in mexico when you go to texas.

    April 30, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |

    The governor of Arizona demonstrated courage in signing the bill in her state. She demonstrated leadership. She showed audacity in trying to stop the ceding of her state back to Mexico. The whole COUNTRY SHOULD ADOPT THIS POLICY. These three other border governors are cowards. They also see the magnitude of the problem but are caving in to the protest of illegal aliens. If elected leaders continue to abdicate their responsibilities then CITIZENS SHOULD TAKE UP ARMS AND REPELL THIS INVASION..

    April 30, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  5. jim b

    Nobody in washington wants anything to do with this issue. Thats why this law was passed. To get their attention and try to force them to do something.

    April 30, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  6. Ruty

    Illegal Mexicans have bankrupted California. Which state us next!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????????????????

    April 30, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  7. Brenda


    Let's see............

    Richardson is a Democrat-–no surprise there.

    Schwartzeneger is a RINO--no surprise there.

    Perry is a RINO---no surprise there.

    Nothing to see here, just move on.

    April 30, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. Drew

    This law as written and passed should be anathema to any true conservative. It is intrusive and abridges the rights of legal citizen to equal protection under the law - unless there's some magic way to tell a legal from an illegal immigrant on sight. Right now, the US has no national picture ID and for good, states-rights reasons. Unlike Europe, Africa and Asia, we are NOT required to carry citizenship papers or passports, merely identification. I for one don't want any precedents set that would change that.

    April 30, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. Michael Smith

    When Rick Perry is the voice of reason it's time to take a long had look

    April 30, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. TonyInLargo

    Securing our borders and making sure people are here legally is a matter of National Security and it has to be addressed in one way or another. If anyone is here legally, they shouldn't have to worry because they should be able to prove it. This is not a racist action.

    April 30, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  11. jeff jackson, alabama

    And what model of immigration control
    have you come up with Gov. Perry.
    If you don't have a solution to the problem
    don't criticize someone who is AT LEAST

    April 30, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  12. Beverly H Tatum

    So which is it Gov Perry???

    2 days ago TX governor Perry was 100% behind the AZ law and ready to introduce the same in the TX. I guess he decided it was politically better to pretend not to be racist. I guess someone reminded him there are Latinos living in his state.

    April 30, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  13. Shelly

    I agree that we have to control the inflow of illegal immigrants but the Arizona law compromises the freedoms of good, law abiding tax paying American citizens and legals who happen to look Latino. How can a Police officer distinguish between someone legal or illegal and ask for papers? This is unAmerican....these diminishing freedoms for the People are NOT American values.
    We have to resolve the immigration issue through other measures where they do not intrude on the rights of legals and Americans!

    April 30, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. Doris V

    As a New Mexican, I'm proud of the stand of Gov. Richardson. Don't agree with him on much but sure do agree on this. It makes me feel good that AZ seems to be standing alone on this issue here in the southwest. This area was once all part of Mexico. We have many Hispanics whose familes came with the conquistadors in the 15 and 1600's. We are proud of our diverse culture even though we certainly have our issues with each other from time to time.

    April 30, 2010 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. Veteran

    Dumb and dumber. So much for the Constitution of the US. What happens when a nationalized citizen of Latin descent is pulled over and told to show his identification papers? Does this mean everyone other than WASPS have to start carrying their Passports? Sometimes you just wonder about politicians and why they listen to a bunch of right wing wackos. Or perhaps the governor is a right wing wacko. There's a lot of that going around lately.

    April 30, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    This not about state's rights, it is about our Constitution. If in a routine traffic stop, these poepel are found ot be here illegally, then they should be deported. But to have the right to stop anyone for no cause is agianst what this country stands for.
    Next the police department will be renamed the SS and the people of Arizona will be wearing arm bands and patches to identify them.

    April 30, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  17. John D

    Yeah, because they're moving out of Arizona and pouring into the other states. The need to get on board and adopt Arizonas long overdue Law.

    April 30, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  18. Jim

    Of course Perry was last – he's a follower not a leader.

    April 30, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  19. Marilyn

    The law has nothing to do with racism. It has to do with legal immigration vs. illegal immigration. Period. If you are here legally why would you mind showing proof of that?

    Every state should enact a similar law, since the federal government isn't willing to do a thing to keep us from being invaded by hordes of illegals, many of them criminals. If you do not like the law, then move to another country. That is, if you can get in. Other countries tend to be much more serious than the U.S. about protecting their borders.

    April 30, 2010 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  20. Jamie from Riverside

    As a brown skinned man (who is very glad he doesn't live in AZ) I wonder what's next from this state? Will they next require that all Mexicans wear a brown star of David? Hmmmm, perhaps all of us should wear one anyway as a protest.

    April 30, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  21. texasboy

    I have no doubt in my mind that Arizona is a police state now just like German Nazi

    April 30, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  22. Michael from Ventura

    The Governor of Texas is hardly an expert on the Constitution! Good to see his common sense on this one, but what he does and what he represents is also very harmful to the Nation.

    April 30, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  23. Ridgeway

    Great. California is a fiscal disaster supporting illegals and the resulting health care and penal institutions. Richardson would support a similar law in NM if the bribe were large enough and Perry is a politician pandering for votes. Yeah, it counts what they all think.

    April 30, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  24. Heather, Seattle

    Way to go to Govs Perry and Swartenanegger (spelling?) for not siding with Arizona or the right wing politics. I would add in Gov Richardson but there was not a doubt in my mind that he would have supported this law. To all those talking about political correctness, it's more than that. It's about what is constitutional and violating civil rights. I think the majority of people would like to see some type of immigration reform. Until the gov't cracks down and fines business who hire illegals, they will continue to come in.

    April 30, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. robin

    why is it racist to want people to follow the law!! i dont care if you came from canada illegaly, you need to go back home and get here the legal way. All nations have imagration laws,just what do you think would happen if you where in canada,say, illegaly and they found you, immediatly you would be sent home. Here we boohoo that they just want a better life, well so do i but i dont go break the law to get it. You break the law you must pay. And even if a cop asks you for id ,which they do when they stop anyone for a traffic ticket, if you are a legal resident of the usa no worries 5 minitues matter over you go your way officer goes his.

    April 30, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
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