June 1st, 2010
08:30 PM ET
13 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. Paul H

    Just read the law people! Everyone want's to jump on the Anti Arizona law bandwagon, but nobody knows what is in the law, or how it's really worded.
    The federal laws on the books now violate individual rights more than this Arizona law does.
    This is just another case of loony left politics at it's best. (And I mean it's best)

    June 1, 2010 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  2. Americans First

    Interesting how it took a woman to have the "cajones" to do something about illegal immigration, murders and drug trafficing on our borders, and the increasing amount of drug based kidnappings in Phoenix. Well done, Governor, for not caving into political correctness.
    The liberal mindset of this country astounds me when I see that people are more concerned about rights (which don't exist) for people who are in this country illegally than those for citizens who pay taxes and are actual citizens of this nation. No one ever said that immigration is wrong, the key word is "illegal", meaning it's against the law. We still want to invite people from all over to come to this country for a chance at a better life. Just do it legally, learn English, pay taxes, wave American flags if you want to be here, and then quit crying and making excuses.

    June 1, 2010 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  3. Rob

    This governor conducts her office as a competent executive would be expected to. She's incredibly impressive as the top executive in her state. She articulates the problem her state is facing daily that cannot continue (illegal immigration), and the federal government's unwillingness to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing into Arizona from Mexico. Brava, Governor Brewer.

    June 1, 2010 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  4. Margo

    So Arizona becomes the first State in which the police can demand, "Papers please!", and drivers licenses will not be enough. So tell me, how many Americans are accustomed to carrying passports in anticipation of random state-run identity checks? And where are the Teabaggers in the face of this insult to individual privacy?

    Can you say, "Police State"? Yes, I thought you could.

    June 1, 2010 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  5. Donna A. Reuter

    Gov. Brewer,

    Why are you not going after businesses that are employing undocumented workers first who are exploiting these people because they are too cheap to pay a fare wage.

    June 1, 2010 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  6. Sarah -- nyc

    What about the employers who hire the illegals? Why do they get off scott-free? We all know that as soon as the economy improves the employers will be bringing the illegals back to America just as we all know that many people throughout the southwest live in houses built cheaply by illegals. Fair is fair and this law only punishes the poorest and most vulnerable while those with the money will continue on as if no law had been enacted. It is a punk law.

    June 1, 2010 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  7. Debbie from Arizona

    Our unelected governor is a piece of work. As an American Citizen, born in St. Louis, MO, a US Army Veteran and Arizona citizen since 1978, I want to know exactly what kind of papers I have to carry to prove that I am an American Citizen. I carry my Arizona drivers license, Social Security Card as ID, am I suppose to also carry my birth certificate with me also. By the way, in Arizona, the DMV would not accept my birth certificate, because it did not have a raised seal from the state of Missouri, which in 1955, printed hospital birth certificates, they did however accept my DD214 (Honorable Discharge, proof of service) This needs to be clarified.

    June 1, 2010 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  8. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Stop the hate. Enforce the existing law. No need for a show me your papers police state.

    June 2, 2010 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  9. Obamamnesty2011

    I am married but I love Brewer! What a fighter! She would make a great Marine! Keep up the fight Gov. Brewer~ Hugs and Kisses

    June 2, 2010 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  10. angie

    It's the world against Arizona. Bring it on!!!!!!!!!!! You will be defeated Mayor Racist. We know all this has to do with a little old man call McCain that is a poor loser and needs some attention. Quote by President , John The Election is over!!!!!!!

    June 2, 2010 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  11. vwrtb

    No more conservative idealogical agendas, stop trying to turn this country into a giant Kentucky! Vote no to the party of no in November!

    June 2, 2010 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  12. Dean

    Re: drivers license not being proof of citizenship... I was born here, of European descent. I don't carry any paperwork that would *prove* my citizenship. In fact, I didn't even have a copy of my birth certificate until I had to prove my citizenship to a gov't agency... which I could do in my own time, not because someone demanded it.

    There is no Federal law that requires any citizen carry proof of their citizenship with them, or that they be able to produce it upon demand for fear of incarceration.

    I think it is unreasonable to ask a citizen that happens to have darker skin than me to submit to such requirements if I don't have to.

    June 2, 2010 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  13. Brian in California

    "She also made clear driver's licenses are not sufficient to prove citizenship."

    But with under 10% of the US population with passports, what does Miss Brewer suggest IS sufficient proof of citizenship?

    A driver's license IS sufficient in every other state and seeing how we do not have a national ID (which would piss all kinds of people off) what is she envisioning as "sufficient" proof? I mean, I look Norwegian. I also look German, French, English, Australian and Canadian. So even though am a 39 year old, born and bred American my driver's license would not be sufficient proof for Arizona?

    So....Miss Brewer whatcha gonna do? Are you going to make your own Arizona passport?

    This ought to be interesting.

    June 2, 2010 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  14. Patriot in West Virginia

    Great Job Governor!!!!! The American people are supportive of you and your great state.

    June 2, 2010 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  15. Brian - PA

    "She also made clear driver's licenses are not sufficient to prove citizenship."

    So now American's who might fit the profile "yes it will be racial profiling" now have to carry their birth certificates? I can use my license anywhere in the US, why now do people need to carry passports and birth certificates in their own country. This is messed up.

    June 2, 2010 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  16. Paul

    I am hispanic and I live in Arizona. I want to side with the Gov on this issue but there is one fatal flaw in the AZ law that is keeping me from a 100% approval. It does open the door to racial profiling – big time. If the checking of the citizen status was moved to after an arrest that would lessen the possibility of racial profiling because there is a record, a declaration, being made that the suspect crossed a line. If this turns out not to be true the person who was arrested has a legal claim to sue the state if the arrest was not warranted. I say give the law a chance but hispanic's should watch what happens very close and yell very loud if it starts to be abused.

    Everyone should be concerned about unsecure borders. Mexicans are not the only ones crossing into the U.S. Middle Eastern people are getting in as well and they are not coming to cut our lawns and take care of our kids.

    June 2, 2010 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  17. vwrtb

    Ill take a community organizer over a greedy corporate tool any day and twice on Sunday... You republicans don't have the faintest clue about the needs of middle America.. Jobs without benefits are what these corporate. Republicans want you to slave over... No thanks ! Employee free choice act now! Time to rebuild the middle class!

    June 2, 2010 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
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