Embattled Arizona Governor Stands Strong against Chicago Administration
Governor Jan Brewer is once again fighting for the rule of law. She has shown that she can also use executive action to thwart the hostile Obama administration.
In June, President Obama, through an executive order, awarded a two-year deferral from deportation to certain illegal immigrants. The deferrals would apply to those younger than thirty if they came to the U.S. before the age of sixteen and who do not pose any criminal or security threats. This would allow them to meet the work permit application requirements if they can also prove that they have lived in America for the last five consecutive years. An administration official thought it could potentially affect about 800,000 illegals. American Thinker interviewed Governor Brewer about this and other immigration matters.
Governor Brewer believes that she was elected to uphold the Arizona constitution; thus, she issued an executive order instructing state agencies to deny taxpayer-funded public benefits and state IDs or driver's licenses to illegal immigrants deferred by the Obama executive order. She commented to American Thinker, "I took an oath to do my duty and to uphold the rules, laws, and Constitution of the State of Arizona. Twice Arizonians overwhelmingly have voted that they do not want illegals to receive state benefits. It is pretty simple. Either you are authorized to be here legally, or you are not. They and their parents are breaking the law. Bottom line is we are talking about 80,000 individuals in my state alone. This is a two-year back door amnesty. It will put a huge burden on the Arizona budget."
The governor feels for those children who had no control where they ended up and sees it as a bad situation all the way around. She believes that Obama's executive order hurts those it intended to help as well as American citizens. "It is very clear to me by executive fiat this administration is simply delaying deportation. They [illegal immigrants] were not given legal authorization. What the president and Homeland Security did was give legal deferment, meaning they could be here legally for a maximum of two years. It also hurts those people here legally that can't find a job."
Governor Brewer seems to have a very good point considering the August numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although the national unemployment rate for those still looking for jobs is at 8.3%, for Hispanics it is at 10.3%, and for those aged 16 to 24 it was a whopping 23.8%. Brewer regards this order as "a burden on those people who have followed the law and are citizens who are now being usurped by the illegal aliens in this country." As a recent example to prove her point, in California, the LA Times reported on August 17, that there were approximately 4,500 applicants hoping to land one of 250 positions to work at a Target store opening in Los Angeles in October. Imagine how many of these citizens would be displaced by the president's executive order.
Was this done to pander to the Latino voters? Brewer argues that Obama's motivation was very political, pointing out that in the first two years of the Obama administration, the Democrats controlled the White House, the Senate, and the House and did absolutely nothing. In addition, the "show me your papers" portion of SB 1070, upheld by the Supreme Court, would be basically ineffective if these illegal immigrants were given driver's licenses. This provision allows local law enforcement to check the immigration status of people they stop in the normal course of their duties. It will be implemented once the injunction is formally lifted, as ordered by the Supreme Court.
Besides fighting the Obama administration's edicts, the governor and her administration once again have to fight for the rule of law in Federal Court. On August 21, a federal district judge is hearing the case filed by the ACLU, claiming that 1070 is a violation of a Latino's civil rights and will lead to racial profiling. The governor's spokesperson, Matthew Benson, explains that this is "a new case where they are challenging the same provisions under different grounds. The issue is the same. If it is enjoined, we will appeal, and it's off to the races again."
According to the governor, this lawsuit is another attempt to shut down the debate through accusations of racial discrimination. She insists, "It was not until 1070 that law enforcement officers are being accused of possible racial discrimination. This has gotten completely out of control. People need to understand that law enforcement officers are on the streets to protect and serve. They have been doing their jobs for years and years. Now all of a sudden, these law enforcement officers are going to start discriminating. I am not saying maybe there is not a bad apple in the bunch, but it was not because of Senate Bill 1070. There are bad apples everywhere: lawyers, doctors, teachers, and politicians."
Furthermore, before she signed 1070 into law, Governor Brewer made every attempt to ensure that everyone understand that racial profiling is illegal and would not be tolerated. Guidelines were set up and explained to all Arizona law enforcement officers -- namely, that they could stop someone only if there was reasonable suspicion of a violation. It would be no surprise to her that someone could be put up to say that he or she had been racially profiled, especially since the Obama administration established a hotline for anyone to be given direct access into the DOJ to file a complaint against police officers.
These are examples of how the governor continues to fight and refuses to back down for what she believes in, the rule of law. Hopefully, the first Tuesday in November will allow her to catch her breath when a newly elected administration will show support for Arizona instead of bullying the governor and the state. As Governor Brewer noted about these lawsuits and executive orders, "something is really, really wrong in America today."