Transcript: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down most of the state’s immigration law

Edited by Jenny Jiang

Transcript of remarks by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down most of the state’s immigration law on June 25, 2012: 

“Arizona has been preparing for this day.

“Because the facts have been too often lost in the rhetoric, let’s reflect on what has brought us here today.

“Arizona did not ask for this fight nor did it seek out the task of having to confront illegal immigration.

“We cannot forget that we are here today because the federal government has failed the American people regarding immigration policy, has failed to protect its citizens, has failed to observe the rule of law, and has failed to secure our borders.

“The failure to secure the border has created issues we now face regarding illegal immigration, and Arizona without question bears the brunt of that failure.

“We also cannot forget that President [Barack] Obama and his party have both houses in Congress for two years and could have secured our borders and fulfill the promise to fix our broken immigration system. They failed.

“In response, Arizona had no other choice but to act, and Arizona did so by following – not changing – federal law.

“Instead of devoting resources to suing states like Arizona, the federal government should have spent time, money, and energy on fixing the problem.

“So today is the day when the key components of our efforts to protect the citizens of Arizona to take up the fight against illegal immigration in a balanced and constitutional way has unanimously been vindicated by the highest court in the land.

“The heart of Senate Bill 1070 has been proven to be constitutional.

“Arizona’ and every other states’ inherent authority to protect and defend its people has been upheld.

“I prayed for strength and I prayed for our state before I signed Senate Bill 1070. I did so because I firmly believed it represented what was best for Arizona.

“Border-related violence and crime and the significant financial costs due to illegal immigration are critically important issues to the people of our state and to me, both as Governor and as a citizen.

“As I have said, this is a day that we have been waiting for. And make no mistake, Arizona is ready. We know that eyes of the world will be upon us. We know the critics will be watching and waiting, hoping for another opportunity to continue their legal assault against our state.

“But I have faith in our law enforcement. Our brave men and women in uniform have been trained so they’re able to enforce this law efficiently, effectively, and in harmony with the Constitution.

“Civil rights will be protected. Racial profiling will not be tolerated.

“Senate Bill 1070 is equally committed to upholding the rule of law while ensuring that the constitutional rights of all in Arizona are protected, including prohibiting law enforcement officers from solely considering race, color, or national origin in implementing its provision.

“In fact, under my direction, Senate Bill 1070 was amended to strengthen and to emphasize the importance that civil rights are protected.

“Arizona is prepared to move forward to enforce this law that we have fought so hard to defend, ever mindful of our rights, ever faithful to the Constitution, and ever worthy of the blessings of God, who has given us that we share together as Arizonans and as Americans.

“Thank you.”


Press conference Q&A:


“Governor, you mentioned Section 2(b) and I appreciate that. But there were three other sections of the law that you signed and defended, including one that would make it a state crime not to have federal papers, one that would make it a state crime not to work. And the full court – the full court – essentially said with the exception of Mr. Scalia that no you can’t do that. So how do you defend having signed something like that? How do you defend how you declared that constitutional two years ago only to have the high court slap you?”

Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.): 

“Well, today the state of Arizona and Senate Bill 1070 was vindicated, and the heart of the bill was upheld unanimously.”


“Governor, how effective can Section 2(b) be  without the ability to enforce those sections? I mean, considering some of the Obama administration’s rule on who they’re not going to deport any more?”

Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.): 

“Well, with Section 2(b) upheld, it says that local law enforcement can assist the federal government in the right to ask under reasonable suspicion and whenever practicable to confirm the legal ability of someone being in the state of Arizona.”


“But the point of Jeremy’s question is if they have decided – the President’s thing and today they also canceled the state police’s 287G status that they’re not going to pick them up, what’s the point? So you stop, you determine somebody’s illegal, ICE says, ‘So what?’ So you let them go. So you’ve accomplished nothing.”

Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.): 

“I believe that we have accomplished a lot and it was upheld by the United States Supreme Court and that we will move forward instructing law enforcement to begin practicing what the United States Supreme Court has upheld.”


“Governor, there are going to be – and the court recognized there’ll probably be challenges to Section 2. You guys lost on three of the provisions and you did prevail on Section 2. But it looks like there’s an opening there. Some people saying – characterizing this as broad victory…”

Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.): 

“Well, this certainly is not the end of our journey. We fully expect lawsuits to be filed and that this portion of the law be challenged. And we will be getting ready and prepared if that takes place.”


“What makes this a victory then?”


“Governor, can you inform us how this will change logistically for police? I mean, can you inform us as to what exactly will happen and when?”

Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.): 

“Well, I think the court upheld the ability of the local law enforcement to assist the federal government in immigration laws, meaning that they have the authority under reasonable suspicion to question someone who has already been apprehended to certify whether they have legal status in Arizona.

“I would think that it would be in effect immediately. You’d probably might want to speak to a lawyer but my personal opinion is that when it’s upheld by the Supreme Court, that it would be effective immediately.”


“New York University law professors have said that states, cities and localities already have the right to check for immigration and working with ICE. Does this really change anything on the ground in Arizona?”

Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.): 

“I believe that it does. I think Section 2(b) was the heart of the law. I think that’s where the majority of the concern was – whether local law enforcement had the ability to seek information from people they apprehend in the middle of a crime. And now it has been validated unanimously by the United States Supreme Court.”



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One Comment on “Transcript: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down most of the state’s immigration law

  1. Pingback: Analysis: Supreme Court declines to strike down mandatory immigration status check | What The Folly?!

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