PHOENIX - Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Tuesday issued a response to a judge's ruling that police in Arizona can immediately start enforcing the most contentious section of the state's immigration law , saying it marked an "important day for Arizona."
The decision on Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton is the latest milestone in a two-year legal battle over the requirement.
It culminated in a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that upheld the provision on the grounds that it doesn't conflict with federal law.
In a statement released Tuesday, Brewer said:
Today is the day we have awaited for more than two years: the injunction against the heart of SB 1070 has been lifted, in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June. With SB 1070 in effect, state and local officers will be empowered to inquire about an individual's immigration status, but only as part of a legal stop or detention and when the officer has reasonable suspicion.
I've never claimed that SB 1070 would cure Arizona's problems with illegal immigration; only the federal government has the resources and responsibility necessary to achieve that. What SB 1070 does represent is one more tool that our officers can use in collaborating with federal authorities to reduce the crime and other impacts associated with illegal immigration in our communities.
In that regard, today is truly an important day for Arizona and supporters of the rule of law. But it is also a day like any other for our men and women in uniform who are charged with fairly and impartially enforcing the laws of this state, now including SB 1070. They bring their training and experience to this important task, as well as a solemn commitment to serving the public, protecting our citizens and upholding the law. That means all of our laws, including those barring racial profiling or discrimination.
It is not enough that SB 1070 be enforced. It must be enforced efficiently, effectively and in harmony with the Constitution and civil rights. I have full faith and confidence that Arizona's State and local law enforcement officers are prepared for this task.