Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.
Latin America: Week in Review, United States

Clinton’s Criticism Of Arizona Immigration Law Angers Governor Jan Brewer

June 18, 2010 By Staff
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said she was angry at Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for comments she made during an interview with an Ecuadorean television about the state’s controversial immigration law.

During the interview, which aired in Ecuador on June 8 and began circulating throughout the U.S. on Thursday, Clinton said that the Justice Department will take legal action against the law and that President Barack Obama believes the federal government should determine immigration policy.

“President Obama has spoken out against the law because he thinks that the federal government should be determining immigration policy. And the Justice Department, under his direction, will be bringing a lawsuit against the act,” Clinton said, according to

In a statement released Thursday, Brewer said she she was upset by Clinton’s comments that a lawsuit would be filed and angered that she had to learn about it from the Ecuadorean interview.

“To learn of this lawsuit through an Ecuadorean interview with the Secretary of State is just outrageous,” Brewer said in the statement, according to CNN. “If our own government intends to sue our state to prevent illegal immigration enforcement, the least it can do is inform us before it informs the citizens of another nation.”

The Arizona law, called the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, requires police officers to check the immigration status of people they stop, if there is reason to suspect that they are undocumented immigrants. The law also restricts the hiring or transportation of day laborers, and allows for lawsuits against government agencies not enforcing immigration laws.

Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler declined to comment Thursday on whether the department would sue, but said that the department has been looking into possible civil rights violations in the law for the past few weeks.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley stated that both Obama and Clinton have made it clear that the administration is not in favor of Arizona’s law.

“I will defer to the Justice Department on the legal steps that are available and where they stand on the review of the law,” Crowley said, according to the Associated Press. “The secretary believes that comprehensive immigration reform is a better course of action.”

Below is a YouTube video of the interview in Spanish.

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