Uh oh: Arizona guv pissed over Hillary’s comments

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Reuters)

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Thursday she’s angry over comments by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that the Obama administration will sue the state over its new immigration law.

In a June 8 media interview in Ecuador that began circulating Thursday in the U.S., Clinton said President Barack Obama thinks the federal government should determine immigration policy and that the Justice Department “will be bringing a lawsuit against the act.”

Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler on Thursday declined to say whether the department would sue and that “the department continues to review the law.”

The department has been looking at the law for weeks for possible civil rights violations, with an eye toward a possible court challenge.

It’s unclear why Clinton made the comment since it’s not her area. She couldn’t be reached Thursday for comment.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Obama and Clinton have both made it clear that the administration opposes the 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. “The secretary believes that comprehensive immigration reform is a better course of action.”

Brewer, a Republican, said in a statement that “this is no way to treat the people of Arizona.”

“To learn of this lawsuit through an Ecuadorean interview with the secretary of state is just outrageous,” she said. “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.”

Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman said the governor was “outraged” and that Clinton’s comments make it appear that the Justice Department has decided to file suit.

“But she’s confident that in the end, the state of Arizona, the citizens, will prevail,” he said.

On April 23, Brewer signed what is considered the toughest legislation in the nation targeting illegal immigrants. It is set to go into effect July 29 pending multiple legal challenges and the Justice Department’s review.

The law requires police investigating another incident or crime to ask people about their immigration status if there’s a “reasonable suspicion” they’re in the country illegally. It also makes being in Arizona illegally a misdemeanor, and it prohibits seeking day-labor work along the state’s streets.

The law’s stated intention is to drive illegal immigrants out of Arizona and discourage them from coming in the first place. It has outraged civil rights groups, drawn criticism from Obama and led to marches and protests organized by people on both sides of the issue.

The law’s backers say Congress isn’t doing anything meaningful about illegal immigration, so it’s the state’s duty to address the issue. Critics say it will lead to racial profiling and discrimination against Hispanics, and damage ties between police and minority communities.

Brewer met with Obama in the Oval Office about the law on June 3, telling him: “We want our border secured.” Obama reiterated his objections to the law. Neither side appeared to give ground although both talked about seeking a bipartisan solution.

Other Arizona politicians, political candidates and activist groups were quick to weigh in on Clinton’s remarks. U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth, who is challenging Sen. John McCain, called them appalling; attorney general candidates Tom Horne and Andrew Thomas also denounced them.

Joanne Lin, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, urged the administration to take swift action against the law.

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Associated Press writers Jonathan J. Cooper and Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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9 Responses to "Uh oh: Arizona guv pissed over Hillary’s comments"

  1. paulb6  June 19, 2010 at 6:59 am

    his administration is the most arrogant I have ever seen in my life. The total lack of any respect from this administration in announcing the lawsuit overseas by the state department is the lowest treatment anyone could administer. I guess that is to be expected of progressives who have an education taught by the hippy’s of the 60′s. Obama’s incapable of taking any criticism and yet he opens the door with everything he does. What a bag of goods we were sold by this community organizer with no real world experience with multiple fathers and multiple religious beliefs. What a sad day for this country.

    • Alice C Scott  June 23, 2010 at 11:45 am

      I do not support Obama and will not vote for him in 2012, but I don’t think that McChristal shouldn’t have said such things about his Commander In Chief.
      By the way, if you think Obama is the most arrogant politician you must have a short memory…. think Dick Cheney!

  2. Jim  June 19, 2010 at 10:36 am

    “his administration is the most arrogant I have ever seen in my life”
    _____________________________________________________________

    Everyone to his own opinion, but I guess you hold Bush’s administration in high esteem. Talk about “arrogant” and stupid!!

    • griff  June 19, 2010 at 2:14 pm

      Why is it that some one can’t criticize this administration without it automatically meaning that the individual supported the previous?

    • griff  June 19, 2010 at 2:14 pm

      Talk about ignorant and stupid!?

    • Jim0001  June 23, 2010 at 10:05 am

      “Talk about arrogant and stupid” If you are not aware, Bush is NOT in office…..

  3. Bogofree  June 19, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Comment made in Ecuador so the obvious “play” was to the Hispanic voting block back home.

    • griff  June 20, 2010 at 8:06 am

      Indeed. The Democrats need 30 million new voters on the rolls before November.

    • sherry  June 23, 2010 at 11:42 am

      ah yes, let’s make sure we keep the hispanics happy. Everyone else can just go on over the cliff where they belong………

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