PHOENIX – Gov. Jan Brewer declared Friday that after prayer and consideration, she had to sign the law she says protects every citizen in Arizona.
The governor was flanked by a number of supporters and with 21 flags serving as a patriotic backdrop, Brewer signed Senate Bill 1070.
Supporters say the measure takes the handcuffs off police and is vital to slow what the bill’s writer, Sen. Russell Pearce, calls a tsunami of illegal immigrants streaming across a broken border.
She said, “For weeks this legislation has been subject of vigorous debate and intense criticism. My decision to sign it was by no means made lightly. I have listened patiently to both sides and I have considered the significance of this new law long into the night. I have prayed for strength and have prayed for our state."
Protesters say bill 1070 is a repugnant reminder of racism at its worst but the governor disagrees.
To ensure that police will enforce the law legally and not run afoul of racial profiling, the governor issued an executive order directing the Arizona Peace Officers Training and Standards Board to develop appropriate training standards.
The sweeping legislation makes it a crime to be illegal in our state. It also requires local police to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are in the country illegally.
There are other portions of the law that address day laborers and the transportation of an illegal immigrant.
Gov. Brewer says she expects the bill will face a court challenge but says she is equally confidant that it will pass constitutional muster.