Sheriff Dupnik calls SB 1070 unnecessary

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Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik says he's received death threats, but he still won't enforce Senate Bill 1070, unless he's forced to. Dupnik calls the law signed by governor Jan brewer last week a 'national embarrassment.'

"I think the law, as I have said, is unwise, it's stupid, and it's racist," says Dupnik.

Surrounded by members of his border crimes unit, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik wasn't shy about expressing his feelings on Senate Bill 1070, "The state law is unnecessary."

He says that because the Pima County Sheriff's department already has the authority to arrest illegal immigrants. He says they've arrested more illegal immigrants -- and turned them over to the border patrol -- than any other law enforcement agency in the state.

"What they've done in the process by giving us this new law is put us in a damned if we do, damned if we don't situation when it comes to civil suits," says Dupnik.

That's of course if the law goes into effect.

Wednesday a group called "One Arizona" filed paperwork at the Secretary of State's office for a referendum to appear on the November ballot regarding 1070.

They would need to collect nearly 77,000 signatures for that to happen.

If they're unsuccessful, Dupnik thinks the case will eventually go to the Supreme Court, for two reasons, "One of them is that the state cannot preempt the federal government in the area of immigration, and two, 'reasonable suspicion' is constitutionally vague."

In the meantime, the county attorney's office is reviewing the law. "And they're going to tell us if the law becomes effective, what we must do, what we must not do, or what we may do," explains Dupnik.

If he disagrees with the county attorney with how to enforce the law. "That's a bridge that I would have to cross when I get to that bridge. And I don't see myself at the bridge yet," says Sheriff Dupnik.

Thursday, a group of civil rights leaders will announce at the state capitol that they're preparing to formally challenge SB 1070, saying it's unconstitutional and encourages racial profiling.