UPDATE 3:30 p.m. -- Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has signed S.B. 1070, the tough immigration enforcement bill, into law during a press conference this afternoon.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has until Saturday to sign or veto the nation's toughest illegal immigration bill, and it appears she'll announce her decision at a press conference later today. The bill would make it a crime to be in the state illegally and gives authority to local police to enforce federal immigration laws. A Rasmussen poll revealed that 70% of Arizona likely voters support the bill.
In addition to expanding the authority of local police, the bill, first offered by Sen. Russell Pearce, would also crackdown on day laborers and those who transport illegal aliens. Arizona has an estimated 460,000 illegal aliens, which ranks 7th nationally.
"Illegal is illegal," said Sen. Pearce. "We'll have less crime. We'll have lower taxes. We'll have safer neighborhoods. We'll have shorter lines in the emergency rooms. We'll have smaller classrooms."
While opponents from outside Arizona pressure Gov. Brewer, she has to consider the ramifications of her decision on her future as Arizona governor. Gov. Brewer is in a primary battle before she can run for re-election in the fall, and her primary opponent has already expressed his support for the bill. Senator John McCain, who is also in a primary battle, has publicly supported the bill.
On Thursday, Gov. Brewer announced a new border security plan that would include an increase in border patrolling by the National Guard and the use of $10 million of stimulus funds to assist local law enforcement in the border regions.
Also, be sure to visit your action board to send Gov. Brewer an email to thank her for signing the bill. If you live in Arizona, you will have the opportunity to fax and phone her.
Updated: Wed, Jul 28th 2010 @ 12:54pm EDT