Photo: Senate Pres. Pearce and Gov. Brewer say SB 1070 was a success
Controversy, protests, marches of solidarity, anger, and applause. Arizona’s immigration bill SB 1070 has caused all of the above in the last year, but despite the displeasure shown by many, Gov. Jan Brewer and Senate President Russell Pearce are calling the endeavor a success.
“They’re leaving in caravans,” said Pearce, who drafted the bill. “I’ve talked to the a U-Haul dealer. He said business has never been better.”
Pearce is not alone in the belief that the bill has been a success. Governor Brewer, who became somewhat of an overnight media star, is still fighting to set aside the stay by the U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton against the enforcement of parts of the law. Still, she believes the simple passing of the law did enough.
“It has really brought more people aware of the issues we are facing in Arizona. It’s been amazing what this bill has generated.”
Judge Bolton said the state is not allowed to enforce SB 1070’s provision that require police officers to attempt to check the immigration status of those they suspected of being in the country illegally, if already being questioned on another matter by the officer (ex. routine traffic stop).
However, Pearce states that the Obama administration did not challenge a number of other provisions, like that requiring local officials to cooperate with the federal government on matters of immigration.
“The purpose of 1070 was to eliminate sanctuary policies. That’s done.” said Pearce. He is referring to the fact that some local officials were previously allowed to decide whether or not to call immigration officials when they came across anyone in the country illegally. Now, anyone who believes local officials are not cooperating are allowed to sue them for as much as $5,000 a day.
Pearce boasts that the number of inmates this year is 500 lower than it was last year, saying it saves about $30,000 a year per inmate, and also avoids the cost of prosecution.
On the other hand, the state also lost millions of dollars when a number of companies and organizations cancelled conferences and conventions. While some did so in protest, others backed out just wanting to avoid being a part of the controversy.