The Supreme Court agreed Monday to rule on Arizona's controversial law targeting illegal immigrants, setting the stage for an election-year decision on an issue that is already shaping presidential politics.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer gave the following statement shortly after hearing of the Supreme Court's decision.
"I would like to commend the U.S. Supreme Court for its decision to review and hear arguments pertaining to the federal court injunction against critical portions of SB 1070. I am confident the High Court will uphold Arizona's constitutional authority and obligation to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens.
"This case is not just about Arizona. It's about every state grappling with the costs of illegal immigration. And it's about the fundamental principle of federalism, under which these states have a right to defend their people. Beyond the obvious safety issues, the fiscal burdens imposed upon Arizona by illegal immigration are daunting. Our state spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year incarcerating criminal aliens and providing education and healthcare to individuals who entered and reside in this country in violation of our laws.
"As the gateway for nearly half of the nation's illegal border crossings, it's no secret that Arizona bears the brunt of problems caused by illegal immigration. I signed SB 1070 in order to give our state and local law enforcement one more tool with which to combat illegal immigration, while acting in concert with federal law and the U.S. Constitution. As I did so, I was keenly aware of the need to respect federal authority over immigration- related matters. The legislation authorizes cooperative law enforcement and imposes sanctions that consciously parallel federal law.
"Despite that, the United States took the extraordinary step of initiating a lawsuit to enjoin key provisions of the law before it ever took effect. I was stunned at the audacity of the Obama administration to file suit against an individual state seeking to safeguard its people. That shock turned to outrage as the federal government proceeded to file suit against three more states - South Carolina, Alabama and now Utah - that followed Arizona's lead.
"Arizona has been more than patient waiting for Washington to secure the border. Decades of federal inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation, and states deserve clarity from the Court in terms of what role they have in fighting illegal immigration. I'm pleased this nationally important issue will be resolved by the highest court in the land."
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer statement from October 21 when a judge decided to dismiss Arizona's suit against the federal government.