Op-Ed Spotlight: Arizona Governor Defends Law on ESPN

"Arizona has been more than patient waiting for Washington to act."

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Over the past several weeks, Arizona's controversial immigration law has drawn ire and sparked debate among the political commentariat (a debate the Wire has carefully tracked here, here, and here). To address the heated debate, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer took to the most unlikely of soap-boxes: ESPN. Brewer was inspired to use the sports website in response to calls for Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig to deny Phoenix the opportunity to host baseball's Midsummer Classic in July 2011. In her spirited op-ed, Brewer makes the case against the sports boycott.

On Punishing the Citizens of Arizona

Put simply, history shows that boycotts backfire and harm innocent people. ... As a border state, Arizona has already paid a heavy price for the federal government's failure -- hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in unreimbursed costs -- and its citizens should not be punished further.

On Racial Profiling

When I signed the legislation, I stated clearly I will not tolerate racial discrimination or racial profiling in Arizona. ... Although it is already against the law, the new law undeniably prohibits law enforcement officers from considering race, color or national origin in implementing the new statute.

On the Facts of the Legislation

1. The new Arizona law creates a state penalty to mirror what already is a federal crime. ... 2. Contrary to many of the horror stories being spread -- President Obama suggested families risk being pulled over while going out for ice cream -- law enforcement cannot randomly ask anyone about their immigration status. ... 3. Arizona's local law enforcement officers, who already reflect the great diversity of culture in our state, are going to be trained to enforce the new immigration law in a constitutional manner.

On the Federal Government

Arizona has been more than patient waiting for Washington to act. Decades of federal inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.