If other states fail to enact similar provisions authorizing their contributions to the fence, then the Arizona measure empowers the Governor to go it alone.
There is no provision in the bill that sets forth the precise amount of money to be spent on the project, nor specifically authorizing the appropriation. However, the law permits the use of donations and prison labor, and the hire of private construction contractors.
Governor Brewer has often appealed to President Barack Obama to deploy additional units of the National Guard to patrol the border. She has likewise requested federal help in the augmentation of the fences now in place in an effort to stymie the flow of drugs and crime across a very porous southern border.
As it stands today, there is a 646-mile fence that runs along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border. That represents coverage of about 30 percent of the whole.
The Governor was no doubt prompted to sign the bill into law given the status of the state of Arizona as a port of entry for thousands of illegal aliens, as well as the central passageway for the trafficking of drugs and human beings into the United States.
As chronicled recently in The New American, the state of Arizona continues to combat the influx of illegals in spite of repeated attempts by the Obama administration to frustrate those efforts:
Recent legislation introduced in Arizona serves to further amplify the potency of SB 1070 by remedying these precise problems. State Senators have introduced SB 1611, an “Omnibus” immigration bill that would deny illegal immigrants access to taxpayer-funded services to which they — as non-citizens and non-taxpayers — are not legally entitled. The new bill would deny all public benefits to undocumented immigrants in Arizona. It would also make proof of citizenship a requirement for those applying for public housing and vehicle registration as well as for public school enrollment from kindergarten through college. It would also make it illegal for an undocumented immigrant to operate a motor vehicle in the state and make failure to enforce immigration laws a class 2 misdemeanor.
... [T]he committee also passed SB 1308, which seeks the approval of Congress to create separate birth certificates for children born to at least one parent with legal status and those born to undocumented parents — a system that would be a first nationwide. The aim of the bill, backers have said, is to force the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit the 14th Amendment, which has been interpreted as granting automatic citizenship to any child born in the country.
Although Governor Brewer signed the bill last Thursday, her spokesman, Matt Benson, declined to comment the following day on why she signed it or whether she plans to invoke the authority.
The answer to that question may be self-evident: Arizona is determined to demonstrate its sovereign right to protect itself from invasion and to safeguard its citizens through the legal, proper, and aggressive exercise of the police power, a power reserved to the states.
Photo: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer