Wednesday, 01 September 2010

Governor Brewer Reacts to U.S. Human Rights Report

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In response to the State Department’s Human Rights report that named Arizona as a violator of human rights for its passage of S.B. 1070, Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer wrote Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a scathing letter calling the reference “downright offensive” as well as “unconstitutional.”

Brewer wrote, “The idea of our own American government submitting the duly enacted laws of a state of the United States to ‘review’ by the United Nations is internationalism run amok and unconstitutional.”

The report in question indicates, “A recent Arizona law, S.B. 1070, has generated significant attention and debate at home and around the world.”

In addition, the Human Rights report submitted to the United Nations’ Human Rights council included the Justice Department’s legal challenge to S.B. 1070 as an example of how the federal government is safeguarding human rights.

According to the report, “The issue is being addressed in a court action that argues that the federal government has the authority to set and enforce immigration law. That action is ongoing; parts of the law are currently enjoined.”

In an appearance this week on Fox News’s On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Brewer explained her decision to write the letter: “We are really offended, Greta, that the Obama and Secretary Clinton would take a duly enacted law and present it to the Human Rights council at the United Nations. I believe strongly that they owe us an apology and certainly want them to remove it from their report.”

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Adding insult to injury, Brewer learned of the United Nations report not from a White House official, but from a third-party, in this particular case from the Internet, similar to when Brewer learned of the Justice Department’s initial decision to pursue a federal lawsuit against the state of Arizona over S.B. 1070 from Secretary Clinton’s interview with an Ecuadorian news station. In both cases, the White House did not feel compelled to personally contact the Arizona Governor.

“We heard that the government was going to sue us when [Secretary Clinton] was down in Ecuador. Now we find out that they are going to turn us over to the Human Rights council on Senate Bill 1070 and let countries like Libya and Cuba decide if we’re doing right or wrong. It’s outrageous!”

Brewer also addressed her calling members of the Obama administration “hypocrites” in her letter, asserting that the federal government’s failure to secure the border contributes to the crime of human trafficking.

Likewise, Brewer charges the federal government with contributing to human rights violations by allowing the continuous invasion of illegal immigrants across the unsecured border, a journey that is potentially detrimental to the health and safety of those crossing the border. “If the federal government would do their job, secure the borders … talk about human rights? We have thousands of illegal aliens coming across our border and suffering under inhumane conditions due to the drug cartels and due to the heat and dying out in the desert.”

Brewer addressed the federal government’s seeming “attacks” on the state of Arizona, politely calling her experiences with the Obama administration “a real difficult time,” but calling this particular incident “over the top.”

“They are overstepping, overreaching, it’s outrageous, it’s very offensive, and it’s wrong. Arizona has the right to enact the laws that we see fit.”

According to the latest CBS poll, it is not only the state of Arizona that sees S.B. 1070 to be “fit.” The poll shows that 59 percent of Americans view Arizona’s immigration law as “just right,” while an additional 14 percent believe the law does not go far enough.

Brewer closed her letter to Secretary Clinton by contending, ”Be assured that the state of Arizona will fight any attempts by the United States Department of State and the United Nations to interfere with the duly enacted laws of the state of Arizona in accordance with the United States Constitution.”

Van Susteren questioned Brewer on the “harshness” of her letter’s closing statement. Unafraid to pack a punch, however, Brewer told Van Susteren, “We are going to do whatever is necessary to keep our sovereignty.”

To view the interview between Jan Brewer and Greta Van Sustren in its entirety, click here.

Brewer’s letter has yet to receive a response from the White House, but there may be small consolation in noting that while her candor may not be appreciated by the Obama administration, it has helped her popularity to soar in Arizona, and will likely secure her reelection on November 2.

Photo of Governor Jan Brewer: AP Images