Jan Brewer Rails Against “Foreign Interference” in SB 1070 Debate

Arizona's governor argues that American sovereignty begins in the constitution, and at the border.

By Julianne Hing Oct 06, 2010

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer wants to block nearly a dozen countries who disagree with SB 1070 from weighing in on the law when it’s considered by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Brewer filed a motion Tuesday afternoon with the court, a day after Mexico and ten other countries asked permission to file friend of the court briefs in support of the Department of Justice’s lawsuit challenging the law. SB 1070 is the harsh anti-immigrant law that would have made being undocumented in Arizona a state crime, and authorized law enforcement to question a person about their immigration status if they had "reasonable suspicion" to believe a person didn’t have documents. While part of the law was enjoined in July by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton, other parts went into effect. SB 1070 in its current form includes crackdowns on day laborers, strengthened employer sanction laws and a provision that forbids the creation of so-called "sanctuary cities" in Arizona. At the time, Mexico, together with Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru filed amicus briefs in support of the DOJ lawsuit. Now at the appellate court, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, and Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru have asked to join Mexico in its amicus brief. "As do many citizens, I find it incredibly offensive that these foreign governments are using our court system to meddle in a domestic legal dispute and to oppose the rule of law," Brewer said in a statement yesterday. "What’s even more offensive is that this effort has been supported by the U.S. Department of Justice. American sovereignty begins in the U.S. Constitution and at the border." Michigan, Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia have filed briefs in support of SB 1070. A set of cities including Baltimore, Seattle and San Francisco have backed the federal government’s challenge. "I am confident the Ninth Circuit will do the right thing and recognize foreign interference in U.S. legal proceedings and allow the State of Arizona to respond to their brief," Brewer said. The Ninth Circuit is set to hear oral arguments during the week of November 1 in San Francisco.