Arizona governor asks State Department to drop immigration law from UN rights report

[JURIST] Arizona Governor Jan Brewer [official website] on Friday called on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to remove any mention of Arizona [letter, PDF] and its passage of SB 1070 [JURIST news archive] from a human rights report [text, PDF; JURIST report] issued by the State Department. The report, submitted to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] as part of a universal review, discussed the passage and current injunction of portions of SB 1070 within a section entitled, "A commitment to values in engagements across our borders." Brewer's sternly-worded letter called inclusion of any mention of SB 1070 "offensive" in light of the membership of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website], including Cuba and Libya. Brewer continued:

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. Human rights as guaranteed by the United States and Arizona Constitutions are expressly protected in S.B. 1070 and defended vigorously by my Administration.
Brewer has asked that the paragraph mentioning SB 1070 be stricken from the report and that in its place, the report include a comparison of US immigration laws to the laws of those members of the UNHRC that will review the report. There has not been an official response from Clinton or the State Department.

Arizona's new immigration law has been the model for proposed laws in a number of other states. Earlier this month, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum proposed a similar law for his state [JURIST report], and Virginia's Attorney General issued an opinion that police within his state may inquire as to the immigration status [JURIST report] of those whom they stop or arrest. In late July, a federal district judge enjoined many provisions of the Arizona law [JURIST report], and efforts by the state to have review of that decision expedited to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit were denied by that court [JURIST report]. The Justice Department filed its complaint in early July [JURIST report], alleging that Arizona's attempt to pass immigration laws is preempted by federal law, and thus runs afoul of the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution.

 

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