Ariz. AG Supports Immigration Reform, But Not New Law
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Michele Norris.
ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
And we begin this hour with Arizona's controversial immigration law. SB 1070 is set to go into effect next Thursday, assuming a federal judge doesn't step in and block it. The job of enforcing the law would fall to Arizona's Attorney General Terry Goddard.
NORRIS: Earlier this month, Goddard wrote a letter to President Obama, arguing that the government's effort to fight SB 1070 were, in his words, just wrong.
TERRY GODDARD: And there became a tacit understanding that the only way, especially in the Southwest, you could grow or the economy could flourish was with immigrant labor. And there was no way to legally bring in the immigrant labor, so they came in as illegals. And that created a divided situation in Arizona and in much of the country that we're now wrestling with in a really anguishing struggle that's nationwide.
NORRIS: Are you upset that the Justice Department is trampling on the 10th Amendment or that they're willfully disregarding the will of the people in Arizona?
GODDARD: Now you have a completely, almost impossible situation. You throw the parents out, leave the kids here on welfare. So what I'm struggling with is a question of law enforcement, first and foremost. How do you secure the border? How do you fight back against border crime? And frankly, the suit against Arizona is, in my opinion, a distraction.
NORRIS: Overall in the state of Arizona, there's broad support for SB 1070. Why do so many people think this law is a good idea?
GODDARD: The inconsistency I think is resolved by the fact that either way, either through 1070 or at least the intention behind 1070 or through immigration reform, you get everybody on the same page. You have one set of standards. You have one set of rules. You have a government of laws. And I think that's what people are crying for.
NORRIS: Mr. Goddard, thank you very much for coming in.
GODDARD: Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.
NORRIS: Terry Goddard is the attorney general for the state of Arizona. He's also the Democratic candidate for governor. On Monday, we'll hear more of my conversation with the attorney general about his efforts to fight drug cartels south of the border.
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