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Arizona immigration law sponsor blasts feds over 'political' lawsuit

By Ethan Harp, CNN
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Immigration law sponsor speaks out
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce sponsored state's new immigration law
  • Responds to federal lawsuit by saying, "The misinformation out there is outrageous"
  • Says Obama administration trying to enforce policy of "no enforcement and amnesty"
  • Arizona state rep disagrees, saying lawsuit "can provide some clarity"

(CNN) -- The Arizona lawmaker who sponsored the state's controversial new immigration law blasted Tuesday's lawsuit by the Justice Department, saying, "The misinformation out there is outrageous."

Appearing on CNN's "Campbell Brown" hours after the suit against the state was filed, Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce, a Republican, said, "The Obama administration simply is filing suit, a political lawsuit if you will, (be)cause they have no leg to stand on."

"They are simply trying to enforce their current policy of no enforcement and amnesty. That's what it's about. They're not worried about (racial) profiling and this bill prohibits it," Pearce said.

State Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat, disagreed, telling Brown, "The Department of Justice has the clear authority and legal right to bring suit, even before the law is implemented. This law presents a great challenge and really interesting legal question for our whole country, and hopefully this lawsuit can provide some clarity... so we can know where the state authority ends in terms of implementing immigration reform and where federal authority begins."

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Asked by Brown about complaints from some Arizona police agencies about the new law, Pearce dismissed the criticism as "fabrications."

"Nine out of 15 sheriffs endorse this bill," Pearce explained. "The state Fraternal Order of Police endorses this bill. The Border Patrol Association endorses this bill... the police chiefs don't endorse it because they work for open-border mayors, sanctuary mayors who always stated they don't want to enforce the law," Pearce said.

The law, signed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in April, is considered the toughest legislation in the United States dealing with illegal immigration.

 
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