Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Thursday she was "stunned" to hear Secretary of State Hillary Clinton say that the Justice Department will sue her state over its new, controversial immigration law, and she's vowing to fight the feds over the issue -- and win.
Clinton said in a recent interview with an Ecuadorian television station that the Justice Departmentsince the federal government has jurisdiction over immigration issues.
The new measure, which is slated to go into effect in July, requires immigrants in Arizona to carry documents verifying their immigration status and requires police officers to question a person about his or her immigration status during a "lawful stop" if there is "reasonable suspicion" that person may be in the country illegally.
Brewer, a Republican, said in a statement that Clinton's remarks are "no way to treat the people of Arizona."
"To learn of this lawsuit through an Ecuadorean interview with the secretary of state is just outrageous," she said. "If our own government intends to sue our state to prevent illegal immigration enforcement, the least it can do is inform us before it informs the citizens of another nation."
She said on Fox News yesterday that she will not back away from the issue.
"We are going to pursue it, we're going to be very aggressive," Brewer said. "We'll meet them in court ... And we will win."
Attorney General Eric Holder has indicated that he believes "the law is an unfortunate one that will be subject to potential abuse" and said that the Justice Department is "considering a court challenge." However, Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler on Thursday declined to say whether the department has decided on whether to sue yet, the Associated Press reports.
Meanwhile, the AP reports, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said both Obama and Clinton have both made it clear that the administration opposes the law.
"I will defer to the Justice Department on the legal steps that are available and where they stand on the review of the law," Crowley said. "The secretary believes that comprehensive immigration reform is a better course of action."
The law has sparked controversy between opponents who say it will lead to racial profiling against Latinos and supporters of the law who say it is necessary in the absence of federal action on immigration issues. President Obama recently ordered 1,200 National Guard troops to the Arizona border for added security, but Brewer said in her statement that so far, "no information about additional troop and border security enhancements has been provided by the Obama Administration to the citizens of Arizona."
Brewer on Wednesday announced the creation of a legal defense fund in support of the immigration measure, which has already collected over $22,000 in contributions. Over $26,000 had previously been sent unsolicited to the Governor's office to defend the law in court, according to Brewer's statement.