State Senator Russell Pearce on Purpose of Illegal Immigration Crackdown

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," May 12, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: Now, fair and balanced, to the other side, the man who got this whole crackdown cranking, Arizona State senator Russell Pearce, the author of the very immigration measure that was signed into law by Governor Brewer not even three weeks ago.

Senator, what do you — what do you make of this?

RUSSELL PEARCE, R-ARIZ. STATE SENATOR: Well, it’s simply anarchism.

I’m amazed that you would have an elected official that would be so dishonest in their approach. This bill prohibits racial profiling. What a demeaning comment to law enforcement that they’re looking to pick on citizens.

This is based on documentation and applies to everybody equally and fairly. You know, not only do we have a constitutional protection for our citizens, you know, the Fourth and 14th Amendment and many a case law, but we in Arizona specifically put it into the bill: You can not use race. You cannot racially profile. It prohibits it.

CAVUTO: Well, you can say that what he’s saying — and you can help me out, Senator — what he’s saying...


CAVUTO: And I don’t know who is telling the truth here — that, of course, you leave that kind of language out of the bill. And I have read it several times.


PEARCE: Well, no, we didn’t leave it out. We put it in.

CAVUTO: But officers and sheriffs could then, all of a sudden, leave it to their own judgment. If you see men or women of a certain color, let’s say Hispanics, well, you know, we’re going to check that vehicle out. We’re going to check that group out.



CAVUTO: What do you say?

PEARCE: You know, you — this prohibits it. That’s just outrageous.

First of all, these are anarchists. They’re not worried about profiling. They simply support lawbreakers. They — what they’re doing is helping to destroy this nation. We’re a nation of laws.

And this whole republic was built upon the rule of law. You don’t have a right to break into my country, just like you don’t have a right to break into my home. What we have — and L.A. is the poster child for this — are sanctuary policies. They’re actually illegal under federal law to have a policy that restricts law enforcement. But we have it, Operation 40 in L.A., Operation 1.4.3 in Phoenix. Enough is enough. I mean, does it take another Rob Krentz to be murdered?

CAVUTO: But, Senator, when the claim is made that profiling is inevitably going to come up because it will come up, someone who is improperly pulled along the side of the road and asked for documentation and let’s say they’re let go, they’re going to come back and say they were harassed or this was a horrible injustice and sue. Then what are you going to do?


PEARCE: Well, you know, certainly, the lame-stream media will promote that. But the truth is, it’s based on documentation.

A police officer doesn’t have any more authority to stop you under this law than they had yesterday. A police officer doesn’t have any more authority to arrest you yesterday than they did today. We’re simply taking the handcuffs off.

Citizens aren’t required to carry any documentation they weren’t required to carry yesterday. And if — in Arizona, if you have a driver’s license, a state I.D., and social security card, that’s presumption that you’re in the state legally. But under federal law, we took federal law and put it into state law.

Do they not read anything? We took federal law and put it in state law. States have always had inherent authority to enforce these laws, always. But we put handcuffs on our law enforcement and not allowed them to.

So, we have taken federal law, put it into state law, with some teeth that says, we are going to enforce our law, reasonably, responsibly, fairly, but we’re no longer going to apologize for enforcing our laws, protecting our citizens.

CAVUTO: All right.

PEARCE: I had the ranchers up here after Rob Krentz was murdered on the border. And I listened to their stories, from Sasabe to Douglas about what’s going on, on that border.

It’s as bad or worse than it’s ever been.


PEARCE: Seventeen percent of those folks crossing the border already have felony convictions, home invaders...

CAVUTO: All right.

PEARCE: ...drug runners, human smuggling. Enough is enough.

CAVUTO: Gotcha.

PEARCE: We’re going to protect our citizens in Arizona. We’re going to enforce the law.

CAVUTO: Senator, thank you very much.

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