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In April, Arizona passed a law that empowers law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of people they suspect are in the country illegally. While the law has inspired many protests and boycotts of the state by major cities like Los Angeles, Paradise Valley, Ariz., Mayor Vernon Parker says the law is really nothing new and many of its critics have not even read it.
Q: What do you think about Arizona’s new immigration law?
SB 1070 [has] brought a lot of light to the issue [of immigration reform]. There’s no way that this gives police the authority to just indiscriminately stop people because of the way that they look or how they talk.
Q: Do you think Congress will now move ahead with immigration reform?
We’ve already seen the president make a statement that he will increase troops on the border by 1,200. Now, that’s a drop in the bucket, but at least it’s something that the law has forced this administration’s hand [to do]. We’re talking about stopping the flow of illegal drugs into this country. Arizona is the No. 1 state for illegal drugs coming into this country. Now, this is not just an Arizona problem, this is an American problem, because when these drugs, these cheap drugs, make their way across the country, that’s devastating.
- Listen to a podcast of Parker’s entire interview to learn more about why this Arizona mayor is defending the state’s new immigration law.