The “Papers, Please!” anti-immigration movement could be moving into Arizona’s elementary school classrooms soon. Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ), the conservative governor responsible for Arizona’s SB1070 law, would like to adopt Alabama’s draconian anti-immigrant measures for her state.
The Alabama law goes farther than what Arizona has already passed. The Alabama law forces schools to check the immigration status of students. Since the law provides new requirements for any Alabama resident to be screened before using public facilities of almost any type, public water utilities have began checking the immigration status of customers.
ThinkProgress caught up with Brewer in the spin room after the CNN debate last night. Brewer referenced the fact that the federal courts have blocked certain provisions of the law, but told us that if Alabama’s law eventually passes constitutional muster, that she would like to see it implemented in her own state of Arizona:
KEYES: Governor, what do you make of Alabama’s recent immigration law?
BREWER: I think that they’re frustrated and they’ve been impacted by illegal immigration down there. Again, states cannot afford it. We cannot afford the health care, the education, the incarceration, and what it does to our communities.
KEYES: Do you think some of the provisions would be appropriate for Arizona as well? For instance, schoolchildren and their families are being asked about their immigration status upon enrolling in school?
BREWER: I don’t really have a problem with that. When I was going to school we always had to bring our birth certificates for whatever reason they needed it at that point in time. Bottom line is that I believe in federalism. With federalism, I think states should have rights, and as long as those taxpayers are paying the tab then they ought to know if they’re legal or illegal. The bottom line of illegal immigration is its all about the rule of law. We are a nation of laws, we ought to abide by the law.
After speaking with Scott Keyes, Brewer confirmed her position in another brief interview with Lee Fang. “I think its important to find out who is going to our schools and if they’re legal or if they’re illegal,” said Brewer.
Despite a federal court blocking parts of the Alabama law for now, including the schools provision, hundreds of Hispanic children have refused to show up at school and many families are fleeing the state.