Author Of Arizona’s SB-1070 Law Will Introduce More Immigration Bills To ‘Ratchet Up’ Pressure

On Wednesday, Arizona state senator Russell Pearce (R), who authored his state’s controversial immigration bill SB-1070, was in Washington D.C. to attend a Supreme Court case challenging Arizona’s law that compels employers to participate in an employment verification system. After the hearing, ThinkProgress caught up with the state senator to see what his plans were for next year. Pearce told us that he plans to introduce more bills in Arizona’s next legislative session that will go even further than SB-1070. “Until the problem is solved,” Pearce declared, he will do “whatever it takes.” When asked to clarify, Pearce told ThinkProgress, “we’re going to go as far as we can to enforce the law”:

TP: In terms of the next legislative session though, for instance, would you like to see more bills introduced that would maybe go further than SB-1070?

PEARCE: Of course I would! Until the problem is solved. You know, I don’t know what illegal means to some folks. Arizona didn’t make illegal illegal. It was actually already illegal. And illegal is not a race, it’s a crime. We’re going to enforce the law. Whatever it takes, we’re going to ratchet up until the laws are complied with. The purpose for law is compliance. I’d just as soon not arrest anybody, but I’m going to go as far as I have to to get compliance.

TP: So you think you’ll probably be introducing more bills next session?


PEARCE: I suspect there will be some tweaks to make sure there’s no free stuff, they can’t take advantage of our system, the laws are totally enforced, there’s accountability in our educational system. We’re going to go as far as we can go to enforce the law, protect the Arizona taxpayer, and protect the Arizona citizen.

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Meanwhile, Republicans in a host of other states are looking to copycat Arizona’s SB-1070 law, including Tennessee, Texas, California, and Florida.