Friday, March 18, 2011

FACT CHECK FOLLOW-UP: As U.S. Presents, Today, Gov. Brewer's Anti-UN/Anti-White House/Pro-SB1070 Rant Proved False

It was 6 1/2 months ago that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer teed off on the Obama Administration for mentioning Arizona and the anti-illegal immigration SB1070 in its review of human rights in Arizona.  She decried the innocuous mention as "internationalism run amok and unconstitutional", and promised that Arizona would fight the attempt "to make an international human rights case out of SB1070". 

Today, the United States presents its response to the recommendations made by other countries, and will tell them that it flat out rejects the idea - made by Ecuador and echoed by others - that the U.S. should "Repeal and do not enforce discriminatory and racial laws such as Law SB 1070 of the State of Arizona."  And, that will basically be the end of that.  The report and the response will be approved, there will be no vote on whether the U.S. should be forced to repeal Arizona's law or sanctioned if it does not.  That is it.  An anti-climactic, yet completely predictable, end to something that the governor pretended was going to be an historic capitulation of the United States to the world.

The State Department released its response to the 228 recommendations made by other nations last week to little fanfare.  For most, the Administration expressed support, or rejected the rhetoric while supporting the principle.  However, the Ecuadoran recommendation was one of the 57 that the U.S. is flatly rejecting.  The comment: "(T)he Federal Executive Branch lacks the authority to repeal or refuse to enforce laws enacted at the State level."

The U.S. did respond favorably to other, more general recommendations touching on issues raised in the wake of SB1070.  For example, Guatemala, Bolivia, Mexico, Uruguay urged the U.S. to attempt to restrain state initiatives which encourage racial profiling and/or criminalizing people who cross the border without permission.  The U.S. response expressed support for the principle expressed in those recommendations in a very interesting way:

We will continue to both conduct human rights training and awareness campaigns and, where appropriate, bring civil or criminal actions regarding racial profiling, police brutality, and excessive use of force, and other actionable civil rights violations against immigrants. While unlawful presence in the U.S. is not a crime, and the federal government does not support state initiatives that aim to criminalize mere status, we cannot support the parts related to the “criminalization” of migrants, as certain immigration offenses are subject to criminal sanction, e.g., illegal entry. (emphasis added)

In August, we fact checked Gov. Brewer's letter and concluded that it was "completely misleading".  And, unless something completely unexpected occurs, today's proceedings will support that conclusion and prove to be a predictable anti-climax to the Governor's UN-and-Obama-bashing rant.

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