Top cop skeptical of Arizona immigration law

John Suthers

The Democratic candidate for attorney general has called out the Republican who currently holds the seat to comment on Arizona’s controversial new law on illegal immigrants.

Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett, the Democrat who recently entered the race, said Suthers should end his “silence” on the matter.

As it happens, though, Suthers told The Daily Sentinel a day before just what he thought.

“The thing that Arizona has done that no other state has done, I don’t think is going to fly,” Suthers said Monday. “I don’t think a state can criminalize immigration status. The Constitution says Congress has complete power over the naturalization process. I’m hoping Colorado will do nothing.”

Last month, the Arizona Legislature and the state’s governor passed a law requiring all law enforcement officers in the state to determine the legal status of anyone they have reason to believe may be in the country illegally.

Like other Colorado Republican candidates in various federal races, GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis said he would sign a similar law if the Colorado Legislature passed one. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, the sole Democrat in the governor’s race, said the Arizona law is “troubling.”

Suthers, however, said the message it sends to Washington, D.C., is a strong one. Like Colorado’s immigration laws, which were the toughest of any state when they were approved in 2005, Arizonans are frustrated with the lack of federal action on the matter, he said.

“I’ve always thought the feds could do a lot better job of border security than they do,” Suthers said.

Garnett said he, too, opposes the law, saying it is a matter for the federal government to deal with and not individual states.

“While I continue to believe illegal immigration is a very serious issue demanding prompt and comprehensive measures to be pursued at the national level, the action taken by Arizona is clearly of great concern to Coloradans across the state,” Garnett said in a statement. “The current incumbent has a responsibility to inform his constituents on matters of great public interest. Where does John Suthers stand?”


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