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Janice K. Brewer, a Republican, is the governor of Arizona since January 21, 2009. Brewer, the former Secretary of State of Arizona, replaced Janet Napolitano after Napolitano was tapped to join the Obama Administration as head of Homeland Security. Brewer became governor due to a line of succession specified in Arizona's state constitution.
In April, 2010, Brewer signed a controversial new immigration law, SB 1070, that makes it a state crime for illegal immigrants to fail to carry alien registration documents. It also requires police to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally.
Erroneous and unsupported claims regarding immigration
In justifying Arizona's tough new immigration law, Gov. Brewer has claimed that immigration is fueling crime in the state. She claimed that Phoenix is becoming the world's number-two kidnapping capital, that decapitated bodies are being, that illegal immigrants are responsible for most police killings, and the majority of people crossing the border into the U.S. are drug mules. Brewer has also said 87 percent of people crossing the border illegally have prior criminal records. But Brewer's statements have no basis in fact. Federal immigration authorities were unable to confirm her 87 percent statistic about criminal records, and her administration couldn't provide a reference for the number. The Arizona Guardian checked out Brewer's claim about decapitated bodies found in the desert and found no evidence of beheadings. An exhaustive study by the Arizona Republic of police and FBI crime statistics show that violence in Arizona is flat or even slightly lower than it has been in the last one or even two decades.
Jan Brewer, Governor of Arizona
1700 West Washington
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Toll Free: 1-(800) 253-0883 (within Arizona only)
- State of Arizona About Governor Jan Brewer, accessed July 19, 2010
- KPHO.com Ariz. Lawmakers Pass Controversial Illegal Immigration Bill News report, April 16, 2010
- Brian Montopoli Where Did Jan Brewer's Beheading Claim Come From?, CBS News, July 9, 2010
- Dana Milbank Headless bodies and other immigration tall tales in Arizona, Washington Post, July 11, 2010
- Dennis Welch County Coroners Can't Back Brewer's Beheading Claim, Arizona Guardian, June 30, 2010