PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer demanded Friday that a reference to the state’s controversial immigration law be removed from a State Department report to the United Nations’ human rights commissioner.
The U.S. included its legal challenge to the law on a list of ways the federal government is protecting human rights.
In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Brewer says it is “downright offensive” that a state law would be included in the report, which was drafted as part of a UN review of human rights in all member nations every four years.
“The idea of our own American government submitting the duly enacted laws of a state of the United States to ‘review’ by the United Nations is internationalism run amok and unconstitutional,” Brewer wrote.
Arizona’s law generally requires police officer enforcing other laws to investigate the immigration status of people they suspect are illegal immigrants.
Critics say it would lead officers to target Hispanics. Supporters, including Brewer, say the law prohibits racial profiling and other human rights abuses.
The U.S. Justice Department sued to block the measure, arguing federal law trumps the state’s authority to enforce immigration laws.
A federal judge in July sided with the Justice Department and blocked enforcement of the law’s most controversial provisions a day before it was scheduled to take effect.
In its report, the State Department does not specifically allege that Arizona’s law would lead to racial profiling.
“A recent Arizona law, S.B. 1070, has generated significant attention and debate at home and around the world,” the report says. “The issue is being addressed in a court action that argues that the federal government has the authority to set and enforce immigration law. That action is ongoing; parts of the law are currently enjoined.”
A State Department spokesman had no immediate comment on Brewer’s letter.
Brewer, a Republican, is running for election in November. Her popularity in Arizona and her national profile have soared since she signed the immigration measure in April.