Governor who clashed with Obama over attempted illegal immigration crackdown reacts to SCOTUS' Texas ruling

EXCLUSIVE: A former Republican governor widely known for her clashes with the Obama administration while attempting to crack down on illegal immigration in her state reacted to Tuesday’s Supreme Court’s ruling that Texas can enforce a law that allows local police to arrest migrants suspected of crossing the border illegally.

Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer celebrated what she said was the court “finally realizing” it’s OK with the aspects of a law similar to one her state implemented in 2010 that was later partially struck down after drawing international attention for its tough approach to illegal immigration.

“I’m happy to hear that they finally realized they’re OK with S.B. 1070. We felt that at the time when it was passed, and we had a lot of legal scholars that agreed,” Brewer said during an interview with Fox News Digital, referencing the Arizona law. “And now we’ve got some principled Supreme Court justices that made the right decision. And I think that we all understand clearly that we have a right to arrest illegal people in our state. They’re breaking the law.”


Left: People attend the “Take Our Border Back” convoy rally on Feb. 3, 2024, in Yuma, Arizona; right: former Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. (Getty Images)

The Supreme Court struck down parts of S.B. 1070 in 2012, including a provision that would have allowed police to make arrests for violations of federal immigration law. S.B. 4 — Texas’ version of the Arizona bill — was similarly struck down by a federal judge in February, but it was stayed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals before reaching the Supreme Court.

The court did not explain its reasoning for ending the Fifth Circuit Court’s stay, but the ruling appeared to be focused less on the merits of the case rather than the stay itself. In a concurring opinion, Justices Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh expressed concern about the moves by the appeals court and suggested it could rule differently on the law’s merits.

When asked about the potential permanence of the law, given a possible future Supreme Court ruling, and whether that might encourage other states to pass similar laws, Brewer predicted that states beyond just those at the border would be inclined to because of the spread of migrants across the country.


President Obama meets with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer at the White House on June 3, 2010. (Pete Souza/White House via Getty Images)

“The problem is so vast now that it’s all over. I mean, it’s everywhere. In the Midwest, it’s everywhere. So, I think, yeah, they’ll strongly look into it because they want to protect their communities and their cities and their counties and their people,” Brewer said.

“It just makes sense. Just because you’re illegal, doesn’t make it OK. I don’t know why it’s so difficult for people to understand. I mean, they are breaking the law. Why do we let them get away with that?” she added.

Brewer predicted the ongoing border crisis will encourage people across the country to get out and vote, considering voters have consistently said the issue remains one of their top concerns.

Fox News’ Adam Shaw, Bradford Betz, Brianna Herlihy and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Brandon Gillespie is an associate editor at Fox News. Follow him on X at @BGillespieAL.

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