DENVER, Colorado - Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge says he's uncomfortable with Arizona's new immigration law, saying it allows police to question people without probable cause. But Ridge also faults both major parties for failing to come up with a national policy and opening the door for state laws like Arizona's.
Ridge spoke Tuesday in an interview with The Associated Press in Denver before appearing at a public discussion on terrorism. He says Congress should "legitimize" the status of the 12 million illegal immigrants in the country but not grant them citizenship. He also advocates "brutal" penalties for employers who hire illegal workers and says the U.S. should push Mexico to help control immigration.
The Pima County, Arizona, sheriff echoed Ridge's sentiments, calling Senate Bill 1070 a "racist law." The measure requires Arizona police to determine whether people are in the U.S. legally if there is a reason to suspect they aren't. But Sheriff Clarence Dupnik says he has no intention of complying with it.
According to a Tucson TV station, Dupnik becomes the first major local law enforcement official to rebel against the bill since Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed it into law Friday.
Dupnik called the law "disgusting" and "unnecessary." He knows he could get sued for failing to comply with the law. It's a risk he says he's willing to take.