Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is spitting up venom after eating scorpions for breakfast.
Brewer’s arthropodically-titled new book, which hits stores Nov. 1, lashes out at the Obama administration over its opposition to her push for SB 1070, the state’s anti-immigration law critics said would lead to racial profiling. In the period leading up to the bill’s passage, Brewer writes, the flood of feedback from either side of the debate threatened to overwhelm her. The torrent was so strong that she explicitly compares the experience to waterboarding, the Arizona Republic reports.
“Advice, objections, encouragement, discouragement, fan letters and death threats were coming at me so fast I could barely breathe,” Brewer reportedly writes in the introduction.
Arizona’s SB 1070 drew praise from conservatives for its tough stance on immigrant identification. The law requires police officers to ask suspected illegal immigrants for documentation during the course of a normal stop or detention. Opponents of the law worry that it inappropriately targets minorities based on their appearance.
President Obama condemned the bill last April, opening what Brewer saw as a rift between her state and the White House. Obama said the bill “threatened to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities.”
Brewer’s attempt at a tell-all comes on the heels of another controversial battle over immigration — this time in Alabama. Although a federal appeals court blocked portions of HB 56, Alabama’s copycat law, on Oct. 14, it left key provisions untouched. These included sections similar to Arizona’s bill requiring law enforcement to investigate a suspect’s citizenship status if there’s “reasonable suspicion” the suspect lacks authorization to live in the United States.
For her part, Brewer mostly blames the rise of state-level anti-immigration initiatives on Washington.
“Fueled by drugs and lawlessness, and abetted by federal indifference — or worse — Arizona’s crisis is coming to the rest of America,” she writes in her book. “In fact, it’s already here.”