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Governor: Legislators immigration ideas designed for ‘bumper stickers’

Governor Napolitano says her position on illegal immigration will not change during her campaign for re-election, and some of the state legislation on the issue is merely designed as campaign material to use against her.
The Democrat governor told reporters April 19 she will continue to push the federal government to increase border security and come up with a guest worker program. She repeated her call for a comprehensive legislative package to deal with illegal immigration, including sanctions for Arizona employers who hire undocumented workers.
“I’m going to be looking at the state level for approaches that make sense and that fill in, but do not substitute, for federal enforcement responsibility,” Ms. Napolitano said, adding that many ideas floating around the Legislature are not “tough,” but rather are designed for “bumper stickers.”
The governor continues to draw heat for her veto of S1157, which would have criminalized illegal presence in the United States. Ms. Napolitano said the bill was opposed by law enforcement and was unconstitutional.
On the other hand, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Barbara Leff, R-11, said she’s been told that many law enforcement officials back the bill, but were instructed not to go public with their support.
Before the veto, Sen. Ron Gould, R-3, who had requested the governor to call out the National Guard for the April 10 pro-immigration march and rally at the Capitol, issued a warning against a veto.
“I think she’ll pay if she does,” he said.
Ms. Napolitano was asked if she’s being sent bills to simply put her on the record in an election year.
“I think some legislators were pretty upfront about that at the beginning of the session — that they were going to try to do that,” she said. “My job is to take bills, analyze each one on their merits.”
The governor said she doesn’t read every bill word for word. Bills that arrive at the 9th Floor are distributed to policy advisers, who recommend action she should take.
Ms. Napolitano said she often studies the recommendations at home and reads bills word for word when she’s leaning toward a veto.
Magazine lauds Arizona politicians
Time magazine earlier this year named Ms. Napolitano one of the top five governors, and last week named Arizona’s John McCain and Jon Kyl among the top 10 U.S. senators.
At the end of her weekly news briefing, she was asked about Mr. McCain’s and Mr. Kyl’s distinctions.
“I think Time magazine did a very good job on its governors issue,” she said.

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