Arizona Officials Have Harsh Words For Executive Action On Immigration

By Alexandra Olgin
Published: Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 9:10pm
Updated: Friday, November 21, 2014 - 11:09am
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(Photo by Alexandra Olgin - KJZZ)
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeau addressed the media Thursday.

President Barack Obama announced executive action on immigration in a speech Thursday night.

Obama said tracking down and deporting all undocumented immigrants is unrealistic and he wants to keep enforcement resources on deporting criminals. He also said he wants to offer a deal for immigrants who have been in the country for more than five years.

"You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law," Obama said.

Obama maintains this deal is not amnesty. Sheriff Paul Babeau of Pinal County disagrees, and said this is turning into a battle about the legality of executive action on immigration and not actually solving any problems.

“I’m afraid that the president in taking this action, not only poisons the well for that conversation," Babeau said. "What I’ve said from day one is the very foundation of this issue is about border security.”

Babeau said since Obama is now allowing some immigrants to stay temporarily, he believes all undocumented immigrants will now lie and say they have been here five years.

“It sends the message to millions and millions of future illegals who have yet to come here that guess what if you make it to the border you’re home free that there are no consequences," Babeau said.

Babeau says this grants undocumented immigrants amnesty without outright declaring it.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he plans to sue the president.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer had strong words as well.

“Evidently this President must be reminded that we, the American people, elected a president that serves beneath the law – we did not anoint a tyrannical king that is above the law," Brewer said in a statement.

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