Arizona Immigration Law: Outcry Continues Over Controversial Bill

Arizona Governor feels the heat of the national spotlight, lashes out at Obama.

ByABC News via logo
April 26, 2010, 9:17 PM

April 27, 2010â?? -- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is feeling the heat of the national spotlight as thousands protest across the state and some have called for a boycott of Arizona goods following the signing of a controversial immigration bill into law.

In response to the criticism, Brewer has lashed out at President Obama who has called the new law "misguided" and ordered the Justice Department to see if it would violate civil rights.

Brewer said that five letters she's written to the federal government about her state's immigration issues have gone unreturned.

"I've spoke to the president personally in regard to [the letters], has been met with complete and total disrespect to the people of Arizona. I mean, we don't even get an answer back," Brewer said Monday.

Brewer said it was the state's way of working to solve a crisis that it did not create and which the federal government refused to fix.

"I firmly believe [the law] represents what's best for Arizona," Brewer said before signing the bill into law Friday. "Border-related violence and crime due to illegal immigration are critically important issues for the people of our state, to my administration, and to me as your governor and as a citizen."

Obama wasn't alone in criticizing Arizona's new law. Critics ranged from a former Arizona governor to the president of Mexico.

Mexico's foreign relations department issued an advisory today urging Mexicans in Arizona to "act with prudence and respect the framework of local laws."

"It should be assumed that any Mexican citizen could be bothered and questioned for no other reason at any moment," according to the travel alert.

"That one is a misguided law," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told ABC News. Napolitano had vetoed the bill three times while she was governor of Arizona.

"It's not a good law enforcement law... But beyond that, what it illustrates is that other states now will feel compelled to do things, and you will have this patchwork of laws where we need a federal immigration system that meets our security needs, that recognizes where we need to go in this 21st century and gives us a better framework on which to stand," Napolitano said.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, who once championed immigration reform, blamed the federal government for the passages of the bill, saying that the frustration that led to it was justifiable.

"The fact is that our borders are broken. They are not secure. It is a federal responsibility to secure our borders. It is not being done," McCain said on the Senate floor Monday.

The state capitol was vandalized when refried beans in the shape of a Nazi swastika was found smeared across it.

Democrat Chicago Alderman Daniel Solis had a similar message when he said "what has happened in Arizona is very similar to what happened in Nazi Germany."

President of Mexico Blasts Arizona Immigration Law

The president of Mexico expressed his anger with the legislation.

"My government cannot and will not remain indifferent when these kinds of policies go against human rights," President Felipe Calderon said.

Civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton promised even bigger protests if the lawsuit filed to block the law fails.

"We're going to bring people into the state of Arizona and refuse to show our IDs and openly walk the streets with people that appear Mexican," Sharpton said.