Web Producer: Forrest Carr
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik tells KGUN9 News that SB 1070, Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigration, is a "racist law," and says he has no intention of complying with it. In doing so, Dupnik becomes the first major local law enforcement official to officially rebel against the bill since Governor Jan Brewer signed it into law on Friday.
Dupnik told KGUN9's Steve Nunez that the law is "disgusting" and "unnecessary." Dupnik said his deputies plan to keep on doing what they've always done. He said when illegal immigrants wind up in his custody, his deputies will detain them for federal agents, but will not take them to the county jail.
Dupnik said he realizes that, under the terms of SB 1070, he could get sued for failing to comply with the law. But he indicated that's a risk he's willing to take. Dupnik insisted that federal law supersedes state law.
In an e-mail exchange with KGUN9 News Tuesday afternoon, SB 1070's sponsor, State Senator Russell Pearce sharply criticized Dupnik's position. Pearce wrote, "Illegal is not a race, it is a crime. I guess the 9 Sheriffs who support this bill are racist." [Note: Duh]
By contrast, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever now tells KGUN9 that he does plan to comply with SB 1070. But in an interview with KGUN9's Craig Smith on Tuesday morning, Dever also said he does not expect it to have much of an effect on the way his department operates.