PHOENIX — Republican gubernatorial candidates criticized Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano for her veto Tuesday of a bill against illegal immigration.
Len Munsil said Napolitano “has once again demonstrated she cannot be trusted to secure our border. More than 5 million illegal crossings have occurred on her watch, and she has sat back and done nothing.
“No matter how many border photo ops she produces in this election year, today’s veto proves once again she is not serious about halting illegal immigration,” Munsil said.
Don Goldwater said Napolitano’s veto represented “pandering to illegal aliens.”
“As a native Arizonan, I am dismayed by her betrayal of honest Arizona businesses who are forced to compete daily against those who pay substandard wages to illegal aliens. As a homeowner and father, I strongly oppose the expenditure of billions to educate those who are here in violation of our state and federal laws while our public schools fail to educate our legal children,” Goldwater said.
During a Senate floor session, Democratic Sen. Robert Cannell of Yuma said both Napolitano and the GOP-led Legislature had made politically minded moves on immigration.
“No question we have right to secure (the) border and that most people want the state to do that,” Cannell said. “But we are not working as a team with the executive, Democratic, Republican groups to put a bill through that will pass and do something.”
Napolitano said in her veto letter that she vetoed the bill because its sanctions against employers who hire illegal immigrants amounted to employer amnesty and because it included provisions to make illegal immigrants’ presence in Arizona a crime under the state’s trespassing law.
Napolitano was in the Yuma area Tuesday afternoon and met with National Guard soldiers from Utah who arrived in Arizona last weekend to do construction and other work to help border security efforts.
She said she vetoed the bill “because it was a crummy bill, it was employer amnesty and had a lot of things that didn’t need to be there.”