Governor Jan Brewer Blunders that Feds' National Release of Illegal Immigrants Is Payback, Punishment for Arizona
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer told Fox News that the recent release of illegal immigrants by federal immigration officials from the Pinal County jails was "payback" because of the state's "strong" position on securing the border.
When the host asked whether Washington was picking on Arizona, Brewer responded:
"I think it's pretty obvious that they're doing everything in their power . . . I mean, this is just another notch in their belt bucket, if you will."
Yeah, we're pretty sure that when she was finally able to push the words out of her mouth, she said "belt bucket."
She also told the network on Friday that the feds are trying to "punish" Arizona.
And all that might make a tiny bit of sense -- even in Brewer's world -- if immigrant detainees were allowed out of jail and placed under supervised release only in Arizona.
But, the truth is, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have released immigrant detainees in other states because of looming budget cuts -- not that the Fox News host bothered to point that out.
Media Matters For America, a not-for-profit think tank dedicated to debunking conservative misinformation in the media, published "Fox Hypes Bogus Theory That Immigrant Detainee Release Is "Payback" For Arizona."
Media Matters, which labels itself progressive, cites a New York Times article that notes detainees were released "in Texas, New Jersey, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and New York, in addition to Arizona."
Like Brewer, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has been making the rounds on conservative television and radio programs, blasting the feds over the release -- at times claiming that 500 immigrants have been released.
A spokeswoman for ICE tells New Times that 303 detainees were released in Arizona. Whether additional immigrants will be released is still to be determined.
Media Matters trimmed the video to highlights Brewer's comments about Arizona being punished and picked on. You can watch the full Fox News video below. Brewer's "belt bucket" comment is about 2 minutes and 40 seconds into the videos.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.