Russell Pearce Compares Immigrants To A "Cow With Mad Cow Disease"

December 10, 2010 12:51 pm ET — Media Matters Action Network

On Wednesday, State Sen. Russell Pearce (R-AZ) — the author of Arizona's notorious immigration law SB-1070 — participated in a panel discussion hosted by the conservative group Judicial Watch in Washington, DC. During the event, Pearce joked that President Obama "may not be visiting Arizona because we actually require papers now." In addition, Pearce made several other remarks demonstrating the extent of his anti-immigrant views. Watch a compilation and read some of the highlights below:

Pearce on the Justice Department's legal challenge to the Arizona law:

This is the first time in the history of the United States a sitting president has chosen to side with a foreign government to sue its own citizens. Simply outrageous and not to be tolerated.

Pearce on how illegal immigration is like Hurricane Katrina:

How long do we sit on the sidelines and watch the destruction of our neighborhoods and the destruction of this republic without doing something about it? And we think it's somebody else's job. It's kinda like Hurricane Katrina, the failures have been made on the federal and state and local levels. 

Pearce on why Arizona's crackdown "works":

But over 100 thousand illegal aliens have left the state of Arizona. So do we know the law works? Absolutely. We don't need comprehensive reform, codeword "amnesty," we need comprehensive enforcement.

Pearce on states' rights:

It does give the federal government the responsibility to protect the states from invasion. But it's right also in the Constitution, it says, when there is an invasion the states have a right, even — even to declare war if you will, you know, they have a right to protect. And again, we're sovereign states, I mean, just like everybody here. We're not citizens of the United States. We use that term, well, we're actually citizens of one of the several sovereign states.

Pearce on a potential moratorium on legal immigration:

You know, and I — and I do think there ought to be a moratorium, maybe, until we get our act together. Right now you've got an overloaded system. And again, when you — and people complain about the system. We're allowing people to come through without complete background checks, you know, we're letting people overstay their visas. Hundreds of thousands of 'em they come to this country, we have no idea where they're at. Of course, we can track a cow with mad — mad cow disease, where it came from, um, but somehow we can't find these folks that are within our country? Um, there ought to be a timeout all the way around until we get our arms around national security.