Pawlenty weighs in on immigration

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  • July 30, 2010 - 10:01 AM

During his weekly hour-long radio show, Gov. Tim Pawlenty spent two-thirds of it Friday morning weighing in -- favorably -- on Arizona's controversial immigration law.

The law stemmed from an illegal immigration crisis that "had gotten to the point -- a boiling point -- where Arizona had to do something individually. It's created a  reasonable set of expectations," Pawlenty said.

A ruling Wednesday by a federal judge put on hold parts of Arizona's new law that would have required officers to dig deeper into the fight against illegal immigration. State officials said they were  forced to act because the federal government isn't doing its job to fight immigration. The issue led to demonstrations across the country Thursday, the day the remaining portions of the law took effect.

Saying he had "read this law," Pawlenty said critics are "a lot of people [who have] spouted off about this law but later admitted they hadn't read it."

He also criticized cities such as Minneapolis and St. Paul, among what are called "sanctuary cities," where law enforcement officers are explicitly barred from asking people they stop about their immigration status.

Weighing in on an issue that has more national political ramifications than in Minnesota, Pawlenty added, "you can't have big bunches of people breaking the law ... Our country is based on immigration, but it has to be legal."

Earlier Friday morning, Pawlenty said on WCCO radio (which carries his weekly show) that he hasn't decided whether to run for president in 2012. 


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