It's good to know where U.S. Attorney of Arizona Dennis Burke stands, since his civil rights division will prosecute racial-profiling complaints if SB 1070 becomes law. Read today's Arizona Republic story here:
Burke calls the law "unconstitutional, unworkable, unfunded and confusing." He agrees that the federal government needs to do more to combat illegal immigration. But he said SB 1070 is the wrong way for Arizona to respond and instead touts his office's efforts.
He said there was a time when the office had to turn down cases that dealt with less than 500 pounds of marijuana or illegal immigrants without serious felony records trying to come back into the U.S. Not anymore, Burke said. He said he has added 11 prosecutors to the Tucson office in the past year to allow for more prosecution of border-enforcement and immigration cases.
He said his office has improved its relationship with Mexico, increasing the number of crime suspects extradited to the U.S., working more with Mexican officials on joint investigations and training Mexican prosecutors to better prosecute their own criminals. He said his office has also started paying more attention to the guns and money traveling from the U.S. to Mexico instead of just targeting drugs and people being trafficked in the opposite direction.
"We've been confiscating millions of dollars in ways we haven't done before," Burke said. "That, more than anything, takes out a drug cartel."