Reporter: Craig Smith
Bisbee, ARIZ (KGUN9-TV) - This week, the US Supreme Court will consider Arizona's immigration law, SB 1070.
Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever filed a brief supporting the law and will be in the court chamber Wednesday to hear arguments.
Sheriff Dever says he's been going to Washington for about 15 years to bring his perspective on border security. Now he will see the issue play out in the nation's highest court.
He says, "Its actually in a way sad that this had to go all the way to the Supreme Court to be settled because it seems such a simple solution and answer and reasonable. It's become highly, totally politicized not just highly politicized. It's polarized a lot of opinions and agendas and people."
Sheriff Dever says to largely rural Cochise County the greatest value of SB1070 is how it affects urban police departments. He says when
urban departments don't enforce immigration law, it encourages illegal immigrants to cross Cochise County to find sanctuary from discovery and deportation when they get to the cities.
Sheriff Dever says, "And if we didn't do that, again I think we would see less pressure. I know we would see less pressure on the border communities here."
KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked Sheriff Dever: "So you're hoping to alter the behavior of urban police departments, so this becomes less of a pass-through county?
Sheriff Dever: "Correct. That's it in a nutshell."
Arguing against 1070, the Federal government says immigration is a national issue and there will be a confusing patchwork if states make immigration law. Sheriff Dever says there's already a patchwork of drug and gun laws but Hispanic voting power gives immigration a special role in politics.
Sheriff Dever says years ago, the National Sheriff's Association said no when the Bush Administration tried to pass a bill that was perceived as something close to amnesty for illegal immigrants.
"At that time the Democrats blames the Republicans for simply trying to romance the Hispanic vote. Today, Republicans are blaming the Democrats for trying to romance the Hispanic vote with this immigration reform call. I believe it's true."
An organization called the Legacy Foundation has collected donations to cover Sheriff Dever's expenses for the trip and his part of the lawsuit.
The sheriff says it's already cost about a million in legal fees for his part of the case.