Good Morning America's Bill Weir on Thursday touted a court ruling that removed key portions of Arizona's immigration law. He announced the judge's decision as one spanning "from rage to relief." He derided the possible implementation of the legislation as "the day when reasonable suspicion would take on a whole new meaning."
Weir, who will soon take over as the new co-host of Nightline, chided Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. He asserted that she "seems ready to take an appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. Goading President Obama and Congress all the while."
The ABC journalist's example of Brewer's goading? This comment: "They need to step up, the feds do, and do the job that they have the responsibility to do."
Later in the segment, Weir sympathized, "The recent Hispanic exodus out of Arizona might ease now. But the some half million undocumented immigrants who live here still have no way out of the shadows. And they face similar resentment in a state with ten percent unemployment."
On Wednesday, Weir worried, "Proof that the threat of a crackdown has caused an exodus, now that a busted taillight or suspicious behavior can lead to deportation." Unlike on that show, at least on Thursday's program Weir featured a few clips of Americans who support the Arizona law.
A transcript of the July 29 segment, which aired at 7:02am EDT, follows:
ROBIN ROBERTS: And, this morning, a judge blocks portions of a tough new immigration law. Issuing the order just hours before it was to go into effect. But, the battle is not over as a high profile sheriff vows to continue controversial raids.
ROBIN ROBERTS: But, we begin with that stunning decision in Arizona. Judge Susan Bolton did not strike down the entire tough new immigration law. But, she did put a block on the bill's most controversial portions. Arizona's Governor, Jan Brewer, says the fight is far from over. Bill Weir is in Arizona where emotions on both sides of the debate are running high. Aren't they, this morning, Bill?
ABC GRAPHIC: Immigration Law Halted: Arizona Vows to Fight Ruling
BILL WEIR: They are, Robin. From rage to relief. And ever since the Governor signed this bill in April, both the law enforcement and Latino communities have been bracing for this day, the day when reasonable suspicion would take on a whole new meaning. But, as you say, after the judge, essentially, knocked the teeth out of this new law, both sides are back in their prospective corners, preparing for the next round. As far as Sheriff Joe Arpaio is concerned, nothing has changed. He vows to fill up his Phoenix tent jail with traditional traffic stops and more of his controversial raids.
SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO (Maricopa County Sheriff's Department): Any police officer that arrests someone on a criminal violation, all the cop has to do is book them into our jail. And we are going to determine if they are here illegally. That's anybody. And we will put a hold on them.
WEIR: And Governor Jan Brewer seems ready to take an appeal all the way to the Supreme Court. Goading President Obama and Congress all the while.
ARIZONA GOVERNOR JAN BREWER: They need to step up, the feds do, and do the job that they have the responsibility to do.
WEIR: But the Latino community is enjoying a moment of victory. The injunctions brought hugs in Phoenix. And cheers at the American embassy in Mexico City.
WEIR [As Weir speaks, video of a big banner reading Stop the Hate.]: But the protests still continue. This banner unfurled in downtown Phoenix late Wednesday.
MARY ROSE WILCOX [Activist]: What we do know now is that people can sleep better tonight because the most controversial parts of this are gone.
WEIR: The recent Hispanic exodus out of Arizona might ease now. But the some half million undocumented immigrants who live here still have no way out of the shadows. And they face similar resentment in a state with ten percent unemployment.
WOMAN #1: They definitely take our jobs. They take our resources.
AGNES WARGO: They come into our country. They accept $2 an hour or sometimes even less. So, that takes away the opportunity for an American to have that job.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I have two kids. To support them, I would do whatever it took.
WEIR: What do you say to these people who say these guys are taking away American jobs from Americans?
SALVADOR REZA (Day labor activist): Well, I haven't seen it. I really haven't seen it. Because, these guys get on a rooftop at 115, 120 degrees. These guys do the jobs that nobody wants to do. And that's the truth.
WEIR: And the judge did not block the part of the law that prohibits day laborers from slowing traffic in order to solicit work. And some on the Latino side, yesterday, some activists said they say fear some anti-immigrant folks will intentionally slow traffic so cops can pounce. There's so much suspicion, Robin, on both sides and the legal fight has just begun.