CLAY: Arizona AG, Mark Brnovich, joins us now, and we appreciate you joining us. I know you’re probably very disappointed in the Supreme Court decision on Remain in Mexico. Where does this leave us, for those of us who are concerned about border security, and what does it mean in particular for your state of Arizona now that you’ve had a little bit of time to digest the ruling?
BRNOVICH: Yeah. I think it’s very disappointing because the Supreme Court essentially said the Biden administration can end the Trump-era Remain in Mexico program. It’s very disappointing because the Biden administration has completely abandoned the rule of law at the border. And so, you know, we were successful when our office sued to have Title 42 remain in place; so, that’s one of the tools. But the Remain in Mexico policy was one of the policies that was helping at least partially stem the flow on the border.
And so, as the Biden administration continues to, you know, basically decriminalize and incentivize people coming over here, when the court strikes down this Remain in Mexico policy, that is sending a message to people that want to illegally enter our country all over that it’s okay to do it. So look, it wasn’t the end-all, be-all, but it was one of the first things Joe Biden got rid of and he was sending a message to people that he wasn’t gonna enforce border security. And so, I think that it’s obviously dangerous because border security is national security, and I think that Joe Biden has demonstrated that they’re not just trying to abolish ICE, he’s basically trying to destroy our whole southern border.
BUCK: Attorney General Brnovich, we often look at the border situation first and foremost from the perspective of how many illegal aliens have crossed over and these are important numbers, we should all know this. A part of it that I think gets far less attention and is also very important when we’re speaking about border security is interior enforcement of immigration laws, essentially, the people that are being let into the United States after crossing in illegally — and this goes a little bit to the Supreme Court decision today, which I think was wrongly decided, but nonetheless. Are there active deportations going on, for example, within your state at levels that are similar to what they were under the Trump administration? Have they dropped considerably? Because I think that’s also a place where we can see, “Do they want illegal immigration to stop or are they okay with it in the Biden White House?”
BRNOVICH: And that’s exactly one of the issues, one of the problems is because they aren’t deporting folks and in fact one of our lawsuits involving their internment and permanent guidance of the Biden administration was the fact that under the U.S. Code it says, “They shall,” someone shall “be deported within 90 days of a deportation order,” and there are more than a million people in the country right now with deportation orders that the Biden administration is refusing to deport. And so these are folks, like, literally, you have situations where people are being released from jails, from prisons.
And they’re just being released into our community with paperwork to go report to a probation office somewhere. And, you know, who knows if they’re going to or not going to. And I know from even talking to some of the folks I know in federal law enforcement that even recently here in Arizona, there is a group of a dozen folks from countries on our terror watch list from the Middle East that came over, and before they could be interviewed or questioned, they were released. No one has any idea where those dozen people are going or where they’re at.
So that’s the kind of stuff that should keep up at night. It’s not only the people being released in our community, which I call the “decriminalization, incentivization,” at the same time you question these more than, you know, 400,000 got-aways of people that are trying to evade capture detection, because I’ve been to the southern border numerous times and you have people literally coming over with their roller badge, their luggage. They surrender to the Border Patrol. They’re put in a van, they are processed, and then they’re just released.
But then you have these other folks, you know, the population of Arlington, Virginia, greater than the population of Arlington, Virginia, who literally are crossing 110-degree desert in Texas and Arizona — crossing 20 miles of desert — smuggling drugs and smuggling themselves intuited country, and you have to ask yourself, what do those got-aways have in store for the United States? And that’s the problem, guys. This is like a ticking time bomb, and we are gonna pay the cost not only fiscally. We are gonna pay the cost in lost American lives as a result of the drugs and fentanyl and as a result of these gang members and terrorists coming across our border.
CLAY: Mark Kelly is up for reelection here in November. I know you’re running along with many other Republicans to potentially oppose him. How monumental is this Senate race in Arizona, given how tight everything is right now, 50-50 in the Senate — how vulnerable Kelly is, and the disappointment — coming off the 2020 in Arizona? For people who don’t live in your state, can you contextualize us just how important this race is?
BRNOVICH: I tell folks all the time that Arizonans want an Arizona senator representing them, and Mark Kelly votes are Chuck Schumer 97% of the time. I always say, he votes with Bernie Sanders nine out of 10 times. My goodness, guys, even Bernie’s wife doesn’t agree with him nine out of 10 times, and that’s it is thing. So Mark Kelly represents those East Coast values. But when you have candidates that can’t stand up and give a punch and take a punch and articulate and defend conservative values, we lose.
I’m very proud of the fact that in 2018 I actually was outspent, and I got more votes than Sinema or McSally in the 2018 election cycle because I’m a known entity. I grew up here in Arizona. I’m a first generation American. I live in the same neighborhood I grew up in, and I’m a principled conservative. Ten out of 10 times, people know what I stand for and what I believe, and that’s what’s it’s gonna take to beat Mark Kelly. Arizona has a long history of rejecting self-funders. And if there’s one thing we hate more than self-funders, it’s people from California and the East Coast trying to buy a Senate seat.
CLAY: Attorney General Brnovich, I don’t know how much of a sports fan you are. I am a big —
BRNOVICH: Huge sports fan!
BRNOVICH: Huge sports fan.
CLAY: So you may have seen this news, you may not have. I may be breaking it for you right now. There are reports that UCLA and USC are leaving the PAC-12, and they would be joining the Big Ten. So the Big Ten would be expanding from 14 to 16 teams. For those of you out there listening who are sports fans, this will be a big deal. You are in the state of Arizona. Arizona and Arizona State are in the PAC-12. Do you have any sort of reaction both as a sports fan and maybe as a lawyer who represents Arizona interests on that story that is just breaking right now as we are talking with you?
BRNOVICH: Okay. I don’t know how much time we have but first and foremost, I actually (unintelligible) game director at one point, so I know a lot about sports and sports gambling, so I actually supported New Jersey’s lawsuit against the NCAA when they struck down the federal prohibitions on sports gambling.
CLAY: Yeah, I was there by the way, AG Brnovich, in the Supreme Court watching that argument. It’s the only Supreme Court argument I’ve ever watched in person so that was a big win for New Jersey striking down PASFA to allow sports gambling, just to give the background on that.
BRNOVICH: We joined in support of that lawsuit. And next time I’m at the Supreme Court, you should come as one of my guests. It will be fun because you’ll be the only other guy wearing Adidas high tops along with me.
BRNOVICH: So, so… I supported the right of the athletes to get paid and compensated for using their image, likeness, and name. So I have a healthy distrust of the NCAA. I do think it’s a cartel. Look, my official reaction is, my goodness, the Big Ten, when I think of the big the 10, I think of Wisconsin, you know, Michigan versus Ohio State — the snow and, you know, the big offensive linemen and three yards and a cloud of dust, right? Woody Hayes, Bo Shembechler, all that stuff. Barry Alvarez!
So you think of that when I think of the Big Ten. I don’t think of the West Coast and passing. And I’ll tell you I’m a Sun Devil, you know, I went to ASU I grew up a huge Sun Devil fan and we used to have a saying out here that “The Trojans suck. Even the pope hates condoms.” Can I say that on the air? I don’t know. My point is that, yeah, I’ve never been a big fan of the University of Spoiled Children — and look, there’s a lot of reasons to dislike L.A. and USC and UCLA are two of them.
BUCK: AG Brnovich, en fuego.
BUCK: The attorney general, state of Arizona, thank you for being with us, man, we appreciate it.
BRNOVICH: Thanks, guys, as always. Thank you very much.