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ASU President Michael Crow jumped into the immigration bill debate Friday, sending a letter to Gov. Jan Brewer urging her to veto SB 1070 as her time to make a decision runs out.

Crow said the bill, which requires local law enforcement to verify a person’s immigration status if they have “reasonable suspicion” the person is an illegal immigrant, takes a “wrong-headed approach” that could lead to a deterioration of civil relations in Arizona.

“By enacting this bill, Arizona sends a signal to the rest of the world that, as a result of deficient national immigration policy, it is willing to impose egregious state laws on the citizens of Arizona solely for the purpose of demonstrating the depth of its frustration with the stresses and strains that it attributes to the failures of the federal government,” Crow said in the letter.

A lack of action by national policymakers is frustrating, he said, but SB 1070 is not a real solution to the existing problem. Instead of signing the bill, Crow recommended the governor ask Congress and work with Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain to make the necessary improvements to immigration policy.

“SB 1070 is not a direction that will be conducive to Arizona’s success if we have any hope whatsoever of being part of a resurgent American economic recovery and a part of the broader global economic system,” he said.

Crow’s letter came as students prepared to join in protests at the State Capitol that have continued since Monday, when the bill, sponsored by Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, passed its last benchmark in the Legislature and moved to Brewer’s desk.

Brewer has until midnight Saturday to sign the bill, veto it, or take no action and let it become law. Many expect the governor to make her decision by this evening.

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