A brief filed today with the U.S. Supreme Court argues that Arizona’s contested state law allowing law-enforcement officers to ask about the legal status of people they encounter is justified because of the virtual “invasion” of the state by outsiders.
“As provided in the Constitution, the power to repel against invasions was … granted to both the federal and the state governments,” stated the brief filed by Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch.
“This action is consistent with the notion that the federal and state governments are both sovereign bodies within the United States,” the brief explained. “Furthermore, the state of Arizona, with its general police power, a power the Founding Fathers intentionally did not give to the federal government, surely has the power to protect the health, safety and welfare of those residing within its borders.”
At issue before the high court is HB 1070. It was signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in April 2010, only to have the Obama administration sue three months later to block it from taking effect. Oral arguments are pending before the court.
According to documents in the case, the cost of illegal immigration into the United States is estimated at some $100 billion, and state and local governments bear about $80 billion of the load.
Klayman noted that Arizona’s passage of the act sought to enforce federal immigration laws by enabling state officers to verify the immigration status of people suspected of being in the country illegally.
The Freedom Watch statement said the Obama Justice Department has “miserably failed” in securing the borders of Arizona and other states.
The group said Arizona was left with no choice but to take charge when faced with the invasion of tens of thousands of illegal aliens, some carrying guns and running drug cartel operations.
Klayman explained that the state has the authority.
He said states are granted the right to defend in the case of a “large scale invasion” and also when there is imminent danger.
“President Obama, much like he did with Obamacare, is trying to ram its non-existent immigration enforcement policies down the throats of the American people and will stop at nothing to further illegal immigration to pander to elements of the electorate. This lack of enforcement is intended to benefit him and his Democratic Party during the period leading up to the 2012 elections,” said Klayman.
“With Congress and the executive branch unwilling or unable to provide for additional defenses of the southern border, Arizona is left with no choice but to act. It is clearly within the power of a state to provide for the safety of its citizens.”