Last week, Senators David Vitter (R-LA) and Jim DeMint (R-SC) introduced an amendment to the small business bill (H.R.5297) that would deny the federal government funding to sue Arizona over its recently enacted immigration enforcement law, SB 1070. The DeMint-Vitter amendment (#4464) succinctly states: “No funds made available in any provision of law may be used to participate in any lawsuit that seeks to invalidate those provisions of the Arizona Revised Statutes amended by Arizona Senate Bill 1070. . . .” The small business bill is currently pending in the Senate and is set to be debated this week. (Politico, July 16, 2010).
In a statement released alongside the amendment, Senator DeMint remarked, “States like Arizona shouldn’t be prosecuted for protecting their citizens when the federal government fails to do so. Instead of suing states for doing his job, the President should get serious and stop holding border security hostage to pass amnesty and score points with his liberal base.” (DeMint/Vitter Press Release, July 14, 2010). Senator Vitter added, “The Obama administration should not use taxpayers’ money to pay for these lawsuits that the American people overwhelmingly oppose.” Id. A Fox News poll released last Thursday shows that most American voters oppose the lawsuit by 59-29 percent. (Fox News, July 15, 2010).