U.S. Wants Arizona Suit over Border Security Tossed

Jeremy Pelofsky, Reuters, April 13, 2011

The Obama administration has asked a judge in Arizona to dismiss a lawsuit by the state that argues that the federal government has fallen down on the job securing the border with Mexico.

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The state in February sued the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security for allegedly failing to enforce federal immigration laws or gain control of the American border with Mexico and sought to compel enforcement.

The Obama administration late on Tuesday issued its 35-page response to the lawsuit, denying the allegations in Arizona’s suit and saying the state was trying to recast an earlier fight over its a strict law cracking down on illegal immigration that has since been put on hold.

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The Obama administration said there is no legal basis to compel the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security to take action on immigration enforcement and border control, which is left to their “discretion and expertise.”

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The Obama administration argued that the Constitution gives the federal government sole authority over immigration issues and won an injunction against those key parts of the law. On Monday, an appeals court upheld that injunction.

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Arizona’s two senators, Republicans John McCain and Jon Kyl, on Wednesday introduced legislation to further improve border security, including deploying up to 6,000 National Guard troops and by 2016 deploying 5,000 more Border Patrol agents.

They also proposed constructing double-layered fencing at some locations and deploying more aerial surveillance drones along the border. The cost of the full plan would be $4 billion and paid for by finding previously unspent government funds.

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  • BO_Bill

    The topic of James Madison’s Federalist 46 was the relationship between state and federal governments:

    “But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments, would not excite the opposition of a single State, or of a few States only. They would be signals of general alarm. Every government would espouse the common cause. A correspondence would be opened. Plans of resistance would be concerted.”

    In the next paragraph he goes on to talk about guns, and stuff. James Madison does not seem to have envisioned a federal government that would grow to tell us what we can eat, who we can hire, and direct that the States must prostrate themselves defenseless as foreign peoples pour in to gain access to benefits provided by Citizen-taxpayers all while they harass and sometimes kill the families of those Citizens. This is because the federal government is here to help.

    Strange times.

    http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa46.htm

  • Zach Sowers

    What’s really bizarre is that the United States has been rather successful in securing the Iraq/Syria border. If we can do it there, why not here? It would be a major cost savings.

    The US is also securing the Afghan farmer’s right to grow opium poppies.

  • El Cerote

    What’s BO’s motivation for refusing to close the borders? He wants OPEN borders; it’s part of his plan to destroy this nation. He is going to fight defending our nation against incursions of Hispanics AND radical Muslims, because he has no problem with jihadist Muslims destroying our nation and he’s perfectly happy to have drug cartel Mexicans kill American ranchers, tourists, and any other Americans who wander into their vicinity. BO did not come to office to defend the Constitution or the country. His objective is to destroy both – and we the people have to stop him.

  • Tusky

    Look up “writ of mandamus” . The Supreme Court has the power to issue a writ to the President, as head of the Executive Branch, to enforce laws on the books. It’s rare, but it’s a part of US law.

    It’s a double edged sword for the Supremes. If they heard the suit, it would be indeed perverse if they found that the Executive was willfully refusing to enforce a duly created law, and then refused to order them to in fact enforce that law. In essence, they would countenance scoff-law behavior within goverment!

    Tusky

  • Anonymous

    The Obama administration said there is no legal basis to compel the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security to take action on immigration enforcement and border control, which is left to their “discretion and expertise.”

    The Obama administration argued that the Constitution gives the federal government sole authority over immigration issues and won an injunction against those key parts of the law.

    This open defiance of the public and the law is astonishing. Two or three decades ago it would have been unbelievable that the federal government could so blatantly and brazenly refuse to carry out its mandate to enforce the laws. This is a rogue government that is out of control! They are doing whatever they want, and the citizenry be damned.

    Why is the American public so passive that it is putting up with this? Is it so distracted by wrangling over gay marriage, celebrity gossip, and fussing over Angelina Jolie’s newest babies that it has lost sight of the forest for the trees?

  • Svigor

    In short, the Ruling Class’ interpretation of the Constitution is that it’s a Suicide Pact. They never say this, but that’s how they behave.

    Unless they don’t like a particular interpretation of the Constitution, to which they respond, “the Constitution is not a suicide pact!”

    But they Continue to behave as if it is, of course. Typical case of projection I suppose.

  • Anonymous

    “Arizona’s two senators, Republicans John McCain and Jon Kyl, on Wednesday introduced legislation to further improve border security, including deploying up to 6,000 National Guard troops and by 2016 deploying 5,000 more Border Patrol agents……..The cost of the full plan would be $4 billion and paid for by finding previously unspent government funds.”

    I get suspicious or at least skeptical everytime McCain’s name is mentioned in border enforcement. This is a guy who has championed illegals for years and authored the great “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” bill with Ted Kennedy. During his reelection campaign he blatantly lied about ever supporting amnesty and started talking tough about securing the border. After he was safely elected for another term he does another 180 degree turn and comes out supporting amnesty again. This latest scheme sounds like he plans on supporting more border enforcement, perhaps getting a bill passed knowing full well there won’t be any unspent government funds to fund it with the government so deeply in debt. I grow tired of these great pretenders.

  • Anonymous

    I believe there is significant historical precedent in favor of the President’s view of this situation.

    Why just the other decade I was reading about Charles I and the Divine Right Of Kings. Different country, different legal system, different millenia, different wars (damn Scotts!:-) same royal arbitrary obstinancy as direct contravention of the people’s best interests.

    I forget, did the executive branch come out ‘a-head’ in that one?

    ‘I am thee lawuh!!’ Judge Dredd.