Brewer Countersues Feds

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer

Brewer Announces She Is Countersuing The Government For Failing ‘To Protect Arizona From Invasion’

Last year, the U.S. federal government filed a lawsuitchallenging Arizona’s new immigration law, SB-1070, on the grounds that it “usurps federal authority.” In late July, a federal district court judge enjoined several major provisions of Arizona’s immigration law, arguing that “the United States is likely to succeed on the merits in showing that…[they] are preempted by federal law” and the “United States is likely to suffer irreparable harm” in the absence of an injunction.

Today, Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) announced that she is filing a countersuit against the federal government on behalf of the state of Arizona. The countersuit names several counts, including a “failure to protect Arizona from invasion.” KPHO reports:

Brewer and state Attorney General Tom Horne outlined five counts in a counterclaim filed in the government’s lawsuit against Arizona:

  • The Department of Homeland Security has failed to achieve and maintain operational control for the Arizona/Mexico border as required under the Secure Fence Act of 2006
  • The federal government has failed to live up to its Constitutional duty to protect Arizona against invasion and domestic violence
  • The federal government has failed to enforce and follow immigration laws
  • The federal government has failed to compensate states for the substantial economic burdens suffered as a result of the failure to incarcerate or deport criminal aliens
  • The federal government has prevented Arizona from enforcing its own laws for illegal immigration. The state is seeking an injunction under this count
  • Brewer reportedly claimed that the federal government has failed to protect the “citizens of Arizona.” “We did not ask for this fight. We did not start this fight,” Brewer said at today’s news conference announcing the lawsuit. “We will not rest until our border is secure and the laws are enforced,” she said.

    Usually, referring to the high levels of illegal immigration the country has been experiencing as an “invasion” has been relegated to right-wing chat boards and other xenophobic forums. The term itself suggests conquest and plunder by a foreign enemy. Of course, no rational person would claim that the U.S. or the state of Arizona is currently confronting that scenario — unless they happen to have a problem with the population of poor, brown immigrants who came to the U.S. to build a better future for their families.

    The suit comes just a few short weeks after Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano urged politicians to stop exaggerating the levels of violence occurring on the U.S. side of the border with Mexico. She also recently noted the significant strides the Obama administration has made in securing the Andrea Nillborder, stating, “the additional manpower, technology and resources represent the most serious and sustained action to secure our border in our nation’s history…it is clear from every key measure that this approach is working.” Last year, the U.S. deported a record breaking number of undocumented immigrants. The country’s border cities are among the safest in the nationand DHS has been prioritizing going after undocumented immigrants who pose a threat to public safety.

    Brewer claims that taxpayer money will not be used to fund the suit. Apparently, money from a private fund will pay the costs. Yet taxpayers will have to pay for it because the taxpayer-funded federal government will have to defend itself against this ridiculously unnecessary lawsuit.

    Andrea Nill

    Republished with permission from the Wonk Room

    Published by the LA Progressive on February 15, 2011
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    About Andrea Christina Nill

    Andrea Nill is an Immigration Researcher/Blogger for ThinkProgress.org and The Progress Report at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Political Science with a concentration in Latin American Studies and Law and Society. Prior to joining the center, Andrea was a Communications Associate at the Immigration Policy Center where she founded the blog, Immigration Impact. Andrea was also a Communications Specialist at the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), specializing in bilingual public relations. Andrea was born in Guatemala and grew up in upstate New York.