The federal government has asked a judge to throw out the state of Arizona’s lawsuit over border security, calling the suit “of a political nature” and coloring it as an attempt to spin the government’s own suit against Arizona over its controversial immigration law.
Reuters reports that on Tuesday, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security filed a 35-page response to Arizona’s suit, which was filed by Gov. Jan Brewer (R) in February. “Arizona repeatedly raises generalized allegations and questions of a political nature, rather than a colorable constitutional or statutory claim,” the filing said. “This court is not the proper forum in which to air such grievances.”
Brewer’s suit claimed that the government had failed in its duty to protect her state from an “invasion” of illegal immigrants. The suit was filed as a counter-suit to the government’s own lawsuit against SB 1070, Arizona’s law that permitted law enforcement officials to demand immigration papers from anyone they suspected of being in the state illegally. The government argued that the law violated the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, because “in our constitutional system, the federal government has preeminent authority to regulate immigration matters.”
According to Reuters, the DOJ and DHS asked District Judge Susan Bolton to dismiss the suit:
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.”
Judge Bolton issued a preliminary injunction against key parts of SB 1070 last July until the case was completed. The Ninth Circuit upheld the injunction earlier this week.
The fight over Arizona’s border security is also about to heat up in Washington. Sens. John Kyl and John McCain, both Republicans, introduced legislation for $4 billion more over the next five years to increase security on the border, National Journal reports.