Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne formally demanded the federal government “cease and desist” from transporting illegal immigrants to his state or else face a possible lawsuit.
In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson, Horne called on the the government to halt the shipments of untold hundreds of illegal immigrant families to Arizona.
“In the past two weeks, the Department of Homeland Security has transported, and continues to transport, a significant number of illegal immigrants from other states into Arizona,” Horne said Thursday. “Men, women and children left at bus terminals in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees with nothing more than instructions to report to the nearest ICE office within 15 days, posing significant health and safety risks both for the people being abandoned and the communities in which they are being stranded, is not acceptable.”
Horne cited laws that he says DHS is violating, specifically a “duty to control and guard the boundaries and borders of the United States and against illegal entry of aliens.” He further noted that the transporting of illegal immigrants under similar circumstances, if done by a citizen, would be a federal crime.
“Not only were these inadvisable and irresponsible actions done without notifying Arizona officials, but DHS has yet to explain why it is apprehending aliens in Texas, moving them some 1200 miles and simply releasing them in our state,” Horne continued. “There does not appear to be any lawful authority for such actions, and I am demanding it immediately stops. In the meantime, my office is aggressively looking into what legal remedies are available to allow for a federal lawsuit.”
He went on to demand DHS reveal how many illegal immigrants they have transported to Arizona from Texas and left at bus stations since May 1, as well as the steps the department has taken to ensure they were not convicted criminals, would report back to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, were healthy, and had enough financial means.
Also on Thursday, Arizona Republican Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake called on President Obama to “send a clear message” that the new illegal arrivals are not eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or protections under the Senate-passed immigration bill.