In a bold move by a stagnated GOP party, two Senators hope to block President Obama’s federal lawsuit against Arizona with a procedural movement.
Senators Jim DeMint (R- S.C.) and David Vitter (R-LA) said they will attempt to attach the Arizona lawsuit, legal language to small-business legislation set to be debated on the Senate floor next week.
The two Republicans have been critical of the Obama administration’s lawsuit against Arizona and claim the federal government lacks the constitutionality to prevent the Grand Canyon State from enforcing immigration laws already on the books.
SB1070 is a law that closely mirrors the federal government’s law on enforcing illegal immigration. Arizona has been inundated with illegal immigrants which has propelled the state to the country’s leader in kidnapping and only second to Mexico City, Mexico.
“States like Arizona shouldn’t be prosecuted for protecting their citizens when the federal government fails to do so,” DeMint said in a statement. “The federal government is rewarding illegal behavior and encouraging many more to enter our nation illegally when they refuse to enforce our laws.”
DeMint also said that President Obama “should get serious and stop holding border security hostage to pass amnesty and score points with his liberal base.”
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Arizona are complaining the federal lawsuit will do nothing more than cost taxpayers more money the country does not have and in the end will be no closer to solving the immigration problem the federal government refuses to fix.
“The Obama administration should not use taxpayers’ money to pay for these lawsuits that the American people overwhelmingly oppose,” Senator Vitter explained.
DeMint further states that “States along the border are facing kidnappings, drug trafficking, human trafficking and gang violence and they have a duty to keep their residents safe. Instead of suing states for doing his job, the President should get serious and stop holding border security hostage.”
Arizona’s new law gives state law enforcement officials the legal authority to enforce federal immigration laws. Most law enforcement officers will be allowed to inquire about immigration status of individuals who are lawfully stopped for other crimes.
An amendment to SB1070 specifically forbids racial profiling.
As many as 18 states are considering similar laws, according to the Associated Press, including: Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Oklahoma, Utah, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Michigan. However, John Morton, the director of ICE warned these states to not pursue Arizona’s lead on the immigration issue because it is the federal government’s job to enforce illegal immigration.