July 26, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) recently signed an amicus brief compiled by the American Center for Law and Justice and the Federation for American Immigration Reform. The brief comes after the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona earlier this month. The brief addresses the importance of enforcing our nation’s immigration laws, especially in our nation’s border states, and reaffirms the precedent of allowing states to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
The Attorney General, in the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against the Arizona, claims that the Department of Homeland Security’s prosecutorial discretion somehow preempts state and local law enforcement’s ability to enforce immigration law. However, the Department of Justice fails to recognize that the executive branch is limited by the intent of Congress and any preemption of state law is determined by Congress’ intent. Congress has, in multiple circumstances, encouraged states to enforce federal immigration laws.
“This current lawsuit against the state of Arizona is deplorable and frankly ridiculous,” said Inhofe. “As illegal immigration continues to soar, our nation’s border states suffer as they face tremendous burdens on their resources. When Congress fails to address border security and the executive branch fails to enforce laws on the books, states like Arizona have the right to listen to their populace, protect their interests, and promote the rule of law.”
Senator Inhofe has also cosponsored an amendment (S.Amdt. 4464) to prohibit funds from being appropriated to the Department of Justice to promulgate this lawsuit against Arizona.