Arizona officials are threatening to file legal action against the Obama administration if it does not stop moving undocumented immigrants from Texas into their state.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, in a cease-and-desist letter
to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he'd allow a reasonable amount of time for the migrations to stop, but if they don't, he'll work with other state agencies to sue the federal government.
Horne can't sue the government directly, reports The Washington Post, but he is "aggressively pursuing all options," including working with others in the state government who can bring a lawsuit against the government.
The government is potentially violating federal statutes, said Horne, who says it's the government's "duty to control and guard the boundaries and borders of the United States against the illegal entry of aliens." He also commented that transporting such immigrants is "far beyond the federal government's discretionary authority."
“These aliens are not being transported for the purposes of detaining them in a federal facility located in Arizona," said Horne's letter. "Rather, DHS is inexplicably moving them some 1200 miles and simply releasing them here (outdoors in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees) rather than in Texas."
Earlier this week, Horne told Newsmax TV's "America's Forum"
that he blames the Obama administration for the situation.
"They've done some pretty bizarre things," Horne said. "They caught people crossing the border in Texas and they shipped them to Arizona and left them in a bus station."
These include people who may be carrying communicable diseases, he said.
"We don't know if they've been inoculated," said Horne. "These are people who had no resources, [and] the burden fell on the charity of the state. If you catch people crossing the border, you're supposed to send them back to their country of origin, not send them to Arizona."
The U.S. Border Patrol has admitted sending migrants, including children under the age of 17, out of Texas into Tucson and Phoenix, including dropping them off at Greyhound bus stations and giving them orders to self-report to immigration services.
Hundreds of undocumented minors were caught crossing the border and sent to a holding facility in Nogales, where they are being held in facilities that have come under criticism as being substandard.
Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain Thursday called for Customs and Porter Patrol to allow the media to examine the processing center in Nogales.
“There is only one way of knowing what the treatment is and that’s for the media to be allowed access,” McCain said on an Arizona radio show. “We need you and any media outlet that wants to be there to be there. What kind of society are we in?”
McCain and Republican Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake have sent a letter to Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske
calling the matter a "humanitarian crisis." They are also seeking a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
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