Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich wants Gov. Doug Ducey to declare the surge of immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border a constitutional ''invasion'' so the state can ''defend itself,'' the Washington Examiner reports.
"This horrible situation is a ticking time bomb,'' Brnovich said in a letter to Ducey requesting the declaration.
''The truth is that we have every indication that the border crisis will continue to escalate. If there is more that we as a state can and should do, it can be pursued with your declaration of an 'invasion' at our southern border.''
Brnovich, who is running as a Republican for a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona, earlier this year said Ducey would be on solid legal ground to invoke powers of war to send the state's National Guard to its border to stop an ''invasion'' of drug cartels and criminal gangs.
But Ducey and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, both Republicans, have both expressed concerns that such a move could expose state law enforcement to federal prosecution.
Abbott told The Texas Tribune in April that he has been studying the issue of a constitutional ''invasion'' at the border since he was attorney general eight years ago.
But ''there are some issues that we're looking at that we've been provided no answer on,'' he said.
''These are people who already have papers to roam freely into the United States,'' Abbott said. ''As soon as we drop them off across the border, they would just come right back across the border. And so all we would be doing is creating a revolving door.''
Brnovich said the border is becoming more dangerous by the day.
''Our state is being overwhelmed by a flood of migrants and drugs pouring across our border. Local resources are being quickly drained and communities are being put at unacceptable levels of risk due to the federal government's abdication of the rule of law,'' he warned in the letter.
''Violence by cartels and gangs who have now assumed control of our southern border meets the legal threshold for an invasion, but it is up to the governor to make that actual determination. If this happens, you, as commander in chief, can exercise independent authority under the state self-defense clause of the constitution to defend Arizona from the invasion,'' he added.
Brnovich faces Jim Lamon, Blake Masters, Michael McGuire, Justin Olson and two write-in candidates in Arizona's Aug. 2 GOP primary. Masters has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who has praised him for being tough on border security.
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