With the upcoming hearing on the federal government's lawsuit against Arizona increasingly pulling focus from serious discussion of border security, Representative Ann Kirkpatrick today issued the following statement:
"At a time when we need to be 100 percent focused on securing our border, this lawsuit is becoming more of a distraction than ever. I have been fighting to expand the Border Patrol, crack down on cartel smuggling and support our law enforcement - the Administration needs to do its job and get behind these efforts instead of suing our state. They must work with us to strengthen security and develop a national immigration strategy, not get lost in sideshows like this.
"Arizonans are paying for both sides of this legal battle, and it is not doing a single thing to secure the border and keep us safe. I opposed the lawsuit from day one, just as I stood up against the boycott that threatened our working families. We need to address this serious threat now, and these are not solutions.
"Border security is national security, and I have always felt it is the federal government's responsibility - I don't need a judge to tell me that. Arizonans already carry a tremendous burden in dealing with the consequences of Washington's failures, and we should not have to bear even more of the cost. The federal government has to start doing its duty - that is the only real answer.
"That's why I've worked so hard to force Washington to listen to Arizona and do what's necessary to secure the border. Whether it has been pushing Congress back into session to pass a critical border security package, fighting for 3,500 more Border Patrol agents or working to enroll all Arizona counties in a highly-successful anti-drug trafficking program, I have and will continue to fight tirelessly for a secure border and a safer Arizona. This lawsuit is pushing us off course when we absolutely must make actual progress."