Today, U.S. Representative Diane Black (R-TN), introduced H.R. 3842, a bill that would prohibit the Department of Justice and the Obama Administration from pursuing lawsuits against Arizona, South Carolina and Alabama over their state immigration enforcement laws.
"The primary responsibility of the federal government is the security of its citizens, and yet our porous border has allowed over 10 million illegal aliens to take up residence in the United States. While the federal government and the Obama Administration have failed to take action, individual states have put forth measures that give law enforcement authority to address the alien populations in their states--only to see the Obama Administration slap them with politically motivated lawsuits. My legislation uses Congress's power of the purse to deny Eric Holder and the Justice Department the ability to use taxpayer dollars to fund these lawsuits. Congress must support every state's right to enforce the law and protect their own citizens without fear of retribution from the federal government."
In 2010, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit against Arizona to halt the state's enforcement efforts, claiming that their immigration bill, SB 1070, preempted federal immigration law. Since then, DOJ has entered into lawsuits against eight other states.
"I fully support this common-sense legislation to stop these lawsuits that the federal government is pursuing against the states," said Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe. "Those of us who have dedicated our lives to keeping our communities safe need clear direction when it comes to enforcing the law. When the federal government and states clash on issues like this, it puts law enforcement in the middle and sends mixed signals to those on the ground. I commend Congressman Black for taking on this issue--she has a history of working with us on illegal immigration policies at the state level and has always been a very strong supporter of the law enforcement community."
H.R. 3842 is a companion bill to a Senate measure, sponsored by Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC), David Vitter (R-LA) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL).
"It's absurd that the Obama Administration, which has failed to enforce the nation's immigration laws, is now stopping South Carolina, Alabama and Arizona from taking commonsense steps to protect citizens and uphold the law," said Senator DeMint. "President Obama has failed to build the southern border fence mandated by Congress. He's also failed to control the northern border, allowing the Border Patrol to stop conducting routine checks at bus stops and train stations for illegal immigrants who could be smugglers or terrorists. South Carolina has a duty uphold the law and to protect our citizens from criminals who are in the country illegally."