Today, U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), chairman of the U.S. Senate Steering Committee, and David Vitter (R-Louisiana), chairman of the U.S. Senate Border Security Caucus, announced the introduction of an amendment that would prohibit President Obama’s administration, including the Department of Justice and other agencies, from participating in lawsuits seeking to invalidate the recently enacted Arizona immigration law. The DeMint-Vitter amendment (#4464) could be voted on next week as part of the debate on the small business bill on the Senate floor.
“States like Arizona shouldn't be prosecuted for protecting their citizens when the federal government fails to do so,” said Senator DeMint. “The federal government is rewarding illegal behavior and encouraging many more to enter our nation illegally when they refuse to enforce our laws. States along the border are facing kidnappings, drug trafficking, human trafficking and gang violence and they have a duty to keep their residents safe. Instead of suing states for doing his job, the President should get serious and stop holding border security hostage to pass amnesty and score points with his liberal base.”
“The state of Arizona is simply taking responsibility for a problem that the federal government has neglected for years, but Washington’s only response is to oppose these new enforcement efforts and take them to court. The Obama administration should not use taxpayers’ money to pay for these lawsuits that the American people overwhelmingly oppose,” said Senator Vitter.
Arizona’s new law, SB 1070, grants state law enforcement officials the authority to enforce federal immigration laws by allowing them to inquire about immigration status of individuals who are lawfully stopped for other crimes. The law explicitly forbids racial profiling. As many as 18 states are considering similar laws, as reported by the Associated Press, including: Florida, South Carolina, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Michigan.