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AZ Attorney General Threatens Lawsuit if Immigrant Children Continue to be Sent

Posted by Matthew Green | Jul 23, 2014 | 0 Comments

Recently, posted a story on its site stating that the Arizona Attorney General has threatened a potential lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security after hundreds of undocumented adults and children have been transferred to Arizona from other states.

The state's Attorney General, Tom Horne, has said that he will give federal officials a “reasonable amount of time” to stop sending immigrants to Arizona, but if the practice is not discontinued, he will look to other states to move forward with a joint lawsuit. It is important to keep in mind that there is a state statute that “prevents Horne from suing the federal government directly, . . . but he is aggressively pursuing all options.” These options include working with state counterparts that do have the ability of bringing a lawsuit.

As the top prosecutor in the state, Horne has alleged that the federal government is potentially violating federal statutes and is ordering them to “stop abandoning men, women and children in Arizona or face a potential lawsuit.” Horne has drafted a letter which speaks to the possible violations of statutes which describe “federal officials' duty to control and guard the boundaries and borders of the United States against the illegal entry of aliens.” In addition, the letter points to a potential violation relating to the statute “that states transporting an undocumented immigrant under their busing practice is far beyond the federal government's discretionary authority.”

"DHS has yet to explain why it is apprehending aliens in Texas and releasing them in Arizona," Horne's wrote in his letter. "There does not appear to be any lawful authority for such arbitrary and injurious actions." To the contrary, given that transporting an alien under these circumstances would be a federal crime under 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii) if done by a citizen, it is far beyond the federal government's discretionary authority to detain or release a removable alien under Title 8 of the United States Code."

At the time this article was posted on, the Department of Homeland Security had not commented on the issue concerning a potential lawsuit.

Beginning Memorial Day weekend, the Department of Homeland Security started sending hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Texas to Arizona, many of these immigrants were unaccompanied minors. These individuals were dropped off at bus stations in Tucson and Phoenix and were given little, if any, resources. Officials in Texas said that the reason behind these transfers was because the Border Patrol “didn't have the manpower to handle a surge in undocumented immigrants from Central America crossing the border illegally in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.”

As I have written about in past blog postings, Gov. Jan Brewer is also unhappy about the current situation with sending undocumented immigrants to Arizona. She, along with Maricopa County Attorney, Bill Montgomery, and other state lawmakers and officials have been troubled by the fact that the Department of Homeland Security did not alert them about the practice until after immigrants had been brought to the state.

About the Author

Matthew Green

Managing Partner. Green | Evans-Schroeder (formerly Law Offices of Matthew H. Green) focuses on the aggressive defense of immigrants. A native of Arizona, Mr. Green understands the difficulties that immigrants and families of immigrants face when a loved one is charged with a crime. He knows how frightening it can be for some...


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