Arizona Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek) sent a letter to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich requesting a legal opinion on whether the Biden administration has failed its obligations at the U.S. border with Mexico. He is concerned there is an “invasion” taking place due to the vast numbers of illegal immigrants entering the country, the increase in crime, and the control the drug cartels have over areas along the border.
He wrote, “In light of the efforts by the new federal administration of President Joe Biden to encourage, rather than discourage, illegal aliens coming to our country, including by crossing the Arizona border illegally, I am writing to ask for your formal legal opinion of whether or not the federal government has failed — intentionally or unintentionally — to uphold its obligations to protect our state from invasion under Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution.”
Hoffman cites huge increases in crime since the Biden administration took office, tracked by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Between Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021, there was a 1,166 percent increase in homicide and manslaughter by noncitizens. Assault, battery, and domestic violence increased by 511 percent. Drug trafficking and illegal drug possession increased by 401 percent, DUIs increased by 314 percent, and sexual offenses increased by 187 percent. In FY 2020, the border patrol arrested 2,438 illegal immigrants with criminal convictions. Whereas in just the first eight months of FY 2021, they arrested 9,728. The amount of fentanyl seized doubled in the first eight months of FY 2021 over the amount seized in FY 2020.
The numbers of migrants detained by the border patrol so far this year, 1.7 million, is record-breaking, Hoffman notes, and about to sharply increase when a group of as many 60,000 migrants amassing on the Mexican side of the border decide to cross.
High-level former Trump administration officials are urging border states to declare that they’re under invasion by illegal immigrants and use state law enforcement to handle the problem. Ken Cuccinelli, a former acting deputy director of the Department of Homeland Security, outlined the process in a paper for the Center for Renewing America entitled “How States Can Secure the Border.” He lays out a three-pronged strategy involving the governors, attorneys general, and state legislatures.
The governors should cite state war powers and deploy National Guard troops to the border, he recommends. The attorneys general will defend the states in any litigation regarding returning illegal immigrants to Mexico, push back against any federal government attempt to commandeer the National Guard, and defend the constitutional authority to declare an invasion. Cuccinelli lists several pieces of legislation that state legislatures should pass, including cracking down on illegal immigrant labor and halting government funding to sanctuary cities.
Brnovich has aggressively taken on the Biden administration over illegal immigration. He demanded to know what is being done about those coming across the border with COVID-19. He led on four lawsuits against the administration, called for Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to resign due to his poor handling of the issue, and wrote various letters to the administration.
Hoffman previously joined with 23 other legislators in September to demand that Gov. Doug Ducey declare a state of emergency on the Arizona border with Mexico. Ducey held a press conference a few days later with other border governors presenting a ten-point plan for the Biden administration to resolve the border crisis. He previously ordered a state of emergency on the border in April. On Wednesday, he declared, “President Biden continues to ignore the border crisis he’s created and leave border states like Arizona to clean up his mess. We need more action from the federal government.”
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