Judge: Arizona has no right to sue feds for failing to secure the border
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Arizona has no legal right to sue the federal government for failing to secure the border, a federal judge ruled Friday.
Judge Susan Bolton acknowledged federal law directs the Department of Homeland Security to achieve “operational control” of the border. A separate law requires construction of at least 700 miles of fencing.
But the judge said those are only goals, and Congress set no deadline for when the fence needs to be completed. Bolton said that means Arizona cannot seek - and she cannot grant - an order for the federal government to do something.
Bolton also rejected the state’s claim the federal government, in failing to secure the border, was somehow hijacking state funds. That is based on the state’s contention it is forced to spend money to educate, provide medical care for and in some cases incarcerate illegal immigrants.
The judge said, though, nothing the federal government is or is not doing requires the state to take any action. “The complained-of expenditures arise entirely from Arizona’s own policy choices and independent constitutional obligations and are not incurred as a result of any federal mandate,” Bolton wrote.
And Bolton made quick work of some of the state’s other claims, including one contending the government is violating the federal Constitution by failing to protect the country from “an invasion of undocumented aliens.”