Arizona Attorney General demands federal government end immigrant transfers

On June 5 Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne called on the Department of Homeland Security to discontinue its transportation of illegal immigrants from Texas to Arizona, as well as explain the motivation behind its actions. In a letter to the DHS, Horne stated that he would offer federal officials a “reasonable amount of time” to end this practice (or, at least, its involvement with the state of Arizona), but threatened legal action if they refused his request.

For the past two weeks, the DHS has been transporting immigrants apprehended near the Texas-Mexico border to a holding facility in Nogales, Arizona. These actions come in response to a considerable rise in the amount of undocumented individuals crossing into the U.S. from Central America. It has been indicated that the arrangement in Arizona is to be a temporary one until less impermanent living facilities can be opened in the Southwest, but very little regarding the rationale of detaining these individuals has been revealed by DHS.

As federal authorities have continued to transport hundred of families, many of them with children, into Arizona space is running low in holding facilities. Many families have simply been brought to bus stations and told to report to an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office within 15 days. As these instances have become more frequent, criticism has surfaced regarding a lack of preparation or foresight. In his letter, Horne expressed his concern and demanded something be done as soon as possible.

Horne’s letter went on to object to the process of apprehending immigrants and moving them 1200 miles into an entirely different state. He referred to the actions of the DHS as both ‘inadvisable and irresponsible’, being sure to reemphasize that no explanation had yet been handed down to state authorities.

Though state statute prevents Horne from suing the federal government directly, his office is looking into which course of action would be most effective should the DHS refuse to cease these immigrant transports.