Arizona AG Brnovich issues legal opinion declaring border crisis ‘invasion’ under Constitution
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Arizona Attorney General Mark Brunovich issued a legal opinion Monday stating that the ongoing crisis on the southern border is an “attack” under the constitution – a move that he says empowers the state to take additional self-defense measures.
In the opinion, Brnovich said that the definition of “attack” under the US Constitution is not limited to the enemy foreign state and may include “hostile non-state actors”.
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“Violence and lawlessness at the border caused by international cartels and gangs satisfies the definition of an ‘attack’ under the US Constitution, and Arizona therefore has the power to defend itself from this attack under the authority of the Governor as Commander-in-Chief,” Brunovich wrote. “An actual attack allows the state to deploy defensive measures within its own territory on or near its borders.”
The comments came after Republican lawmakers and former Trump officials called on Governor Doug Dussey to use the power of war to deter the large number of immigrants who hit the Arizona border with Mexico last year. This would theoretically allow Arizona police or the National Guard to remove illegal immigrants to Mexico on their own.
They point to the language in Article I of the Constitution, which allows states to “engage in war” without congressional approval when it is “actually under attack, or in imminent danger that will not accept delay.” They further note that Article IV states that the US “will protest every [state] Against the attack. “
More than 1.7 million migrants were feared in fiscal year 2021, and the number was higher until December, when there were 178,840 encounters at the border, amid fears that the crisis is likely to continue well until at least 2022. Arizona’s Yuma sector has been particularly overwhelmed by the increase in immigrants.
“The ground violence and lawlessness on the Arizona border, caused by cartels and gangs, is widespread, well-documented and enduring.
While the Biden administration has focused on explaining the crisis centered on “root causes” such as violence and corruption in Central America, Republicans at the state and national levels have blamed the Biden administration for reversing Trump-era border policies and left. The state resists for itself.
“No state should be placed in the position that Arizona and other border states have been placed in through the recent actions of the federal government,” Brunovich wrote.
He goes on to argue that “attacks” do not require a foreign state and that instead the enemy may include foreign actors – including international gangs and cartels bringing violence and drugs like fentanyl to the border.
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“Also, the most commonly understood meaning of the word ‘attack’ covers the activities of international cartels and gangs at the border – they enter Arizona.” [a] Adverse methods “; they enter as” enemies, … for the purpose of plunder “; they” attack, “” attack “and” attack “; Said.
However, Brunovich noted that whether a state is capable of exercising its powers under the state self-defense clause will ultimately depend on the governor of the state, and that “only the governor has the power to set the correct parameters for the defense use of power.”
Ken Kukinelli, a former acting DHS secretary under President Trump and now a senior fellow at the Center for Renewing America, who has called on state governors to use such powers in response to the border situation, told Gadget Clock that the decision was a “big deal.” He did.
“We now call on Governor Doug Dusi to use this very clear legal and constitutional authority to protect the people of Arizona from the attacks they are facing along their southern border,” he said.
“It’s not enough for states like Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California to complain about Joe Biden’s failure to do his job, they have the power to defend themselves,” he said. “Only Gov. Abbott and Dusi have talked about doing it. But here’s to making sure they have the legal authority to take matters into their own hands and solve the problem, not just complain about it.”
Dusi himself was highly critical of the Biden administration’s border policy. In a recent interview with Gadget Clock Digital, he said there is a link between rising crime and the influx of immigrants to the United States.
“Of course, there is a link between the arrival of criminals across the border and the increase in crime – there is no doubt about that,” he said. “We’ve got about two million people at the moment who we’ve detained. So, border security is national security. The federal government is failing.”
Daniel Wallace of The Gadget Clock and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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