Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced Thursday that her state will file a countersuit against the federal government, claiming Washington has failed to enforce immigration law along the southern border.
The governor said the federal government hasn't secured the state's border with Mexico and has stuck Arizona with the costs tied to illegal immigration.
"Because the federal government has failed to protect the citizens of Arizona, I am left with no other choice," Brewer said.
The announcement is the latest swipe in the ongoing legal dispute between Arizona and the U.S. Department of Justice over the state's tough immigration law. After the Obama administration challenged that law, a judge last year blocked key portions of it from going into effect. While the case is on appeal, Brewer said the countersuit will be filed as part of the federal government's challenge.
"It's outrageous the United States Department of Justice sued the people of Arizona to stop Senate Bill 1070," Brewer said. "Our message for the federal government is very simple -- use federal resources to combat the cartels who are breaking the federal law."
Arizona plans to sue on five different counts, including a claim that the federal government has failed to enforce immigration laws enacted by Congress and a claim it has failed to reimburse the state for costs associated with jailing criminal immigrants.
The original Arizona immigration law was passed following years of complaints that the federal government hadn't done enough to lessen the state's role as the nation's busiest illegal entry point.
A judge blocked the most controversial portions of the law, such as a requirement that says police, while enforcing other laws, must question people's immigration status if there's a reasonable suspicion they're in the country illegally.
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