Citing Federal Statutes, Potential Legal Action if Shipping of Undocumented Families Continues
Phoenix, AZ (Thursday, June 12, 2014) -- Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is today formally demanding that the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) immediately cease and desist transporting adult immigrants and their families from other states such as Texas, into Arizona. Citing federal statutes - 8 U.S.C. § 1103(a)(5) and 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(A)(ii) - in a letter, the Department of Homeland Security has been told to stop abandoning men, women and children in Arizona.
“In the past two weeks, the Department of Homeland Security has transported, and continues to transport, a significant number of illegal immigrants from other states into Arizona,” said Attorney General Tom Horne. “Men, women and children left at bus terminals in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees with nothing more than instructions to report to the nearest ICE office within 15 days, posing significant health and safety risks both for the people being abandoned and the communities in which they are being stranded, is not acceptable.”
Horne continued, “Not only were these inadvisable and irresponsible actions done without notifying Arizona officials, but DHS has yet to explain why it is apprehending aliens in Texas, moving them some 1200 miles and simply releasing them in our state. There does not appear to be any lawful authority for such actions, and I am demanding it immediately stops. In the meantime, my office is aggressively looking into what legal remedies are available to allow for a federal lawsuit.”
Additionally, the Attorney General has requested that the DHS furnish the following information as soon as possible:
- The number of aliens transported to Arizona from Texas and left at bus stations since May 1, 2014;
- The steps DHS took to ensure that none of these aliens were in need of medical treatment and that all of them were inoculated against communicable diseases;
- The steps DHS took to ensure that none of these aliens were convicted criminals or engaged in smuggling or human trafficking at the time of their apprehension;
- The steps DHS took to ensure that these aliens had sufficient financial and other means to avoid exploitation or the need for intervention by Arizona public officials in order to protect their safety and welfare; and
- The steps DHS is taking to monitor their whereabouts and/or ensure that they will report to ICE offices for processing as instructed before they were released.
The letter sent to the United States Department of Homeland Security is attached.