Dear Governor Brewer:
I am writing on behalf of the concerned citizens who live in Arizona’s Legislative District 5. Over the weekend, I received countless communications regarding the transport of illegal aliens from federal facilities in Texas into our state. I, too, am disturbed and outraged by the policy unilaterally implemented by the Obama administration leading to unreasonable burdens on Arizona taxpayers and our already overburdened state child welfare system.
As you are well aware, Arizona simply does not have unlimited human or financial resources to handle the massive influx of unaccompanied minors, pregnant women and other people who have chosen to cross into the United States illegally. It is inhumane for the federal government to dump this population — many without food, shelter or the ability to communicate in English — onto the streets of Phoenix and Tucson and then ask them to return to the “nearest local ICE office’’ to be processed by immigration services in two weeks. It is unfathomable that that same federal government expects Arizona to shoulder the cost to shelter and feed this population when we are struggling financially to create a safety net for Arizona citizens.
As all of us understand, enforcing our border with Mexico is a federal issue that Arizona has been more than willing to assist with. Arizona sheriffs have done an amazing job with the limited resources they have been given. Obviously, there is still much more to do. In the situation we are currently facing, we must seek Arizona solutions.
As I see it, we have several options to explore. Our Arizona National Guard could be activated to secure our borders with surrounding states, our constitutional sheriffs could band together and prevent busloads full of illegal aliens from entering Arizona, and our attorney general could seek recourse through the court system. The people who have broken the laws of the United States to enter our country illegally must be returned to their home countries for processing. Arizona, Texas, Maryland and now New York must all be compensated by the federal government for the burden placed upon these sovereign states.
All of the potential solutions take time. However, time is of the essence and we must act quickly. Governor Brewer, I urge you to seek a course of action that will not only provide humanitarian aid to those seeking asylum, but also set expectations for a federal government that seeks to shift responsibility for illegal immigrants to the states without allowing those same states their right to protect their own borders. In addition to setting expectations, Arizona must lead the charge in keeping the federal government accountable. I urge you to rapidly create a plan, put it into action, and protect Arizona’s hardworking taxpayers.
Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City