26 Attorneys General Demand Congress Grant State Officials Power To Protect U.S. Citizens Against Illegal Immigration

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Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti on Monday joined 25 other state attorneys general in sending a letter to Congress, requesting the passage of the Immigration Enforcement Partnership Act of 2023 (H.R. 1337). If signed into law, this bill would grant state attorneys general the authority to enforce certain federal immigration laws.

They said the federal government’s ongoing failure to effectively protect our border creates a heavy burden on the states and a serious threat to national security.  The combination of overwhelming demands on social services, exploitation through human trafficking, and the relentless flow of fentanyl and other deadly drugs has created a bipartisan clamor for action.

“Controlling the border is the most fundamental duty of any national government, said Attorney General Skrmetti in a statement. “When our federal government fails to defend that border, the states must be given authority to join in the enforcement of immigration laws. I’m proud to co-sign this letter in support which would empower U.S. States everywhere to do the job the federal government refuses to do.” 

The letter sent Monday lays out an urgent request for Congress to pass the Immigration Enforcement Partnership Act of 2023. Doing so would authorize a state attorney general the ability “to request in writing that the Department of Homeland Security adequately fulfill certain duties related to immigration enforcement. Within 30 days of receiving such a request, DHS must ensure that such duties are adequately fulfilled by DHS officers and employees or authorize that state’s officials to fulfill such duties. The state attorney general may sue DHS for failure to meet this bill’s requirements.”  The letter also urges Congress to expeditiously give the bill a hearing.

The following attorneys general signed onto the latest letter:  Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

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