Washington, D.C. (Wednesday, May 9, 2012)—Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment offered by Congressman Diane Black (R-TN) that would stop the Obama Administration from using taxpayer dollars to thwart individual states’ efforts to combat illegal immigration by prohibiting the Justice Department from pursuing lawsuits against state immigration laws. The amendment passed by a vote of 238-173.
“One of the primary responsibilities of the federal government is to secure our borders and they have failed miserably. Individual states are now doing what the federal government has failed to do by passing measures to combat illegal immigration only to see the Obama Administration slap them with politically motivated lawsuits,” commented Congressman Black.
In 2010, the Department of Justice filed suit against Arizona to halt the state’s enforcement efforts, claiming that their immigration bill, SB 1070, preempted federal immigration law. Since then, the Department of Justice and several third party organizations have entered into lawsuits with seven other states that have passed similar laws. Black’s amendment to H.R. 5326, a bill providing funds for the Department of Justice and other agencies in 2013, addresses the Obama Administration’s efforts to keep individual states from protecting their citizens through politically motivated lawsuits that waste taxpayers’ money.
“My amendment uses Congress’s power of the purse to deny Eric Holder and the Department of Justice the ability to use taxpayer dollars to fund these lawsuits. Congress must support every state’s right to enforce the law and protect citizens without fear of retribution from the federal government. I look forward to the Senate taking up this legislation and my amendment in a timely fashion,” concluded Black.