Daniel Baldwin, Political Correspondent
UPDATED 4:03 PM PT – Wednesday, October 19, 2022
Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs introduced legislation designed for states to pass and enact laws that match federal immigration laws. Biggs says he proposed the bill now, because the Biden Administration has left states to fend for themselves.
“The federal government has basically abandoned the field,” Biggs said. “They’re not providing border security. The CBP agents are working their tails off, but because of [Biden’s] policies, the country’s being overrun.”
The State Immigration Enforcement Act explains that states could “enact, implement and enforce criminal penalties that penalize the same conduct that is prohibited in the criminal provisions of immigration laws.” Biggs says this legislation is necessary as the Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Arizona limits the involvement of states in immigration law enforcement.
“In this particular instance, the Constitution says the federal government’s going to be in charge of immigration laws,” said Biggs. “Well the Supreme Courthas basically said what that means is that the states can’t enforce immigration laws. Now border security laws are considered immigration laws, and so we’re dependent upon them. And the feds now have abandoned the field. So there’s just nothing there protecting us. So, it’s time for the states to be able to have authority.”
This proposed legislation would provide states the necessary congressional authorization to “enforce” both criminal and civil penalties.
“This bill actually provides that Congressional approval,” said Biggs. “[the bill says], ‘Look, if you’re a state and you want to enforce federal immigration laws, border laws, border security laws, you can go ahead and do that as long as you’re consistent with the federal law. You can’t do something that’s inconsistent with federal law.”
Biggs acknowledged that the bill may not get passed in the current session, but he promised this will be a priority of his moving forward.
“I’m certainly hopeful that we can maybe get some Democrats on board and do something in the lame duck session,” Biggs said. “But if it doesn’t, then believe me, this will be the first bill introduced in January, and I think we can get this through the House and move it through the Senate and force Joe Biden to acknowledge what he has done.”