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Arizona Countersuing Federal Government Over Immigration Enforcement

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Claiming the federal government has failed to protect the citizens of Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer has announced that her state would defend its tough immigration law, SB 1070, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"We did not ask for this fight.  We did not start this fight," Brewer said at a news conference Thursday.  "We will not rest until our border is secure and the laws are enforced."

"Because the federal government has failed to protect the citizens of Arizona, I am left with no other choice," Brewer added.

In a counterclaim filed in the federal government's lawsuit against Arizona, Brewer and state Attorney General Tom Horne outline five points of contention:

* The Department of Homeland Security has failed to achieve and maintain operational control for the Arizona/Mexico border as required under the Secure Fence Act of 2006;

* The federal government has failed to live up to its Constitutional duty to protect Arizona against invasion and domestic violence;

* The federal government has failed to enforce and follow immigration laws;

* The federal government has failed to compensate states for the substantial economic burdens suffered as a result of the failure to incarcerate or deport criminal aliens; and

* The federal government has prevented Arizona from enforcing its own laws for illegal immigration. The state is seeking an injunction under this count.

Brewer said that no taxpayer money is being used in the state's fight against the government, and that it has strictly relied on donations.

"It's outrageous the United States Department of Justice sued the people of Arizona to stop Senate Bill 1070," Brewer said. "Our message for the federal government is very simple -- use federal resources to combat the cartels who are breaking the federal law."

The original Arizona immigration law was passed after complaints that the federal government hadn't done enough to secure the country's southern border.

A judge blocked the most controversial portions of the law, including a provision that requires police --while enforcing another law -- to question people's immigration status if there's a reasonable suspicion they're in the country illegally.

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