Accusing the Obama administration of failing to enforce immigration laws, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Thursday the state will counter-sue the federal government for the right to police its border with Mexico.
will be filed as part of the Justice Department's challenge to Arizona's controversial immigration law, The New York Times
SB 1070, signed by Brewer last year, requires local police
to check for the immigration status of anyone stopped under "reasonable suspicion" of unlawful status. The law was halted
in court after the administration argued that only federal authorities have the right to enforce immigration laws.
At a news conference in Phoenix, Brewer called border security "by far the No. 1 issue" in Arizona.
"Illegal immigration is costing us a billion dollars, a billion dollars a year to maintain the level we're at, and the federal government sits by and does nothing," she said.
Brewer says no taxpayer money will be spent on the court fight, CNN
reported. Instead, Arizona will raise funds from private donors.
"Arizona did not ask for this fight with the federal government," Brewer said. "But now that we are in it, Arizona will not rest until our border is secured and federal immigration laws are enforced."
Justice Department officials did not immediately comment.