Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) characterized crimes committed by drug cartels on the border with Mexico as an “invasion,” but said that the state of Arizona could defend itself from them without federal help.
“The violence and lawlessness at the border caused by transnational cartels and gangs satisfies the definition of an ‘invasion’ under the U.S. Constitution, and Arizona therefore has the power to defend itself from this invasion under the Governor’s authority as Commander-in-Chief,” Brnovich wrote in a legal opinion he issued Monday.
Brnovich argued that the cartels “enter Arizona ‘in [a] hostile manner’; they ‘enter as an enemy, with a view to … plunder’; they ‘attack,’ ‘assail,’ and ‘assault’; and they ‘infringe,’ ‘encroach on,’ and ‘violate’ Arizona.”
Under the U.S. Constitution’s State-Self Defense Clause, states can “engage in war” when “actually invaded,” without congressional approval.
It was not immediately clear what actions Arizona plans to take to fight the cartels, but he appears to be laying groundwork for some kind of action by the state in the face of Biden’s stunning lack of action there.
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