Arizona Attorney General Declares Illegal Immigration Surge an ‘Invasion,’ Says State Can Defend Itself

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.
February 8, 2022Updated: February 8, 2022

Arizona’s attorney general on Feb. 7 declared the surge of illegal immigrants into the state an “invasion,” enabling the state to defend itself.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, issued the legal opinion at the request of state Rep. Jake Hoffman, another Republican.

Under President Joe Biden, Arizona and other border states have seen a record number of illegal immigrants streaming across the border.

According to the ruling, the illegal immigration crisis, which includes cartels fomenting violence at the border and helping many aliens reach and cross into the United States, meets the definition of an invasion outlined in the U.S. Constitution.

“The on-the-ground violence and lawlessness at Arizona’s border caused by cartels and gangs is extensive, well-documented, and persistent. It can satisfy the definition of ‘actually invaded’ and ‘invasion’ under the U.S. Constitution,” the opinion states.

“Two conclusions flow from this. First, the federal government has a duty to protect Arizona under the Invasion Clause. Second, Arizona retains the independent authority under the State Self-Defense Clause to defend itself when actually invaded,” it adds.

“We were asked for an opinion and are thus providing Arizona policymakers with our legal analysis,” Brnovich, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat, said in a statement. “The Constitution recognizes Arizona’s interest and power to defend herself from this type of invasion.”

Epoch Times Photo
Illegal immigrants who have gathered by the border wall prepare to board a bus going to the Border Patrol station for processing in Yuma, Arizona, on Dec. 10, 2021. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

While Brnovich issued the opinion, it’s up to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to approve the finding.

If Ducey, a Republican, does, then the governor as commander-in-chief of the state has the power to defend Arizona from the invasion, Brnovich’s office said.

CJ Karamargin, communications director for Ducey, told The Epoch Times via email that Ducey deployed the National Guard to the border in April 2021 and extended the mission in August 2021 “to give our law enforcement the support they need to fight this criminal activity.”

“Arizona has and will continue to protect our communities with our National Guard, our Border Strike Force and in partnership with local law enforcement,” Karamargin said, asserting the Biden administration has “totally failed to address this very real public safety and humanitarian crisis.”

“For Attorney General Brnovich to imply the Guard is not on our border does them a serious disservice and shows that he fails to appreciate the commitment these men and women have to protecting Arizona,” he added.

A White House spokesman and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not respond to inquiries.

Hoffman said he was glad to see the assessment.

“This groundbreaking legal opinion further reinforces what I, and my colleagues at the state Capitol, have been calling for, that Arizona under Article I, Section 10 of the United States Constitution has the authority to step up and protect itself from this invasion,” Hoffman said in a statement.

“The human smuggling, cartel drugs and violence, sex trafficking, and other illicit activity must end,” he said, calling on Ducey to utilize his constitutional powers “to end the invasion and secure our border.”