151 Band

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Scott Pruitt's Plan

From Attorney General candidate Scott Pruitt's office:

Pruitt Announces Plans to Hold Federal Government Responsible for State Expenses Related to Immigration
Republican candidate for Attorney General, Scott Pruitt today announced that as Attorney General, it is his intention to bring a lawsuit against the federal government related to its failure to enforce immigration laws.  Pruitt will seek to recover at least the direct costs to the state that are incurred due to the illegal immigrant population.

“Far too often, the federal government has decided to pursue aggressive policies, such as the nationalization of health care, which I believe violate the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, while choosing to ignore the limited duties it should have.  According Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution, the Congress has the obligation, duty and responsibility to ‘establish a uniform rule of naturalization’ and our courts have interpreted this to mean that Congress also has the power to regulate immigration,” Pruitt, a respected Constitutional Lawyer, stated.

“However, you don’t need to look very far to see that they have failed miserably at this task.  In fact, they have failed so miserably, one has to wonder if they really have the resolve to do the job.  Even Congress has recognized that they are not doing their job.  Years ago, they created a federal program to help compensate states for the expense incurred for dealing with illegal immigrants incarcerated in state prisons.  Even here, they are paying only a pittance of the cost,” Pruitt continued.

In 2009, the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) provided less than 1.2 million dollars to the state.  By the government’s own admission, the SCAAP program only covers 42% of the cost for incarcerating undocumented aliens that are convicted of felonies or multiple misdemeanors.  For those incarcerated for lesser offenses, there is no compensation.  Most estimates are that the cost incurred in Oklahoma’s corrections system was at minimum 7 and a half million dollars.  The costs in other areas such as health, education and other programs would undoubtedly top 200 million dollars.

“I can argue that the federal government, through its initiation of SCAAP, has admitted that they have the responsibility to provide this compensation to the state.  Yet they are only providing a small portion of the direct costs,” Pruitt stated.

 “The current situation places Oklahoma at a competitive disadvantage to other states that, because they are further from the border, do not have the illegal immigration problem we have.  Right now, the Oklahoma taxpayer is simply footing more of the bill for dealing with illegal immigration than are taxpayers in other states.  Since it is a national responsibility, this situation is wrong and it needs to stop.  At this point, aggressive court action appears to be the most realistic venue for rectifying the situation,” Pruitt stated.

“To me, this seems like a straightforward approach.  It is time for the people to use every means available, including the court system, to make our federal government more responsive,” Pruitt continued.

“It is my hope that this lawsuit will do more than simply recoup the dollars lost by Oklahoma taxpayers.  I am taking this aggressive approach as a way to encourage other Attorneys General and other conservatives across the nation to begin thinking differently about how we can reign in the federal government.  And, if it makes Congress and the President finally act and do something meaningful on illegal immigration, all the better,” Pruitt concluded.