Kari Lake’s plan for securing the southern border may very well shatter federal attempts to relax border enforcement.
A former Arizona news anchor who resigned from her post citing a lack of balanced coverage and political viewpoint discrimination, Lake was propelled into the national spotlight as Arizonans and conservative Americans across the country rallied behind her cause.
In June, Lake announced a run for governor of Arizona, telling The Western Journal at the time that “I am running for Governor of Arizona because I care too deeply about this state and the wonderful people who live here to sit on the sidelines and watch us adopt the same policies that left California in shambles.”
On Tuesday, Lake revealed her plan for securing the border: creating a new, interstate border patrol that circumvents federal regulations.
The new border security force would be run by an interstate commission “comprised of representatives from participating states” that would oversee security operations along the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Within the confines of this compact, member states will … authorize the creation of a dedicated border security force consistent with state law enforcement functions to engage in joint border security operations,” Lake said in a news release sent to The Western Journal.
Such a commission would not be subject to federal restrictions or regulations but would report directly to participating states’ legislative bodies. The security force’s efforts would also be reported to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, but Lake stressed that this would be done merely as a “courtesy.”
“If Washington intends to abandon Arizona, we will exercise a federalist remedy with like-minded states across our great nation to deal with the crisis ourselves. And with Arizona leading a coalition of states, we will empower our law enforcement with the ability to secure our border and our interior from the lawlessness and evils of the cartels,” she said in the news release.
“Critics have often claimed that the border is a federal responsibility. And statute is clear that the federal government is responsible for enforcing security at our nation’s borders. But statute does not supersede the Constitution. If Washington refuses to honor its constitutional requirements, states have every recourse and responsibility to take matters into their own hands.
“And that is exactly what we’re going to do.”
The interstate border commission is far from the only proposal Lake unveiled on Tuesday. The former news anchor also promised to adopt the following policies:
- Finish former President Donald Trump’s border wall on the Arizona-Mexico border.
- Restore the Arizona Rangers as a “special state-funded law enforcement force.” (The Rangers’ current status is that of a volunteer force.)
- Increase National Guard presence at the border.
- Deputize Arizonans — especially retired law enforcement and veterans — to assist in border enforcement.
- Modify Arizona law to allow law enforcement to seize the property of “suspected or known criminals affiliated with the cartels and human trafficking.”
- Empower law enforcement to arrest illegal immigrants, smugglers and traffickers under an existing state trespassing law.
- Create a special “border court” within the state Superior Court.
- Grant the state and national guards the power to “actively return illegal immigrants back across the border.”
- Create a criminal illegal alien database that “keeps track of all charges, convictions, and crimes committed by illegal immigrants.”
Lake also pledged to create a new border task force that would work with tribal leaders to “find effective and mutually-respectful solutions for securing the border that runs through tribal territory.”
In addition to the above proposals, Lake promised to request that the Arizona Legislature prioritize legislation geared toward strengthening border security.
Lake will push the Legislature to recognize cartels as “international terrorist organizations” and to require “strict screening requirements, akin to foster care screening protocols, for placing illegal immigrant minors with sponsors inside Arizona.”
Lake hammered the Biden administration for having “abandoned its constitutional duties” and reiterated one of her campaign’s key messages: that the national media and leftists in the federal government work to push “false far-left narratives” to achieve their policy goals.
“As governor, I will not hesitate to do what needs to be done to restore security and sanity to our border. I will not allow false far-left narratives, all-too-often crafted with willing participants in our national press corps, to thwart a policy agenda that puts Arizona first. And I will not wait for Washington’s approval or rely on the empty promises of far-away politicians to do what’s best for Arizonans,” Lake wrote.
“The time is now. Together, we will secure our state, safeguard our communities, and pave a brighter and more secure future for Arizona and our great nation.”
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