Arizona Treasurer Dean Martin sent Homeland Security Chief and former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano a bill for more than $1 billion and he's not too optimistic that she's gonna pay up.
Martin believes -- as did Napolitano during her reign in Arizona -- that the federal government is responsible for paying the tab for illegal immigrants Arizona is forced to house as a result of the "total failure of the federal government" to secure the Mexican border.
Martin's claim isn't just a Southwestern-state sense of entitlement, it's a law under the state Criminal Alien Assistance Plan, which Nappy referenced in her own pleas to the feds while she was governor.
"She said, basically, the system was broken back in 2004, 5, 6, 7, and 8," Martin said at a press conference this morning. "We're hoping to remind her that this portion of the system is still broken. We need your help to fix this."
In a seemingly sarcastic gesture -- considering Martin's lack of optimism that Janet is gonna pay up, and a longtime feud between the two -- Martin referenced a letter penned by Napolitano back in 2008, in which she argues the same points made in Martin's decree.
"The updated invoice, including accrued interest, is over one billion dollars," Martin says. "Illegal immigration has literally broken the bank here in Arizona. Napolitano is now responsible for securing our borders and is in a position to make good on the bill that she said the federal government owed. It's time for this bill to be paid before legal remedies are pursued to recoup this long overdue debt to Arizona taxpayers."
Always a numbers guy, Martin says the odds of Napolitano and the feds actually paying the bill is 10-1 but that he is willing to sue to retrieve the money.
Calls to Napolitano's office to find out if she has any plans on paying the tab were not returned this morning. She's probably a little busy, though -- trying to "fix the system" that she claimed worked despite its failure to prevent a known Islamic radical on government watch lists to buy a one-way ticket to Detroit and sneak a bomb on an airplane.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.