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Arizona lawsuit: Biden vaccine mandates favor illegal immigrants over U.S. citizens

The suit claims that edict requiring 80 million U.S. workers to get COVID-19 shots violates the Equal Protection Clause by favoring "unauthorized aliens" who can decline the vaccine, "protecting their freedom and bodily autonomy more than American citizens'."

Updated: September 14, 2021 - 10:53pm

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Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has fired the opening salvo in the anticipated legal fight over President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccination mandate.

Brnovich filed the lawsuit Tuesday in the U.S. District Court of Arizona, claiming Biden's mandate violates the Equal Protection Clause by favoring migrants who can decline the vaccine, "protecting their freedom and bodily autonomy more than American citizens'."

"The federal government cannot force people to get the COVID-19 vaccine," Brnovich said in a statement. "The Biden Administration is once again flouting our laws and precedents to push their radical agenda. There can be no serious or scientific discussion about containing the spread of COVID-19 that doesn't begin at our southern border."

Biden announced the prominent aspects of his COVID-19 plan last week, saying all federal employees and those who do business with the federal government, in addition to any private employer with 100 or more workers, must be vaccinated as a condition of employment or face rigorous testing.

Although it's not yet active, Brnovich's lawsuit directly contrasts the coming mandate with the lack of a similar requirement for immigrants who enter the U.S. from Mexico.

"In a nutshell: unauthorized aliens will not be subject to any vaccination requirements even when released directly into the United States (where most will remain), while roughly a hundred million U.S. citizens will be subject to unprecedented vaccination requirements," the lawsuit said.

Brnovich estimated 1 in 5 immigrants who illegally cross the southern border are infected with COVID-19.

Brnovich's complaint also calls out White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klain for retweeting a statement regarding how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandate is the "ultimate work-around" for a federal COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

The U.S. Border Patrol estimated more than 212,000 people crossed the border into the U.S. illegally in July.

Brnovich is running as a Republican for U.S. Senate.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Friday he also plans to sue Biden over the mandate.

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