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'Your World': Senator Jim DeMint on Plan to Stop DOJ's Arizona Lawsuit

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," July 14, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: Man, oh, man, now it is immigration war.

Welcome, everybody. I’m Neil Cavuto.

And stopping the government from stopping Arizona — two Republican senators just introducing an amendment moments ago that would stop the White House from legally challenging Arizona’s crackdown, once and for all. One of the guys leading that charge with us now, South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint.

Senator, early reaction, what have you had so far?

This is going to be a dicey vote, right?

SEN. JIM DEMINT, R-S.C.: Well, it will be. And the question is whether we can break it into the current bill that they’re considering on the floor. And I think we can, through a procedural move. But the Obama administration needs to stop bullying Arizona and start securing our borders and protecting our people.

All the people of Arizona are doing is enforcing the federal law. And most of the reports about what this law says, as you know, Neil, are not really true.

CAVUTO: So what does your amendment do? What would it prevent?

DEMINT: It would disallow any funding to be used to — to carry out this lawsuit. And that’s one way Congress can restrict the action of the executive branch is just by stopping the funding. So this is just one way to force a vote so America will know where all the senators are on this issue.

CAVUTO: So the vote would be, what, in the next few days? What’s the timeline?

DEMINT: Well, we think it will be this week. It probably won’t be today, but we’re looking for a place where we can insert this. Obviously, Senator Reid does not want us to force this vote, but I think we can. Senator Vitter is working with me, and I think we’ve got a good floor team to make sure it happens.

CAVUTO: As you know, we’re still waiting on this follow-up suit that will involve issues of racial profiling. And, of course, all you need is a single case where someone might have been pulled aside based on the color of his or her skin and obviously the attorney general of the United States and others believe that’s their — their win in the courts. Do you agree with that?

DEMINT: No. That — it appears to be completely false. This law does not allow them to pull someone over except if there’s been another offense of some kind.

CAVUTO: Right, right.

DEMINT: It has nothing to do with their status. So the ability to ask your legal status is something the federal government is — it’s part of the federal law. And so I don’t know where they’re going to find any constitutional problems with the Arizona law. It seems to be pretty...

CAVUTO: Well, the bigger constitutional problem, Senator, right, is on whether a state can usurp what the federal government should be doing.

Now you’re quite right to say the federal government has botched it, so that’s a moot point. But if it is defeated on that original ground, then is this whole puppy done?

DEMINT: Well, I don’t know that — how it could be if this is the federal law that they’re enforcing. They’re certainly not usurping any federal law.

CAVUTO: Right.

DEMINT: They’re just enforcing it. And we do that in a lot of other areas. The EPA and other state agencies enforce federal law. I don’t know how they can make the case, Neil, but obviously, they’re going to try to unless we can some way back them down.

CAVUTO: Senator, thank you very much. Good seeing you again.

DEMINT: Thanks, Neil.

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